Interview: Artist Phil Galloway
Phil Galloway is an artist you've undoubtedly heard of. With a style that is more versatile than Pirlo's right peg, his work has translated over into the ever emerging world of digitally created fine art.
Phil's unique work is exhibited and awarded around the world.
So we were pretty chuffed when he agreed to talk to us, about what makes his work so special to the social masses, the brands that commission him, and some of his plans for future projects.
[B2B] First things first, Phil – and we ask everyone this. Who do you support?
[PG] I'm a Liverpool fan.
[B2B] How long have you been illustrating for?
[PG] I’ve been doodling and painting from as far back as I can remember but in terms of doing it as my actual job I’ve been freelance for nearly four years.
[B2B] Where do you get your inspiration from?
[PG] Everywhere really, I’m forever taking screenshots and pics on my phone of colours or patterns that could work or go together in an illustration. Having completed a Masters degree in the History of Art I also look to Art History as a huge source of inspiration with Renaissance and Baroque art being my favourite. Trying to paint digitally in a Renaissance style was really the starting point for all of my current work.
[B2B] So what is it about illustrating footballers and the culture around it, so addictive for you?
[PG] Football has always played such an important role in my life and I still enjoy watching and playing it today, albeit badly and slower. To know that you are never going to be good enough to play football at any kind of senior level is a sad one for a young lad so to now have the chance to work in and around the industry and combining it with my art, another of my loves is the next best thing to playing it for me.
Football, footballers and the fans is like an unwritten language that bonds and unites people across countries and classes and to have a little say in the narrative of the game and feel the reaction from all the fans whether it be positive or negative is a wonderful feeling and a privilege to be involved in.
[B2B] Do you have any favourites so far? Or do you see them all equal, if you know what I mean?
[PG] Ooft that’s a tough one as each of the illustrations are special in their own way, but I suppose a few of my covers for These Football Times would be up there as they felt like a bit of a turning point for me and with the open briefs I was able to draw on my art history background and make new and modern versions of classic art or modernism. Also seeing them in print was extra special rather than just online.
The Dutch cover with the Delft Cruyff tiles had a huge reaction and really showed me that art history and football could certainly live together and maybe we could push the boat out a bit more. This led to the Spanish cover on which I painted a football twist on a Miro. I was nervous showing it at first as it was very simple and I was worried that football fans might not get the reference, but it was a huge success with fans wanting to buy prints!
Then finally the Calcio cover with the Baroque chiaroscuro inspired cover was a bit of an indulgence for me to be able to paint classic 90s footballers in that manner, I loved every minute of painting it!
[B2B] What piece of work has had the biggest reaction across social media for you?
[PG] I’ve been fortunate enough to have been involved in some big campaigns from the Totti and Lukaku boot releases and deal announcements through to working on the FA Cup final programme but in terms of biggest reaction and numbers it would have to be my Renaissance World Cup piece for Bleacher Report last year.
The painting was by far the biggest scene I’d done to date and took a few all nighters to complete so to see it go mental online was overwhelming. The Bleacher Tweet/insta went mad but I was really proud that my tweet about it did so well as I really wanted fans from all the participating countries to see it. The responses and messages from fans all round the world was amazing and truly choked me up.
[B2B] Can you tell us about any projects coming up?
[PG] I’m pretty busy with the Women’s World Cup at the moment helping to create a series of reactionary quick-fire illustrations after each match which is intense but really fun. Then I’ve got ongoing social media illustrations and possibly a few other things that I’m not allowed to talk about yet!!
[B2B] Sounds very secretive. How about dream jobs... Any job that you still want to tick-off the wish-list?
[PG] Of course it would be amazing to illustrate a huge campaign for one of the big companies and have my art seen all over the world but really a dream project for me would be to try and use my art to help a bit more or raise awareness on issues.
It sounds like a bit of a cheesy answer, but I used to run behavioural difficulty schools and loved helping the kids who were struggling, had disabilities or who felt like outsiders and I suppose I miss that side of things a little. To be able to combine my art with that would be great and hopefully do a little good in a weary world.
[B2B] Phil... let's make this happen.
You can view more of Phil's incredible work, here.
Insta – @philgallowaydraws