Illustrator Sam Gilbey making his dreams come true: Producing official Marvel prints

Albert had a lovely chat with Sam Gilbey, London based designer and illustrator with an observational natural style inspired by a lifelong passion for popular culture. Sam talks about his experience as part at the Age of Ultron exhibition "Hero Complex Gallery's official Avengers" , his awesome artwork style and also about Albert's simple on boarding process.

1.How did you get into illustration?

Sam: I’ve just always been drawing really, well, for as long as I can remember anyway. Pretty much every day after school, all through my teenage years and at University too. Once I graduated, working first as a full time web designer, I kept at it on the side and was able to go freelance (as both a web designer and illustrator) in my mid-twenties and I’ve kept on keeping on since then.


2. How would you describe your art style?

Sam: The core of my style is that it’s observational in some way, and as you can see, I just love painting portraits, especially where there’s a pop culture theme. My digital work is also painterly for the most part, carrying on from the years using acrylics. The starting point is emulating natural media, and that’s what’s great about (Corel) Painter, but then I love the possibilities of working digitally, and all my work ends up in Photoshop at some point, in terms of adjusting colours, adding effects and so on.


3. Which illustration trends should people keep a close eye to?

Sam: None of them. You’ve got to try and carve your own niche and think of it as a long-term deal. Everyone is already doing everything, so you can never second guess what will be popular next, and you’ll go crazy if you try. Just concentrate on making more things, and evolving naturally as you go.


4. Last April you were at the opening of Hero Complex Gallery's official Avengers: Age of Ultron exhibition. How was that?

Sam: That was a huge amount of fun. By that point I’d taken part in over 20 group pop culture shows in the US, and I’d been meaning to visit for so long. I figured, if I didn’t get myself on a plane for that, then I never would. Being able to produce some officially licensed Marvel prints was a real dream come true moment for me, and I owed it to my twelve year old self. Apart from anything else, it was fantastic to finally meet the (lovely) gallery owners, and of course all the artists that I’d been sharing gallery space with over the last few years.

Sam at the opening of Hero Complex Gallery's official Avengers: Age of Ultron exhibition.

Sam at the opening of Hero Complex Gallery's official Avengers: Age of Ultron exhibition.


5. What are your thoughts on the invoicing App Albert?

Sam: I wasn’t previously familiar with Albert , but I was really impressed by the simple on boarding process, as well as the ease with which I could set up (and send) an invoice. For a very long time – too long, in fact, it’s been a bit of a pain having to boot up my laptop each time I want to create a new invoice document, export a PDF and so on, so I can see Albert saving me time and reducing my stress levels as a result.