Illustrator Rob Flowers shares his treasure trove of books

22 February 2017

Illustrator Rob Flowers has become known for his trippy, brightly-coloured illustration and animation. He’s created work for Maynards Bassetts and Google and would ideally “like to live in a land of hamburger patches, milkshake volcanoes and fillet-o-fish lakes”.

In his Nicer Tuesdays talk in October last year, the illustrator spoke about his collection of retro toys, and how his obsession for old McDonald’s Happy Meal toys and adverts has fed into his work. “I love odd characters, food related toys and 80s gross-out toys and some of my work is pretty disgusting.” With such an enviable assortment of ephemera, we were happy to discover his bookshelf is filled with equally unique and fascinating tomes. Here Rob talks about some great market finds and how his interest in mythology was ignited.

Vojtěch Kubašta: Tip & Top Go Camping

I picked this amazing pop-up book for £3 at Deptford Market about ten years ago. I’d never seen any of Vojtěch Kubašta’s work before but fell in love with it as soon as I opened up the book. I’ve bought up a couple of his books since but this still remains my favourite. Kubašta’s work is beautiful and was a big inspiration for some of the 3D diorama pieces I produced last year. 

Irina Nicolea, Georgette Rotsu and Magdalena Molnar: Masti Masks Masques

The Muzeul Taranului Roman in Bucharest is one of my favourite museums in the world. I spent a few weeks in Transylvania a few years ago and managed to visit it on my way to Bulgaria. The museum has an outstanding collection of masks worn in parades and processions and this book is a fantastic collection of photographs of them. I’m always leafing through the book, looking for inspiration for character designs. Unfortunately it’s written in Romanian and French so I don’t know what any of it says! 


David Pinner: Ritual

David Pinner: Ritual

As a huge fan of folklore, mythology and pagan ritual, The Wicker Man is one of my favourite films, which was loosely based on this great book. Whenever I’m short of something to read I’ll always pick this book up and give it a re-read. 

Peter Haining: The Legend and Bizarre Crimes of Spring Heeled Jack

I first discovered Spring Heeled Jack when I was studying at University (I actually based my final project on him) and have been fascinated with him ever since. I think he’s responsible for my interest in myths and cryptozoology. He first appeared in the 19th Century and was described as jumping out on lone travellers, breathing flames into their face and then leaping away. It’s never been established who or what he was but the Lord Mayor acknowledged his existence and he evolved into a Gothic hero of pantomimes and Penny Dreadfuls. I’m actually revisiting the character for a project I’m working on later this year. 

The Comic Animal Moving Eye Book

I got this awesome book from a flea market in Brighton a few years back. I’m not sure who wrote or illustrated it but it’s hilarious and I’d love to do my own version of it one day, as I’m a big fan of googly eyes. 

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About the Author

Rebecca Fulleylove

Rebecca Fulleylove is a freelance writer and editor specialising in art, design and culture. She is also senior writer at Creative Review, having previously worked at Elephant, Google Arts & Culture, and It’s Nice That.

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