Having just finished up at Bath School of Art and Design, Callum Robey is a young illustrator at the dawn of his career; not that you’d think it, Robey’s work is brimming with confidence, irreverence and flair, owing much to the DIY gusto of zine culture.
Scrawled typography, cocky sloganeering, monsters, pop-culture icons – Robey turns a wry eye on many a subject, always maintaining a strong, personal aesthetic. Playful, mischievous and respectful of craft and heritage, Callum is one to watch; we caught up with him to talk British creativity, French farms and sandwiches dripping in mayo…
Where’s your hometown, and where are you based now?
I grew up in a small village in Nottinghamshire, in the Vale of Beaver (spelt Belvoir) and my family still live there. I have just finished at the Bath School of Art and Design and will be moving to Bristol in September.
Do you think location affects creativity?
I don’t think that location affects general creativity, but I think that how you feel about a place will inevitably feed into the work you make there. I try to communicate feelings honestly through my work and if I were somewhere that I found unpleasant then I think the work being produced there would reflect it.
Is Britain’s creative industry too London-centric?
I really don’t like going to London, I’m from the countryside and I went to university in a glorified town. There’s too many people in London and not enough trees. However I do understand that being in London would perhaps make getting work easier, but only for the kind of person who is a keen “networker”. I believe that if your work is good enough then it doesn’t matter where you live.
The top 3 British creatives who have inspired you?
Matt the Horse
Will you be watching the Olympics?
Unfortunately not, I am currently working on an Alpaca farm in south Burgundy and between chasing escaped Camelids and clearing vegetable patches I have no time to watch sport. I’ve heard one of our blokes is doing alright in the Tour de France though.
You couldn’t live without…
What makes you smile?
Eating sandwiches that have loads of mayo in them.
The best piece of advice you’ve ever been given…
“Focus on the work, if you are making good work and if things are happening on your desk that excite you then you shouldn’t worry about anything else.” Matt the Horse
We’re going to the pub and we’re buying, what are you drinking?
If you’re buying it’s a double whisky and a bag of pork scratchings, if I’m buying it’s a pint of Ale and a bag of Walkers to share.
What’s next for you?
After the Alpaca farm I am heading south, I fly from Nice to Stuttgart on the 31st August for a beer festival with my old man, then heading back to Vale in early September to start looking for houses and a studio space in Bristol.