Simon Farrow Commercial Illustrator
Simon Farrow Illustrator

I graduated from Loughborough College of Art and Design in 1990, and for the last 30 years have worked as a Graphic Designer. At college, illustration featured heavily in all my work and I would ideally have gone straight into an illustration job, but needs must and I became a junior designer at a large Midlands design consultancy. It was pre-computers we all had drawing boards and visualised everything traditionally, using gouache, the dreaded magic maker, colour paper and paint, I loved it and seemed I was quite good at it. So a successful career in design developed.

For the past nearly 20 years I have ran my own little design company, specialising predominantly in packaging and branding, two areas where my skill as an illustrator has been a great asset. Through the connections I built up over these years, I was always being asked to illustrate for old colleagues and clients so much so that I felt it was time to highlight my illustration work.

Most of my personal work is inspired by the illustration styles of the 1940’s and 50’s, and the work of Eric Ravilious, Edward Bawden, Robert Stewart, John Minton and John Piper. At this time, before computers, illustrators had to know how their work would be reproduced and work within those limitations. This resulted in beautiful pieces of art.

Another great source of influence has come from the illustrations found in children’s books. Reading to my children has introduced me to brilliant artists, like Korky Paul, Eric Carle and Tony Ross. My all-time favourite children’s illustrator is Quentin Blake. I am enthralled by the way he captures people, the style of their cloths and facial expressions. He draws with great style, humour and wit, characteristics I try to capture in my own work.

I was lucky enough to be commissioned in 2017 to illustrate my first children’s book, ‘How I Lost My Ear’ by the marvellous writer Adam Beck, producing over 200 illustration, hopefully capturing the utter madness of this enthralling story. A must read for any 10 year old. Over the last few years I have also produced a large range of greeting cards and posters, most of this work is very Leicester based, producing humorous cards promoting the discovery of Richard III, or my own range of vintage travel posters featuring some areas of my now home city. All can be viewed and purchased in my ‘Shop’.

Another area that has developed over the last few years are private commission, I have illustrated numerous family portraits marking special birthdays, milestones or just moments in time, they usually feature a house or pets or just a location that is special to someone. Have a look in ‘Private Commissions’ to see a selection of my work and please get in touch if you would like me to mark an occasion for you.

Simon Farrow

Vintage Scarf Designs featured in Selvedge Magazine

Hebden Bridge Arts Festival – Trouser Town Illustration Winner

Leicester Libraries Reading Illustration – Winner

First Children’s Book illustrated – How I lost My Ear by Adam Beck

Illustration chosen for Lover, You Should’ve Come Over by Jeff Buckley at Greenwich Gallery Secret7 Exhibition

Liberty’s of London selected one of my illustration to feature in a book about this iconic store