Matthew Cook
Matthew Cook






2011 – IMAGES 35

Matthew graduated with a First-class degree with Distinction from Saint Martins and Kingston Schools of Art. Jobs have taken him drawing in North Korea, Papua New Guinea, Brazil, Peru, New Zealand and Afghanistan.

Matthew has worked for The Times for many years, including the recording of the Iraq war, life at their print works, illustrating long distance walks and covered four Parliamentary elections. 

“My brief was delightfully free and open, with no restraints on shape or detail. I could let the circumstances and subject matter enthuse me. Time was my only enemy, and I’m sure I would tackle it differently if I had more time in hand.”

BRIEF: My brief was to sketch The Times Editor and Political Editor while they interviewed the main party leaders in the 2010 General Election.

MATERIALS: Inks with some spot colour and collage

RESEARCH: Very little time for research as I got the brief, late on the night before the job. I had to find out the names of the entourage and annotate them seconds before sending the artwork.

PROCESS: I had about an hour to sketch and photograph during the interview, then about two hours at home to come up with the final image.

RESISTANCES: My main fear is getting a likeness, but once I am vaguely happy with a face, the rest falls in to place.

INSIGHT: Listening to the ‘off the record’ conversations with the future Prime Minister.

DISTRACTIONS: Normally I can walk around my subject and pick an interesting angle to draw from. I had no choice on this occasion but to block the isle.

NUMBERS: 1600 hours… the deadline.

FINAL THOUGHTS: Sleep, and then buy The Times in the morning to see how it looks.