Bill spent a year doing graphic design at Croydon College, but it wasn’t for him. Many of his professional skills were learned on the job, working at Brian Stevens Animated Films and then Pizzaz Pictures. Shooting cels on a rostrum and the special effects work he did back then were great preparation for the computer software he works with today.
Starting with the brief, Bill thinks about both the imagery that would interest him and what his client would like to see. Sketches are scanned into Photoshop, and then he works up an image digitally, often using After Effects and Illustrator as well. His animation work is done using whiteboards and a rostrum camera, along with a suite of digital tools.
Bill delivers a variety of styles. He’s an animator at heart and his cartoon style resembles that of Tex Avery. He does caricatures and business illustrations using a more serious cross-hatch style in black and white. For children’s books, he either works in a soft-rendered style, or something that’s super slick with flat colours. He can produce work with a Lichtenstein look to it as well as in a Jamie Hewlett style.
Some of his biggest influences include the 70s Spider-Man artists Gene Colan and John Buscema, Mad Magazine, Beano and the lightsabre duel in The Empire Strikes Back.