Friday, May 29, 2009

Lunch with Brian Grimwood

I had the good fortune to meet the iconic figure of British illustration yesterday, Brian Grimwood--I'd say it would be like a Brit getting to meet Milton Glaser for lunch. Thanks to Louisa St Pierre of B-A Reps who arranged the meet at the lovely restaurant off Bryant Park, Koi. I was also introduced to Ben Cox who is also with C-I-A in the UK, unfortunately the lunch was short--they all had appointments later in the afternoon--so I didn't get to speak with Ben that much. 

Brian has been a supporter of the magazine since the early days and has been featured in our magazine's Gallery section and has been a multiple winner in our annual ProShows. He's a delightful character and looks a bit like the drawing above--all except the upturned nose. 

Brian was the founder of the British illustration rep firm C-I-A back in '83 and it happened all by accident. He was looking for someone to represent him to advertising art directors but the word got out that he was becoming a rep and received calls from four fellow artists to join. First dismissing the idea, he later concluded it might just be a great idea as he felt who better to represent illustrators than an illustrator. Interesting that he purposefully asks any interested artists who want to join to show him their personal work as he feels that it's a better indication of what an artist has to offer. He's built up quite a roster of extremely talented illustrators and still finds time for assignments himself. 

The conversation ran the gamut of trends in British illustration, the influence of Pushpin on his early work, the overall enthusiastic interest by the UK's art directors to specify illustration today--boy, could we use some of that and his thoughts on Francis Bacon--not well I'm afraid. A throughly pleasurable outing.


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