Design solutions informed by the confluence of experience and passion.
A Graphic designer and an illustrator, Neil Westlake is captivated and inspired by the remnants of history and culture.
As a child growing up in the villages of Southern England, Neil spent much time collecting antique bottles. He would marvel at the differing shapes and designs, the imperfections in the glass, the trademarks and logos on the ceramic-ware. He would wander along ancient hedgerows and head up forbidden bridleways, scouring the land for tell-tale shards and broken pieces of pottery.
In his twenties, this passion for wandering and treasure seeking transmuted into an interest in psychogeography and urban archeology. The busy flea markets and thrift stores of North London became his hunting ground as, in turn, printed ephemera became his new booty: PG Tips cards, dry goods labels, chromolithographic cigar box inlays - all had identities that would express themselves through typographic swashes, gold pin-striping and delicate drop-shadows; a visual mélange that would inform and shape his work.
Neil's inspiration comes via a variety of sources.
Medieval books of hours and the industrial design of Raymond Loewy. Art Nouveau and the arabesque flourishing of Alphonse Mucha. The sublime and precise technique of Ron Embleton. The impasto textures of Antoni Tàpies and the quirky, graphical audaciousness of Peter Saville. The sumptuous world-making of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressberger. The liminal expressionism of Die Antwoord.
Neil studied foundation level design at Peter Symonds College in Winchester. He then undertook a diploma in graphic design at the Solent University in Southampton. He finished his academic study by doing an HND illustration design diploma at Anglia Ruskin University, in Cambridge.
Currently, Neil lives in Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada, with his wife and two children and is a member of IATSE 891
- The International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, Moving Picture Technicians, Artists and Allied Crafts.
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