Alex Foster of Alex Foster Illustration is well known for the beautiful maps and house portraits he creates. In addition to these, Alex has ventured into new territory with a recently expanded product range, moving into stationery, notebooks, notepads and gift wrap.
I’ve followed Alex’s work for a while now – those map prints pop up everywhere (including on my very own blog post here), and I recently had the chance to ask him a few questions about his new product lines. It was lovely to find out more about Alex and his business. I hope you enjoy meeting him too!
Hi Alex, please introduce yourself and tell us a little bit about how you got to where you are now! I’m Alex Foster and I learnt about illustration when my art teacher at school mentioned the University for the Creative Arts – our career advisers hadn’t heard of the place despite it being only 1 of 3 universities in the area. So I’m glad he told me about that!
I went on to do the foundation year there, then moved to London to study a degree in Illustration at Middlesex University. This is where I did a little bit of commercial work and it was also my first introduction to the freelance illustration world – since then it’s been hard work, trying to always improve and market myself to continue the flow of work. I’m very lucky to now have regular commissions and sales through my shop to keep me very busy with it all.
Your new lines are stationery focussed – what made you decide to branch out now? I’ve always liked stationery, and moving in to this is a bit of an experiment really. Since signing up to exhibit at Top Drawer I wanted to expand what I did more and this meant designing a range of gift wrap, notebooks and notepads. I’m definitely still going to be making more art prints and maps when I can though – they are still my main focus.
I love the illustrations and patterns on your new products, I especially like the volleyball and Lucha Libre wrestling patterns! What inspired these new designs? Some of the patterns I had made a few years ago but never had a good use for them, so I’m glad I’ve found a good medium for them. For example the foxes pattern was when I used to make tshirts and it was a pocket tee design. Others were more recent and inspired by my trip to Mexico for a friends wedding – we went to see the Luchadores and it was such a great experience.
You’ve worked on some fantastic projects during your career – what’s been a favourite project of yours? I’ve got to say the Roald Dahl map for obvious reasons – I’ve been a lifelong fan and it was amazing to have a job where I got to look through almost all of his books and make a map out of them. But really any project where there is good communication with the client and things go relatively smoothly – a solid brief and vision of what is needed really helps produce good results.
What’s next for you! Christmas is coming so I’m already getting ready for that. My House Portraits are going on some great gift guides this year so I will be very busy with those soon – this has happened a few years in a row now and it’s always a challenge doing as many as I can before the Christmas deadline, but I really enjoy trying to satisfy all these new customers, and I love hearing back about how their special someone loved their gift!
Thanks for taking the time Alex, it’s been great finding out more about you and wishing you a very busy Christmas season!
Find the Alex Foster Illustration shop here
Follow Alex on Instagram here.