Q&A With Bradley Hutchings

Born in Birmingham in 1968, Bradley Hutchings was lucky from the start to have travelled all over length and breadth of Britain. As a child he would lose himself for hours drawing landscapes in great detail and developed a passion for maps. Working as a designer and artworker for small firms he rapidly began honing his own illustrative style. Bradley is a great fan of paintings of the golden age of travel posters from the 20s-60s and the clean bright approach of artists such as Frank Newbould; creative influences that shine through in his own work.

Gary and Marcus happily stumbled upon Bradley Hutchings one chilly November afternoon in 2016 at the Winchester Art Market and instantly fell in love with the nostalgic style of his work. They asked him if he would produce a piece of artwork especially for Ginchester Fête 2018 depicting a whimsical vision of Winchester from a bygone era. The result is the official Ginchester Fête 2018 illustration which captures the essence of this quintessentially English summer fête, a truly a local event for local people and a chance to celebrate all that is great about the region’s food and drink scene – naturally with a focus on all things gin!

We wanted to know a little more about the man behind the artwork so we asked Bradley a few questions about his life, lessons learnt and future ambitions.

Describe a typical working day in the life of Bradley Hutchings?

There is re-stocking to do between markets, with cards, mounted and framed pictures to print and make up. Other times there are occasional commissions and graphic work and after that I may get around to developing some new illustrations. I may look for another part time support job in the future.

How did Cabinet Rooms first discover you?

Gary & Marcus first saw me at Winchester Art Market.

We love the aesthetic of your artwork. What is the process behind creating a new print and what inspires you?

I am always looking for a good view when travelling around, though also one that will sell! I will arrange and adjust my photos as a reference, so that I can then draw in layers over the top, on the computer, plotting shapes with the mouse. I can create and change a colour palette and obviously edit the drawing until happy.

What is your favourite print that you’ve designed so far (you have to say Ginchester! We’re only joking)?

I’m fond of my Indian series and Matterhorn, which were never going to be big sellers, but I wanted them! I have to balance what I like with what will be popular, such as The Needles and Old Harry

The Ginchester image was fun because it goes a little into fantasy, like Alfred Bestall’s Rupert illustrations, plus I enjoyed putting in bits of humour, like Peter Cross drawings.

What do you like most about what you do?

I left my graphic design job in Sutton Coldfield years ago and moved to Bournemouth to set up Longsummer. Certainly no regrets, even on a budget. Being my own boss, I can be flexible if the sun is calling me to go out!

Who or what couldn’t you work without?

I couldn’t work, or for that matter rest or play, without my Apple iMac!

Do any of your prints hang on the walls of your home?

I have a whole wall in front of me with a mixture of my favourite illustrations, commissions and some other inspiring pictures.

What has the most important lesson learned in your career been to date?

I guess there’s not an important lesson I’ve learned, as it would be to hand. It has been more a case of fine tuning and adjusting as I learn what works and what’s wanted.

What is your guilty pleasure?

If I have a lot of work on screen I will take a reading break. Comforts during the day are music and biscuit dunking. 

What would you like to do most in the future?

I would like to get more national with my sales, but with the scenes I draw, that means creating many more illustrations of views from around Britain. I would also like to paint more, if I can just manage time a little better!

A huge thank you to Bradley for taking the time to answer our questions!

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