The work of London-based illustrator Pete Sharp has brightened up our inboxes on more than one occasion over the past year. First there was the cosmic, neon-hued music video Pete made with Tom Bunker for Bonzai. Next the duo returned with an energy-filled, sci-fi and 90s TV show-inspired animation for Nike China which encouraged kids to run without worrying about injury.
This time though, we returned for a peek at Pete’s personal work. “There seem to be more and more artists embodying a sort of primitivism feel to their work and I guess I’d maybe class my self as one of those people but with more sci-fi," Pete explains of the trippy characters that fill the more personal side of his portfolio.
“I feel like my current work has a Star Trek or Brancusi thing going on. I like the shapes and textures of what primitivist painters and sculptors saw in African art. I like sci-fi because it makes me feel less worried about the future. I think bringing those two sort of polar opposite influences together makes the gap between past and the future seem a lot more manageable. I can’t act like all of my artwork is designed for a higher purpose though, a lot of it is just messing around with scanned drawings in Photoshop and finding out what looks cool.”
For the last year, Pete tells us he has been developing his personal work with a new intention: print production. “Even though most of it rarely goes to print, I think limiting myself to a two or three colour palette can really inform the outcome of each drawing or design – it helps make them more believable as actual physical poster designs, even if they’re never made a reality.”
It’s a process shift which Pete is excited by: “I really like the way my designs are looking at the moment and will hopefully be able to produce some of them for exhibition early next year.