As the Sun Rises Through the Vapour from L.A. to London, with Peter Turner


Patrick Morgan Uncovers Mystery and Magic 

Peter Turner

"​I owe my career to innovators such as John Galliano, and growing up designers such as Alexander McQueen, Jean Paul Gaultier and Vivienne Westwood, who helped cultivate a natural predisposition to daydream and to escape from whatever was troubling me, through fantasy and imagination." P. Turner

PM: Where do you call home?

PT: ​I am English and just moved back to London after having lived in LA for two years. Previously New York and Paris.
PM: Before you start to work, what tools would you have (in detail) in front of you, and what type of paper do you use in the studio or while moving around?
PT: ​I surround myself with an array of materials including: gouache paints, oils, watercolours, acrylics, and pastels, inks and coloured pencils. However, I often rely on a humble selection of graphite pencils in different softnesses, and black ink pens. For paper I often use 'calque' paper to sketch out rough construction/composition and go to 110lb heat pressed watercolour paper to finalise the image.

PM: What types of pencils do you use and do you work fast/slow/in short bursts?

PT: ​I range from 2B 9mm to HB 0.5mm and try to work in a quick, uninterrupted fashion. I'm inspired by artists such as Van Gogh, who championed a swift way of sketching (often outdoors) and whose swift mark-making convey an energy and dynamism, which pertain to that unique moment in time.

PM: You have a very animatic feel to your work, mixed with graphic line work and a great understanding of the human body. Did you do lots of life drawing and do you still work from life?

PT: ​I was introduced to life drawing at an early age and it conceived my understanding of anatomy, which I rely on now. I prefer to work from life, and still do classes when I can.

PM: You have a real depth and understanding of playing with techniques. Do you think this is important to your way of finding a way to express yourself? 

PT: ​I've always admired artists like Picasso and Antonio Lopez who treated their studio like a laboratory; one work does not always follow stylistically from the previous. Although I may unconsciously have a style, I try to avoid relying on certain crutches. It might be frightening but trying new things keeps my work fresh, I hope.

 

John Galliano 2010,  P.Turner

"Drawing retains a certain mystery and élan; capturing a likeness or a trick of light can still have the same power as when perspective in art was first invented and the illusion caused people to suspect sorcery. There is magic to it." P. Turner

PM: Where are you heading now in your work or do you go with the flow? 

PT: ​I have previously worked in-house for Christian Dior, Calvin Klein, Tom Ford, amongst others, and am now working independently on personal work as well as the occasional free-lance project, if it grabs my fancy.

PM: When you're not drawing where do you find inspiration? 

PT: ​I read a lot, visit museums when I can and I like mixing socially with other artists: writers, actors, musicians and other illustrators. The idea is that discussion keeps things current.

Christian Dior 2010

Christian Dior 2004 Haute Couture by John Galliano, P.Turner

PM: How has fashion played a such a major part in your life? Your social media channels show a real love for design and fashion, what designers are inspiring you now? 

PT: ​I owe my career to innovators such as John Galliano, and growing up designers such as Alexander McQueen, Jean Paul Gaultier and Vivienne Westwood helped cultivate a natural predisposition to daydream and to escape from whatever was troubling me through fantasy and imagination.

 

MARNI Fall 2020, P.Turner

PM: How can fashion drawing become as important again and play a stronger role in editorial and advertising? Or as mentioned by many illustrators, should we find a new voice in the world of communication?   

PT: I think as daily photo-sharing becomes more commonplace through social apps, everybody thinks (perhaps misguidedly) that they are a great photographer. Drawing retains a certain mystery and élan; capturing a likeness or a trick of light can still have the same power as when perspective in art was first invented and the illusion caused people to suspect sorcery. There is magic to it. Illustrators such as David Downton, who have led the fashion illustration renaissance and revived the use of illustration for magazine covers, understand this magic.

See more of Peter's work @peterturnerdraws