Otto illustration

Image/text combinations are powerful tools of communication. The image instantly attracts the reader's attention to the text. The advantage of illustration over photography is its capacity to visualise complex concepts. In my illustrations I endeavour to not literally repeat verbal messages, but to present a surreal, magical equivalent.

The Film-maker Godart said complex messages should be accompanied by clear images.

Short history

I began freelance illustration in 1991 after graduating at Bristol Polytechnic. Since an MA at Kingston University in 1996 I have come to specialise in political and economic subjects for newspapers and magazines. I have worked extensively for international newspapers and magazines, as well as for clients in Design, Advertising and Book publishing.

My image-making is derived from screen-printing, which I practice routinely at my printmaking workshop near Bath. For the illustrations that means working in layers of colour, usually between two and five layers.

My style is particularly affected by Polish poster art and Russian Constructivist designs, known for their montage of photos, type and bold, printed design elements. Baroque painting and sculpture has to a large degree informed my treatment of the human figure.

Much of my illustration is informed by and feeds back into my work with screen printed artists' books.


I am happy to do talks and workshops for schools and universities. Please contact me regarding fees.

Enquiries regarding illustration work are most welcome. Depending on the type of commission and size of budget, I supply at least one rough before artwork. The client usually makes suggestions regarding form and content at rough stage, which I apply. The aim is not having to make major changes to final artwork.

The time needed to make an illustration can be anything between 3 hours for a daily newspaper and several weeks for a larger commission.

Illustrator's fees are made up of two components: the make-fee and the license. If you would like to know more about this please get in touch.