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Adam Larkum

Adam Larkum - Cambridge, UK based illustrator

It’s a love of drawing that drives Adam Larkum, and it’s something he practices every day, constantly coming up with quirky new characters and putting them in hair-raising situations. And if you chat with Adam for a while he has a few real life hair-raising situations to recount. While he was a teenager, his family lived in Alexandria, Virginia for a while where Adam became the projectionist in the town’s cinema. When the bulb blew during the scariest part of Friday The 13th the crowd poured out of the cinema like a lynch mob… This didn’t deter Adam from studying animation once he got back to the UK, and as a student he won a competition to create a short film for MOMI and Channel 4. Once his career producing animated commercials was under way, he became an illustrator as well. He’s now created over 30 children’s books, and illustrates for magazines and packaging. He also creates bright and lively cut out paper artworks.

Training

Adam studied illustration and animation, and received a BA followed by an MA from the Edinburgh College of Art.

Approach

The search for ways to improve governs Adam’s approach to work. He often recalls the Jazz pianist Oscar Peterson, who said, “I try never to take this instrument for granted, and the medium of course. I look at this instrument as a new affair every time I play it.”

Style

Adam believes every commission should start with a pencil in one hand and an eraser in the other, and is never afraid to erase whole areas of a drawing if they aren’t right. He loves working in ink on paper and then shifting into Photoshop to bring the piece together. If his work were a film, he says, it would be an Ealing Comedy – fun, fast and eccentric.

Client list

Puffin Usborne Channel 4 Ziggurat Brands V&A Ink Robin
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Illustration of bearer
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Drawing of bus stop
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runners
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Painting of traffic
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Birthday
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Royal baby sitting on Horse
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Knight riding horse
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Man holding telephone with words falling
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Tribal women pouring drink
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Roman soldiers marching
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Roman people sitting together
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Adam's a delight to work with, and one of the things we love most about his work is his unique sense of humour, which always comes through in his art. Thanks for your work it does look fantastic.
Joanna Rivard, Ink Robin
We couldn 't be happier with Adam's contribution to Virginia Living! He created an amazing set of spot illustrations for a recurring humor column in our magazine. He was really excited about our concept and sent a great batch of rough drafts. His style matched the tone of the piece perfectly, and the writer reached out to say he loved Adam's illustrations.
Ryan Rich, Virginia Living
So awesome, this is perfect! Amazing work Adam.
Reilly Smith , WIFI Metropolis
Congratulations on publication and thank you for your phenomenal hard work – it was a joy to work with you and the book is brilliant.
Anna Barnes Robinson, Puffin Books UK
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