Sci-Fi Art Now Creator Interview: Paul Drummond

Paul Drummond is a designer and commercial illustrator based in Lancashire. He started out as a lecturer, worked in print, moved into web development, then finally got round to painting pictures.

SciFi Art Now: What tools do you mainly use to create your art?

Paul Drummond: A mixture of scanned drawings, digital painting and 3D modelling. I also do line art and logo design using applications such as Illustrator.

SciFi Art Now: Why?

Paul: I like drawing and I’m used to working on computer, so digital painting works for me. It provides a great deal of flexibility in terms of composition, allowing me to mix 2D and 3D elements as required. It also helps when fixing mistakes, and I make a lot of those.

SciFi Art Now: What inspired you to become an artist?


Paul: I’ve enjoyed drawing and painting since I was a kid, but never thought I could make money from it until recently. I drifted into increasingly technical work and it’s only in the last few years that I’ve started doing commercial illustration.

SciFi Art Now: What was the most useful piece of advice you were given when you began learning your craft?

Paul: Don’t give up the day job. I still haven’t.

SciFi Art Now: Which artists most inspire you?

Paul: Concept artists such as Dylan Cole amaze me. He can sketch and rough a matte painting in the time it takes me to catch up on my email. Chris Moore creates rich and evocative covers and is polite enough to make encouraging noises when I show him my images. Adam Paquette also creates beautiful concept art and Dave Windett is a vastly underrated comics illustrator.

The Painted Bride

SciFi Art Now: What is the appeal to you of science fiction as an inspiration for some of your work?

Paul: The potential for interesting and exciting subject matter.

SciFi Art Now: Do you have a favourite piece of work or project you have worked on?

The Melancholy

Paul: The illustration for The Melancholy by Toby Litt was a bit of a struggle but worked out in the end. I’ve had positive comments about that one: Bill Ward, the author of Named In Blood was pleased with the illustration for his story.

I’m working on some eBooks for author Stephen Gallagher at the moment, and it’s fun to create big, bold, thriller-type covers. They’re quite retro, especially the Down River image with its Ford Capri wing mirror:

Some of my line art has been popular too:, such as 01-22-03-16 and Bot Grid.

SciFi Art Now: In your career, have you had any bizarre experiences while creating your art?

Bot 1

Paul: We’ve had some, erm, interesting neighbours and one time the drugs squad popped round for a chat. They thought I’d teamed up with next door to sell dope. Telling them I was an artist didn’t help.

SciFi Art Now: What most frustrates you about being an artist?

Paul: My own limitations and how long everything takes.

SciFi Art Now: What keeps you going despite the hopefully occasional frustrations?

Paul: Friendly clients and the moment when an image starts to work for me.

SciFi Art Now: What advice would you offer to anyone starting out as an artist?

Down River – ebook illustration

Paul: See the previous question regarding advice! Seriously, keep practising and don’t give up.

• Check out Paul’s work at You can contact him via his web site or at

Categories: British Comics

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