Twisting the banality of day-to-day life into absurdity is often the focus of Harry Wyld's illustration and animation work. With a love for crude drawings and bold compositions that bely a deeper meaning, his skewed worldview is recognisable, slightly unsettling, but always lots of fun.
Could you define the style/approach of your work?
Fast & loose, with a healthy amount of anxiety.
Which piece of work or project have you learned the most from?
I learn surprisingly little considering how many mistakes I make - although working with Beneficial Shock! has always been great because Phil (Wrigglesworth, Art Director) is so keen to get the best possible work out of everyone. I did a piece a few years ago for the Sex Issue about the film Crash, which was just after I finished uni. Phil pushed me to think more conceptually which is something I've tried to develop in my other work. We ended up creating sex work calling cards for each character, which you often see in phone booths around cities, it meant I could tell a load of stories in a single illustration; bursting at the seams with easter eggs.
Which illustrator alive or dead do you most admire and why?
I've really been enjoying Nathaniel Russell's work recently - not sure if he can be described as an illustrator though(?) He works in so many different mediums which is something that resonates with me, not being tied down to one approach. I'm also a big fan of Hockney’s etchings, Francis Bacon’s most gruesome paintings and David Shrigley's work in general.
What is the most challenging aspect for you of being a ‘jobbing illustrator'?
It's the internal struggles for me, always wanting to produce better work than yesterday which can be a bit of a stress. You wouldn’t think it to look at, but i’m surprisingly a bit of a perfectionist when it comes to my work. Keeping up to date with social media has also become a drain, 90% of the jobs I get are from instagram so it's important to stay on top of it, but I feel like it takes away time that would be better spent making work!
"I think humour is underrated in art, but is so important to building connections with people - my art delves into the stranger parts of the mind so I love when people relate to it."
Who would be your ideal client to work for and why?
I recently did some work with the French clothing brand Celine and it was really satisfying seeing how the designers used my artwork in ways I would never have thought of myself. A scribble that I made whilst living in a child sized tent in New Zealand in 2018 with my brother is now a 700 and something pound hoodie - so that is a bit surreal. Making work for clothing brands is always fun. I think it's where lots of my work fits best. Gucci - text me back, you're being quite insensitive.
What do you think defines ‘good illustration’?
My favourite works are usually ambiguous, blurring the line between illustration and art, leaving enough space for you to apply some of your own meanings. I also think humour is sometimes underrated in art, but is so important to building connections with people - my art delves into the stranger parts of the mind so I love when people relate to it. It means we share something a little bit dodgy, which I like.
If you weren’t an illustrator what would you be?
What actor/actress would play you in a film about your life and what would the name of that film be?
Jen An (Aniston) starring in: 'Skidders: Not Again' 🤷🏻♀️
What was the last film that made you cry (in sadness or in laughter)?
My girlfriend is obsessed with Brokeback Mountain and we watched it in the summer - that was a weepy time. I am also partial to some Richard Curtis, and obviously Paddington 1 and 2, (all very teary).
Harry illustrated the feature 'Leader of the Pack' about 1980s Movie Meatheads for the new Courage & Strength issue, available now to buy in the shop.