Ben Tallon speaks to us about the Podcast and why this episode featuring Olivier Kugler is so significant:
I had Oliver Kugler’s work up on my university workspace wall at UCLan in 2005. He joined Lucinda Rogers, Ralph Steadman and Marion Deuchars among others. At that time I was under self-imposed pressure to find an illustrative style. I hadn’t learned to trust my instincts and personal quirks yet. That’s what united these much loved Illustrators, a raw and succinct visual identity, a story to tell.
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I would stare at these images in The Guardian, books and in the media, overwhelmed by conflicting feelings of inspiration, the desire to join them in the industry and frustration that it all felt like a far fetched fantasy. They remain great pillars of an industry and frustration that it all felt like a far fetched fantasy. They remain great pillars of an industry I eventually found my route into. As an Illustrator, it wasn’t part of the plan to start a podcast, but writing about the experiences of transforming my passion into a profession opened unexpected doors.
I listened to many independent shows each week and following a coversation with Harry Lyon- Smith, head of my agency, he suggested I may be in a position to use my love of discussing, writing about and lecturing on creativity to start a show of my own. With his support and some basic kit, I found my feet in ramshackle fashion.
Here I am, with 100 episodes under my belt. Spending time with Rogers, Deuchars and now Kugler, alongside a plethora of innovators right across the arts has been perhaps my greatest learning experience and a real joy. I’m working on Steadman…
Olivier’s humility, warm persona and quiet passion immediately resonated when I joined him at his studio a few weeks ago, to hear the whole story of an ever-evolving career that at times defies belief. I laughed, gazed through him with wide eyes, stunned, and at times felt like crying as he detailed shooting toy guys with the son of a Mafioso supergrass, spending time in Iran with a local truck driver and brought life to the story of refugees in the camps of Calais, Cos and Iraqi Kurdistan for Harper’s Magazine and his new book.
What I now understand is that no matter our experience, we each have a story worthy of sharing, that must be harnessed in order to succeed in the creative industry and nobody is better at relaying them with stunning and soulful artwork than the fantastic Olivier Kugler.
As I buckle up for another 100 episodes of Arrest All Mimics, I hope the release of ‘Escaping Wars and Waves,’ Kugler’s book compiling his time in the refugee camps serves as a catalyst for others to feel as inspired as I do about his glorious example. He exemplifies how powerful visual communication can be.
In the information age, our skills are a priceless currency and we have a great role to play in spreading the right message.
Part two of Olivier’s story is out on January 2nd, subscribe on Apple Podcasts or listen download at http://soundcloud.com/arrestallmimics
Thanks to everyone who has supported, shared, listened or guested on this labour of love. See you in 2018.