Margate Meets: Alex Foster

Continuing my series on talking to creative people from Margate...

Alex Foster is a 23-year-old illustrator who is already doing incredibly well for himself.
He has worked with a variety of magazines and publications, as well as with companies like Hallmark and the London Underground.

I've been aware of Alex's work for a while, initially catching my eye because of it's simplistic and pleasing style. There's an open nature to Alex's illustrations and it has enabled him to reach a wide audience. I love the fact that anyone can commission him to make an illustration of their own home! He defies pretense and makes illustration accessible to all - something that I think is really important in the art world. Stockists of Alex's prints have included Margate's own Turner Contemporary

Where did you study and why did you decide to be based in Margate?

I studied illustration at Middlesex University for three years, so I moved away from Thanet in that time. I moved back to Margate after realising I could have a much better lifestyle here for less money!

Can you tell us about how you produce your work?
The way I make my work is as a kind of 'digital collage', where I will make a rough pencil drawing and draw out separate shapes using layout paper. These are scanned, coloured and composed on Photoshop.
You can find out more about how Alex creates his work here.

How would you describe your illustrative style?

I would say it's a naive, playful and fun contemporary look.

Who or what inspires your illustrations? Does Margate/Thanet influence your work?

Margate and Thanet definitely inspire my drawings; I have a range of prints that are of the local area. I like the way the seaside towns look and growing up around here means I know it well. I think creatives in different fields take inspiration from all sorts of places. You can get ideas from talking to people, watching films, listening to the radio/podcasts, daydreaming - really anything that stimulates you.

What are your proudest achievements so far?

That's a tough one. The poster I made for Totally Thames was amazing to do because I saw it all over train stations and on the tube. My current commission for the new Roald Dahl offices is great for me because like many kids I grew up reading his stories and watching the films.

What are your favourite things about Margate? Do you have any particular hopes for the town?

Margate has been improving year after year and there's always nice little places popping up. I hope that the art scene will continue to grow, I think it's going to. Dreamland is coming and I'm very excited to see how that affects the town. The boost in tourism from there should help the Margate massively so I'm looking forward to seeing how things develop over the next few years. 

You can see more of Alex Foster's work on his website here.

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