Thursday, 5 August 2010

Getting To Know You: Anthony Cooley

So for a while now I've been wanting to do a series of crafter interviews, and who better to start with than a guy I met at a party 9 months ago. It wasn't until a while later, through the joys of social media, that I found out exactly how talented he was. I'll let him tell you a bit about himself.

Introduce yourself:
Hello my name is Anthony Cooley. I am a 24 year old artist from Derry, northern Ireland who works mainly in the area of illustration but also likes to dabble in other areas such as animation and concept art.

Tell us a bit about yo
ur design background:

Since I was very young, art has always been in my blood. My grandfather was a very talented artist himself so I believe it was him who passed on his artistic flare to myself. Growing up, drawing was always my favourite pastime and in school regrettably every other subject apart from art fell to the wayside because i always knew it would take me somewhere. A funny story is that in 3rd year at school i actually dropped art as a subject in favour of accountancy. Turns out that in my first day of accountancy class i had a major reality check which saw me drop that and rightfully take up art once again. Numbers, scary stuff indeed. I have submitted my work to various art competitions over the years and have been quite successful in winning these as i grew up. After school I enrolled in the north west institute for a 2 year course in art where i had the best 2 years of my educational life. It was such a blast doing just art for a change. After that I attended Magee university in Derry
for the next 3 years of my life studying design and communication and further nurturing my little artistic baby. I emerged from Magee university 2 years ago with a first class honours in my degree feeling empowered and ready to set the world alight with my artistic skills.

Who / what inspires you?

Hmmm... what inspires me?... Well actually a lot inspires me in creating my illustrations. I take great inspiration from other artists who are doing the same thing, I guess I kind of feed off of other artists' enthusiasm for their own work and apply it to my own. It's a big world out there and there is a lot of positive things happening in the world of art. Other things that inspire me would be music, computer games, film, nature... well pretty much everything to be honest. There are also times where I'm not even looking for inspiration and suddenly the littlest thing can set off a whole can of worms in my head. It might be a word, a noise, a smell, anything. Just the other day i noticed a
splash of paint on a wall near where i live that had some really interesting shapes to it. Right away the shapes came to life and i started to see characters and scenery emerge before me. I think if one possesses a creative mind they see things most other people don't notice in every day life. Artists whose worki really love are Alex Pardee and Oliver Jeffers.

Tell us a bit about your creative space:

I basically do all of my work at the moment in my studio at home, (cough cough, my bedroom a
herm...) but hopefully soon I can be successful enough to get my very own art studio that's not located 2 metres from my bed haha. I work best when left in peace in quiet where i can focus on my craft but the occasional interruption from my 2 year old nephew to chat about important things like peppa pig/scary monsters/peppa pig again
provides much needed respite when I've been working for too long.

What are your must have tools / items?

Pen, paper, and a big ol' mug of tea! ;)

What is your greatest achievement to date?

Actually pretty recently i have achieved a few things here and there that i can say i am pretty proud of! Firstly I have written and illustrated two children's picture books which are currently being looked at by various publishers in London and I am patiently waiting to hear back about. Also in the last few weeks I received a phone call from Washington from the animal welfare group PETA looking for me to do a painting for them based on the theme of animal cruelty. The painting is now being auctioned off at their 25th anniversary gala event in LA in September where a host of celebrities and other important la de dah people will see and hopefully bid for the right to own the painting. Exciting stuff indeed, I have to pinch myself every day just thinking about it!

What are your plans for the future?

To the future and beyond is what I say! I can't wait to see where the next few years will take me. I'm always striving for bigger and greater things, so hopefully things with the books works out as I intend to write many more. I'm going to keep illustrating until my left hand falls off, then I guess I will have to learn to draw with the right. I have always wanted to do my own art exhibition with various pieces being created in the pipeline, hopefully very soon. What else? oh yeah world domination and world peace of course. arghhhhh!!! There's just not enough time in the day!

Thanks a lot to Anthony for being my very first interviewee. What a cracking read! Any inquiries can be sent to .You can also find Anthony's work on Etsy, check out his blog & find him on facebook.

If you fancy sharing a bit about yourself with the crafting world then email me (address is on the top right of the blog) for more information, or fill out the questions above.


  1. Really nice idea, great interview!


  2. I'll have to do you next then Abbi! x

  3. Wow! Great interview Jemima.
    Nice to 'meet' you Anthony. Such exciting things happening in your life atm. And I agree that a HUGE mug of tea is an important part of the creative process. I'd better get over to your blog and follow you to see more of your wonderful work

  4. Anthony, i enjoyed reading all this, i am 100% confident that You will succeed and do extremly well with your gifts and talents, Good Luck and my Good Wishes, peter


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