Patrick Schmidt tells us about his work, life in London, what inspires his art and more.
We got a chance to interview Patrick Schmidt, the London based illustrator who has worked with the likes of Element Skateboards, French Connection and Topman.
You’ve collaborated with some big names, and recently were chosen to be part of Element’s Perspective Project. Is there any collaboration that sticks out as a favourite and why?
Yeah, I’ve been lucky enough to be approached by some great brands and have been involved in some really interesting projects recently, stuff I’ve been excited to work on with really open creative briefs.
Think Element Skateboards was my favourite one of late – a cool brand with a great company ethos that I really connected with, it played to my own interests and tastes. I’ve wanted to work on a range skate decks for such a long time and think the graphics and my style really worked well for it, it was more of a creative discussion with the brand and the results echoed this.
How do most of these collaborations come about?
Funnily enough it’s usually of the back of a previous collaboration. Most of the collaborations that I’ve worked on have come about pretty organically – word of mouth or striking up a relationship with particular brands or interesting people, a mutual appreciation of what each other is producing. But really I think it’s about having stuff out there, having fun whilst creating something your proud of, being seen and making your mark.
You’re originally from South Wales, what made you decide to move to London? Do you feel there’s more opportunity for an art career in London?
Yes, I am, Welsh and proud! I moved to London initially when I finished uni for a job as I did a fashion / art related course – so kinda felt I had to move here as it’s such an established creative hub.
However there are loads of other incredible places with their own established arts scene across the UK and as much as I don’t like the arts as a whole being so London-centric it is a great place to progress your career, be exposed to all sorts of influences and meet inspiring / interesting people. On the other hand I’ve had certain projects and exhibitions that have taken me all over the UK as well as internationally and there so many good scenes to explore… (Cardiff is definitely included in that). Also with the growth of things like Instagram, there’s nothing to stop people travelling, taking up residencies or creating whole new scenes / movement of their own.
What made you choose a career as an illustrator?
I knew that I always wanted to do something creative and draw, but it was my close friend and mentor The Cloud Commission
, who really encouraged me – introducing me to new things, artists / events-wise and even let me share his studio for nothing when I was a studying and still developing my style.
Is there anyone or anything in particular that inspires your work? Is there any artist that you admire?
Without sounding too daft my inspiration comes from everywhere, haha such a cliché! But is really is true, of course there are certain artists that I really admire and a lot of my peers in the UK scene who I think are creating great things. But honestly think that influence can come from absolutely anywhere, whether that’s come cool type on some packaging or playful character on an old textbook or something (sometimes these ones can be the best)
How would you describe your style?
I think I would describe it as heritage cartoon, graffiti with boldness of traditional tattoos.
Which of your pieces are you most proud of?
I draw every day, therefore get to create something new on a daily basis – this allows me to create loads of things I’m proud of and establish a working practice I’m please to put my name to. Of course there is all the weird jotted little notes and scribbly outlines which don’t make me swell up with pride, but working on things like that lead to projects like my recent Element
one – which was great. Really proud of the results and how its been received internationally.
What project are you currently working on?
Got few bits on the boil at the moment – everything from an upcoming exhibitions to fun stuff for some clothing line but, currently doing some artwork for a Cardiff MC called Local – that’s going to be cool. I like to keep it varied!
You’re a part of the art collective, Brothers of the Stripe. Could you explain a bit more about what that’s about?
We formed the Brothers of the Stripe
a while back now, in essence we’re a group of illustrators, artists and image makers based all over the UK, (actually one of us has just relocated to Japan – but mainly UK).
Made up of 13 core members, our styles, skills and influences are super mixed which is cool. Everyone has their own thing going on but drawing on the shared resources and tastes we are able to be flexible with our output. Everything from organising and creating exhibitions, working on large scale murals (which are some of my favourites) to running workshops and working on collaborations with a range of companies.
Finally, what advice would you give to someone starting the same career path?
I guess just work hard, draw every day experiment with different styles, do what you want there are no rules! And get out there!
Be sure to check out more of Patrick Schmidt’s work on his website
Let us know what you think of our interview with Patrick Schmidt and which of his pieces are your favourite.