Illustrator and graphic designer Robert Marshall has a style that’s slick, professional, and purposeful: you could easily assume he’s been working the industry for years, whereas he’s actually only just graduated this year (that’s with a degree from the University of Cumbria if you’re interested).
His book cover design for Chandler’s The Big Sleep was actually the first thing that really caught my eye when looking at his website: the photo collaged flower design is really striking, and shows a really strong grasp of aesthetics and composition that carries on through everything else that he produces. Filters and noise layers also add a kind of personal touch that stops his work from having that overly clinical ‘photoshop’ effect that many graphic designers can fall victim to- Robert instead takes that clean editorial vibe and mashes it with his own strong independent aesthetic.
And whilst his posters and book covers are gorgeous his personal and zine illustrations are simply wonderfully vibrant and bold: slightly retro aliens and geometric monsters (whist only a ‘bit of fun’ in his own words) are some of my favourite things that I’ve seen all week.
So really, I recommend checking his website out as much as I can really- for between the silly monsters and clean-cut design work I’m sure there’s something you’ll enjoy.
Robert was also lovely enough to give some answers to a quick few questions here below:
What would you say is the biggest inspiration for you in your illustration work?
I love strong shapes and colours so I would say collage is a big inspiration to me and that is how I see my way of working. The illustrator who has inspired me the most though is Matthew Lyons. His colours and textures and compositions are amazing plus I love the sense of drama he gets into his work.
Is there a particular piece of work or moment in your career so far you’re proudest of?
My facourite pieces are probably the Bagatelle cover and Porn Monsters. Proudest moment is getting my work in Digital Arts in the showcase section.
What are your future plans now you’ve recently graduated?
My future plans are to make some collective zines with other illustrator friends and also to try and get an agent.
Your work has a very definite style and tone to it, have you always worked in this way or has your style been a recent development?
I haven’t always worked like this it has been a very recent development. When I first started my course I was really hung up on getting a ‘style’ but my tutor told me to take my time and not to think about it. Instead work in whatever way or technique interested you at the time and what felt right for the work then your style would evolve and develop itself. After three years I can see now that what he said was true and my current style came very naturally from playing about.
And finally, are there any particular musicians or perhaps radio shows/podcasts you like to listen to whilst working?
I listen to a range of music whilst working but the main ones are Andre Williams (he is brilliant you should definitely check him out), MF DOOM, Boiler Room sets and Mark Mcguire.