A bit about myself:
Chris Keegan is an illustrator living and working in London. Since graduating from Camberwell College of Art he has worked for a wide range of newspapers and magazines including the Financial Times, Time magazine, the Observer, The Guardian, Time Out, GQ Australia, Mac User and Design Week Magazine. He has worked for a variety of design and ad agencies including EMI Records, Mother London, COPA and Momentum Design.
In his spare time he prints his own limited edition screenprints that you can see in his shop.
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A short interview.
How did your career kick off?
I graduated from Camberwell art college and didn’t ready have anything major happen to my career for a good year or two. Small jobs and favours from people slowly started dribbling in. I then started to get a little illustration work for magazines. Things picked up over a few years so no big break or anything.
What do you enjoy most about your profession?
You get a lot of creative freedom working freelance with nobody looking over your shoulder. No traveling to work or having to force myself out of bed and onto a stinking tube train in the morning.
What advice would you give to a student trying to pursue a career in illustration?
It takes a long long time to get where you need to be these days with illustration. Illustration has gone global and people don’t want to pay much for image making at the moment. You have people from all over the world competing for jobs. Contrasting with magazines and Newspapers going out of business and or slashing artwork budgets. I would suggest really trying to have as many strings to your bow as possible. Illustration being one of them. If you you are not getting enough commissioned work, keep yourself busy by learning new creative crafts, or even try collaborating with another creative person that complements what you do.
Do you think screen printing has the same claim as painting?
Well yes for me it’s a form of painting. The majority of artists opt for painting over printing for perhaps a number of reasons like access to local print studios and the challenge of creating a one off work of art appeals to a lot of creative people. I would feel said having to let them go after i paint them so doing limited editions in print is a great solution for me.
What do you think about screen print dying out ?
Not at all if anything i hear about more printing studios and workshops popping up in London now more than ever.
What do you think the advantages of printing against digital methods?
For me it’s always about getting the best from both worlds. Mixing the old with the new. If anything the explosion of technology and gadgets in the last ten years has also rejuvenated an interest in old technologies like the many various printing methods. So they both have their advantages i would say.