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Tom Edwards: Procession to Caute

Ahead of his Beach London expo, the illustrator chats to us about his imaginative cartoon drawing style and Internet cats

Beach London's next exhibition comes from artist and illustrator Tom Edwards who's taking over the gallery with his debut show, 'The Procession to Caute'. His often lighthearted, comic-esque style betrays his sense of humour and obsession with cats and wizards. Having worked on commerical projects for the likes of Adidas, Nokia, and Lazy Oaf, Edwards was also named as one of 2010's most exciting graduates by It's Nice That who published his 'If Drawings Were Photographs' book, whilst this year saw Victory Press publish his book 'Nine Tales'.

My favourite cartoons that I remember most vividly from when I was a kid are Robinson Sucroe and Albert the Fifth Musketeer. Although it's not a cartoon I used to love Charlie Chalk as well. Also Aquilla was rad

Dazed Digital: Your illustrations are quite imaginative and cartoon-y, where do you draw your inspiration from? What were your favourite cartoons from childhood (or otherwise)?
Tom Edwards:
My inspirations come from looking at, amongst other things, old paintings especially Bruegel and Avercamp, they are like 16th Century versions of Where's Wally. My favourite cartoons that I remember most vividly from when I was a kid are Robinson Sucroe and Albert the Fifth Musketeer. Although its not a cartoon, I used to love Charlie Chalk as well. Also Aquilla was rad.

DD: What do you use to create your illustrations? Are they all finished completely by hand or are they made digitally?
Tom Edwards: I use a mixture of digital and hand drawn. It starts out as a sketch which then gets scanned and edited. I then print this rough version out and trace it with pen, which then gets scanned back in and coloured digitally, so it's quite a long process, but it seems to work for me.

DD: Your work features a lot of symbols, captions etc., comprising one whole image...where do you source them from?
Tom Edwards: Most of them are just made up symbols that I affix a meaning to in my head. But then others are real symbols, for example the pieces I did about the Royal Society and Cunning Folk both use symbolism associated with their specific subject area. Also I've got a great book about symbols so this comes in handy.

DD: Cats have featured more than once in your work...why cats? And what/who is the best cat on the Internet?
Tom Edwards: Cats are just amusing, they do what they want, it's a bit of a cliche to do stuff about cats, but I don't care because I've always liked them. The best cat on the Internet has to be Maru!!!

Tom Edwards, 'Procession to Caute', June 8-24, 2012, Beach London, 20 Cheshire Street, London, E2 6EH