Simon Bonner from Aylesbury UK, joined us in December 2018 and since then has added some excellent additions to our Print Shop of the abstract and geometric variety. We chat to Simon about his design aesthetic, some of his recent work on Kickstarter and how he balances design being a parent.
"The Underdog Print Shop jumped out at me as being an exciting avenue to get my work out so I had to send in some of my designs as soon as I read what you’re about and what you wanted to do getting art out into the world in an affordable way." Simon Bonner
We are really thrilled to have you on board and knew straight away after seeing your abstract print designs, that you would fit perfectly with the whole ethos of our shop. The first question has to be the most obvious! Your geometric designs and patterns are bold and beautiful. What inspires you most to create these designs and can you give us a brief story of why you do what you do?
The geometric art I’ve done for the shop really stems from a fair few years ago when I first started using adobe illustrator professionally. As I got to grips with what it could do and manipulating vector designs for my day job, I spent many a lunch hour playing with shapes and compositions for my own experimentation and development. So much of it starts as a circle, square or triangle and then I’ll rotate, crop, cut out, overlay until I find a pattern that catches my eye. I like random patterns as much as regular ordered patterns. I paint, cut stencils and spray paint, doodle intricate patterns in sketchbooks, but I saw this as the perfect opportunity to put my geometric and vector art out there.
How did you begin your career in art and do you have any significant insights into past projects and accomplishments you would like to share?
Honestly, I wouldn’t call it a career… yet! I have sold a few paintings and recently ran a Kickstarter project which was funded but I’m not in the territory of giving up my day job for the time being. I studied art at school up to A-Level. While I was doing a foundation course in art and design to do graphic design at university I made a short film and switched to studying film and video production for my degree.
A Showcase of some of Simons Mosaic and Geometric Designs.
We absolutely love your Mosaic designs recently added. Can you give us a brief rundown on how you came up with these colour schemes as we think they work great!
The mosaic designs were fun to do. They’re far more focused on the colour than the design. The palettes are generally colours pulled out of images that speak to me, a beach scene, a misty forest, an old weathered piece of wood, a gaudy advert, a mixed-up Rubik's cube. Sometimes I pull colours from my favourite paintings or posters. The adobe colour app is good for inspiration too.
Recently you had a kick starter project on some unique art prints. How did that go and how did you find the Kickstarter platform. Does it come with a lot of risks? I'm sure there are aspiring young people out there thinking of doing something similar. Can you give any insight to inspire anyone interested?
The most art success I’ve had to date was through my recent Kickstarter project which I’m currently working on the fulfilment. By the end of April, I’ll have over 50 prints in 20 different countries which blows my mind. I recommend every artist to have a look at it as a platform to get work to a wider audience but it’s by no means easy. You need to have a clear plan of what you want to produce and why people should back you. Your art could speak for itself but it helps to have a story and look professional while you’re telling it to give people confidence you’ll fulfil your project should it be funded. If you plan well and have a realistic target there’s no reason that any artist shouldn’t give it a go.
Sigil Earth Art Print
As a parent (trust us we know!) how do you balance your work/life/parenting routine? Is it some kind of sorcery?
Coffee! and maybe a little more coffee too. That, and I’m in the process of changing my career to free up more time so that I can be much more involved in my son’s upbringing. I’m setting up an art school in High Wycombe called art-K for 6-16 olds (and I might do adult classes too). It means I’ll be working fewer hours closer to home and I’ll be doing something worthwhile that I actually enjoy doing too.
And finally, the question we always ask, because we know everyone loves films. What is your favourite Movie and why?
I studied film so there are quite a few pretentious choices I could go for… I do actually like Citizen Kane and the films of Zhang Yimou. Really though I love the Marvel films, Die Hard and stupid stuff like Bio Dome and Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure just as much. Time to watch them is now the main factor and my entertainment diet has a lot of In The Night Garden in it. I will have the pleasure of introducing my son to Star Wars which is something to look forward to.
You can see Simons Collection here.
See more from Simon at his website here.