Friday, January 20, 2012

Artist Spotlight: Interview with Peter Ratcliffe

1.  Tell us a little bit about yourself: What got you interested in art?  Have you taken any art classes?
It all begun at school. I was always a bad student and my mind always drifted to a blank sheet of paper through an HB pencil.
2.  What is your preferred medium and why?
I have no specific medium. I love art and as an Advertising Creative I don't believe an idea has a specific birth place.
3.  Do you have an online portfolio or a blog where we can view your work?
4.  Do you have a favorite artist?  If yes, what draws you to that person’s work?
Yes, Stefan Sagmeister. I idolize his work, specifically the process to reach his end result. I try to practice his techniques as often as deadlines permit.
5.  Can you remember one of the first things you drew/sculpted/painted/photographed etc.?  What makes it memorable?

A carving on wood. A tribal inspired artwork. On my first suspension from school, my dad sent me to the creative department of his friend's advertising agency in São Paulo, Brazil. I was 14, I think, and there were no computers back then. I took that project back to school and entered it for the Arts Award. I got 1st prize for it.
6.  This being primarily an author’s blog, I would like to ask if you’ve ever designed any artwork for an author (cover image, maps, interior art - including font styles - etc.)?  Do you have a favorite genre (fantasy/sci-fi, thriller, romance etc.) you like to design for?  If not, would you be interested in designing a book cover?
I have been designing for some authors and to be perfectly honest, I have no preference of genre. I see every genre as a different challenge and always do my best to make my client and myself happy. I guess my advertising background has allowed me to be creative in different mediums and with different subjects.
7.  Where do you gather most of the inspiration for your works?
Mainly from my past experience, as I have travelled a lot. Also, I rely on references from around the web and creative sources. When I get a briefing from an author, I tend to paint pictures in my mind of what I believe would best describe the story, or a specific passage of the story. I try to stick to the old adage, where "a picture is worth a thousand words". It's not easy, but it becomes easier with time.
8.  Have you ever stepped out of your comfort zone and discovered a whole new genre of art?  How did it turn out?
All the time. Each job is different, therefore each requires something unique. It's very frustrating at first when you have a blank page in front of you, but after hours and sometimes days of research, it naturally comes out.
9.  Do you have any other interesting hobbies or maybe a fun story about an experience involving your artwork?
I did play professional Rugby for the U21 Brazilian Team. We suffered the world's most embarrassing loss at the hands of Argentina.
10.  Where can we reach you if we are interested in commissioning you for our own projects?
11.  What, in your opinion, is the hardest step in creating a masterpiece?
Having one simple amazing idea. I believe that less is more. I hate clutter.
12.  And finally, is there anything else you'd like to say?
Thank you for the opportunity. My inbox is always open to new business. Good luck to all aspiring artists. We're all in the same boat!

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Thank you Peter for taking part in my Artist Spotlight interview!  I hope your artwork continues to flourish and we hope to see more of you in the future!
If you or an author/illustrator you know is interested in being interviewed, feel free to send me an email at


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