For years, Awesome Art We’ve Found Around The Net has been about two things only – awesome art and the artists that create it. With that in mind, we thought why not take the first week of the month to showcase these awesome artists even more? Welcome to “Awesome Artist We’ve Found Around The Net.” In this column, we are focusing on one artist and the awesome art that they create, whether they be amateur, up and coming, or well established. The goal is to uncover these artists so even more people become familiar with them. We ask these artists a few questions to see their origins, influences, and more. If you are an awesome artist or know someone that should be featured, feel free to contact me at any time at [email protected].This month we are very pleased to bring you the awesome art of…
Phil Shelly is a Freelance Illustrator primarily concentrating on all things pop culture especially Film, music and Television posters.
At achool Phil was always interested in the more creative subjects and that led him on to a foundation year at college before heading to Plymouth Uni to study Illustration. In his final year he got my first paid job, creating a large number of minimalist portraits of famous people who wore glasses for an Opticians. Here he found a style he enjoyed working with and has gradually built on that and developed it over the last 10 years adding more and more detail. He has always leant into the more messy side of illustration and enjoys using textures and messy brushes when he paints on his wacom tablet.
Phil now likes to work on his own ideas for illustrations inbetween taking on client work. Two of his ultimate career goals would be to design an official movie poster and also design an album cover for a band that he loves.
JOBLO: What got you started as an artist?
PHIL: I would say my family were a big part of my creative journey. My uncle, my grandad, and my Mum are all creative people.
My mum denies she is creative, of course, in that way all mums do, but she is and has always encouraged me. My mum helped me with all sorts of projects when I was young, like mosaics, sewing and painting for school.
In terms of my appreciation for art, at an early age I remember liking comics like Calvin and Hobbes and The Beano. The imagery in those comics sparked something in my brain and made me want to be able to create my own comics.
My older brother also used to draw a lot and I enjoyed copying whatever he did. We’ve both drawn since we were very young.
At school I found I was getting a good response from teachers and that encouraged me to follow the more creative subjects and I then found myself painting and drawing even more.
In middle school, I was once chosen to be part of a small group to create a sculpture which could sit outside the school. I believe opportunities like this one also helped me develop my skills and further my interests.
Who were some of your favorite artists growing up?
My grandad introduced me to Bill Watterson, the creator of Calvin and Hobbes, and whilst I loved the comedy of the comic strips, it was the art that I found beautiful. The full-colour pages have an amazing style, which captures the imagination.
As I got into my teens, I then discovered a lot of artists I wasn’t familiar with via CD covers. Artists such as Alex Pardee who worked with The Used, and Tim Marrs who worked with Something Corporate and Rise Against. And then there are the greats such as Edward Hopper, David Hockey and Francis Bacon, who I also started to learn more about.
Who do you really dig these days, follow on Instagram?
I am heavily inspired by Eileen (SG Posters)(https://www.instagram.com/sg_posters/) who has been an incredible friend and help to me. In fact, there’s so many great artists in and outside of the poster community.
I’d hate to leave anyone out, but off the top of my head I would say Royalston, Corey Brickley, Courtney Autumn Martin, Luke Preece, Orlando Arocena, Chelsea Lowe, Mark Levy, Dave O’Flanagan and Freya Betts. There’s so many more I’d love to share, but I’m sure they know who they are. If we’ve ever interacted, I dig your work!
What advice would you have for budding artists today?
Practice practice practice, try new things, speak to other artists, and look after yourself mentally. I struggle with self-confidence, particularly on all the social media platforms where it can feel like everyone is moving faster or further than me, but in reality it’s all snapshots. You never see behind the scenes and the hard work that goes into each person’s work is often hidden.
I’m lucky enough to have a wealth of artists around me who support each other, so I would say, try and find a like-minded community who you can bounce ideas off. Then support one another whilst creating work you enjoy.
What should we be looking out for from you in the future?
I’m currently working on a poster for a documentary, which is really exciting and I’m working on a piece for the PosterSpy (https://posterspy.com/) Music brief that will be out in February. After that, I’m hoping to do some more personal work and I’ll be on the look-out for new projects.
Being a fansite, we have to ask you… what are some of your favorite movies/TV shows of all time?
I love this question. I was obsessed with LOST! I loved the mystery and excitement of it all, and waiting and talking about what was going to happen next in the show was all part of the fun.
I also love Vikings, Community, Arrested Development, Peep Show, It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia… too many to name.
Film wise, In Bruges, Jurassic Park, The Lost Boys and Goodfellas are my top movies, but I also have a nostalgic soft spot for The Mighty Ducks, as I watched it over and over again as a kid.
Scroll down to check out some of our favorite art pieces from Phil as we continue to follow his journey across his Website and social media hubs: Instagram / X / TikTok @philshelly / PosterSpy / Commissions
Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
Punch Drunk Love
Remember The Titans
Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse