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Animation that pops

We think illustrator Tane Williams is immensely talented, and we swear we're not biased in his favour just because his cover design for Idealog #31 was a finalist in the Maggies.

We think illustrator Tane Williams is immensely talented, and we swear we're not biased (much) in his favour just because his cover design for Idealog #31 was a finalist in the Maggies.

Have you always been an illustrator?
It hasn’t always been my profession, but I’ve been doing it full time for the past 18 months. Before that I was primarily a graphic designer. I worked at Huffer doing graphic design and illustration, typography and photography.

Seems a bit risky leaving the safety of graphic design for freelance animation.
It is risky but I wouldn’t have done it if I didn’t have a savings buffer. It’s fallen into place quite well now and I’ve been quite busy.

How would you describe your animation style?
Like a nightmare version of The Simpsons! I used to be really obsessed with the Simpsons and you can see it’s an obvious influence in my work. I’m very much influenced by pop culture. Having said that, I do chop and change a little bit to keep it interesting. Sometimes I’ll use brushes to get more realistic or messy, for example, but it all depends on the assignment or what I’m feeling like trying out.

As an illustrator, what are the key tools of your trade?
The number one key tool is a pen. I’ve tried every type of pen ever made but I have a few that I like now. Other then that I’d have to say my scanner, my computer, and probably my stereo to keep me entertained.

Were you one of those kids that sat in class drawing all over their books?
Yes totally. I used to get in trouble for drawing in class. I was drawing back then in a similar style to what I do now.

Got a dream brief?
It’d be very cool to be the guy that gets to design the characters and look of a cartoon show – like an Adult Swim style comedy show.

What’s been the oddest brief you’ve received?
My cousin wanted to make a sex education book about the penis. That was a pretty odd brief. I haven’t got round to doing it yet.