Samtaylor-t3-illustration-itsnicethat-16

Work / Illustration

Sam Taylor on creating a monthly triptych of illustrations for tech mag T3

Over the last few months, illustrator Sam Taylor has been putting his highly recognisable style to use in an unexpected new area. “About eight months ago, I got an email from [UK-based technology magazine] _T3_’s art editor about illustrating their section called Gadget Guru, where members of the public send in questions to an expert. It’s like an agony aunt column for all your tech woes,” Sam says.

So how does it work? “The editor sends me the copy and I pick which three topics sound the best and then draw them,” the illustrator explains of his relationship with the magazine. “The brief is based on the questions submitted by the general public. Most of the time it’s someone being confused about what to buy, or getting tangled up in wires or whatever. People are always on the look out for a shortcut, especially when it comes to the exercise related tech, most of the time the answer is simply, get sweaty. People love life-hacks.”

“They let me do my thing, which is rad,” Sam continues. “Michelle McClaren, the art editor, just likes to hear which three stories I’m going to illustrate so she can work on the layout of the magazine. I’m sure if I drew something too stupid she’d ask me to change it but I have a pretty good sense of just how far to push it. It’s great getting to play with reoccurring characters and motifs like in my Slime Zone for NME. It’s basically my dream editorial job; being able to draw what I want within a loose framework.”

That said, Sam uses colour and pattern to bind his illustrations together. “I always make the three illustrations work together, I keep the same colour scheme or have a pattern that works as a through-line. Sometimes there’s a character running through all three for example, which I don’t often get the chance to do for commissions.”

“I’ve always loved pulp sci-fi cover art and science fiction stuff in general and it’s fun being able to draw that kind of thing in my own way,” Sam summarises of his work for T3. “Lots of TVs gone crazy, wires engulfing people and little gadget characters on a mad one. Oh and of course, blobs. I like to take the pretty mundane problems that people send in and amp it right up ’til it’s bonkers — that’s what makes it fun for me. My favourites are the ‘tools’ characters that I did, just some hammers and saws having a good old time and the Nintendo illustration that I did which is basically just some Nintendo fan-art.”

Samtaylor-t3-illustration-itsnicethat-3

Sam Taylor: T3

Samtaylor-t3-illustration-itsnicethat-6

Sam Taylor: T3

Samtaylor-t3-illustration-itsnicethat-7

Sam Taylor: T3

Samtaylor-t3-illustration-itsnicethat-8

Sam Taylor: T3

Samtaylor-t3-illustration-itsnicethat-5

Sam Taylor: T3

Samtaylor-t3-illustration-itsnicethat-2

Sam Taylor: T3

Samtaylor-t3-illustration-itsnicethat-9

Sam Taylor: T3

Samtaylor-t3-illustration-itsnicethat-10

Sam Taylor: T3

Samtaylor-t3-illustration-itsnicethat-11

Sam Taylor: T3

Samtaylor-t3-illustration-itsnicethat-12

Sam Taylor: T3

Samtaylor-t3-illustration-itsnicethat-15

Sam Taylor: T3

Samtaylor-t3-illustration-itsnicethat-18

Sam Taylor: T3

Samtaylor-t3-illustration-itsnicethat-19

Sam Taylor: T3

Samtaylor-t3-illustration-itsnicethat-21

Sam Taylor: T3

Sam-taylor-t3-extra

Sam Taylor: T3