Tottenham Court Rodent. Peck’em Pigeon. Barkin’ Dog. Bushey Squirrel. Purr-ley Cat. Welcome to the wonderfully wacky world of graphic designer and illustrator Simon Stephenson, one populated by a cartoonish cast of super-cool animal characters, all of whom hail from London town.
According to Simon, his Urban Animals ‘have a very cool, urban feel reminiscent of street art and are created using stencils and spray paint effects.’ They are ‘sweet images, executed with edge. The humour is still present, but far more subtle’.
Simon, whose work has featured in the Association of Illustrators Annual and The Big Book of Illustration Ideas, has lead a double life as an advertising art director for the past two decades; his creations have been used in ad campaigns for Telewest, Barclays Bank, Orange, the NHS, Jigsaw and plenty more.
The admiration I feel for the prolific creative is somewhat personal: we studied graphic design together during the late 80s and early 90s. I was therefore terribly proud when his streetwise Urban Animals took centre stage in a solo exhibition at the Jealous gallery in Crouch End earlier this year. That said – his furry, hairy, feathered creatures are quite used to hogging the limelight: their faces adorn every single room of the Marriott Hotel in Westminster.
Visit Space Shrew Gallery, Simon’s online art emporium, to contact the artist, learn more about Urban Animals, and to buy or commission a work.