Patrick Savile talks... 70's sci-fi, experimentalism, working with Warp ©
Freelance illustrator and print-designer, Patrick Savile, has been producing stunning visual content for giants like Amazon and Cartoon Network for the best part of five years now. But when he isn't anchored by the weight of corporate deadlines, he's transforming his own personal ideas into brilliant paint and airbrush designs.
"I’ve always been into drawing, my dad was an industrial designer, so I picked up a pencil at a young age"
At school, Savile became very much enamoured with graphic design and, more importantly, sleeve design: "much of the music I was into was done by graffiti artists and had a very ‘urban’ feel which was intense and new for a country kid like me". This, he mentions, became the impetus for his new-found calling as a student of graphic design, though his strengths seemed to lay somewhere between design and illustration.
As inspiration goes, 70's sci-fi and fantasy comics were the two big hitters: "2000AD, Heavy Metal/ Metal Hurlant, Tank Girl were all things that I loved both the tone and the style of, so I really wanted to do that kind of work for the longest time, but realised that it never came out as I wanted it to...".
A hyper-realistic style of working quickly became a feature of Savile's practice; a style that was inspired by the illustrations on his dad's books, in particular, Rodney Matthews' In Search Of Forever, Roger Dean's Views, and Chris Foss' 21st Century Foss. The artwork on these particular pieces of literature adopted a fantastical style of imagery that drew you in, turning still-life into animated landscapes. Chris Foss was also commissioned to produce several conceptual studies for the film adaptation of Dune, a science-fiction novel by author Frank Herbert. This also became a particularly influential body of work for Savile, one that guided him toward more futuristic subject matter.
"I’ve always made fake flyers for nights that didn’t exist"
In terms of music, despite starting out as a hip-hop and jungle fan, Savile has always really been into electronic music, playing records since the age of 14. Savile also designs flyers for fake club nights, and even entered a competition at 15 to make a flyer for Gilles Peterson's Worldwide Radio Show. He has since worked with the likes of Fuewa, Will Ward and MØ, all of which dabble in experimental textures and dynamic instrumentation musically. But artistically, Savile has helped to pair their musical instrumentation with mesmerising patterns and scenery.
Among the aforementioned musicians, Savile's most impressive body of work came when Warp© requested his services for LoneLady's second studio album, Hinterland (2015): "it was working for Warp records which was a goal for so many years.. This was a case where it was more on the artists’ terms- which was great, I was fully on board with Julie’s (Lonelady) vibes, and I love what came out of it, it was very hand done and deliberately rough around the edges, but with big bold Pantone© overlays". Since then, Savile has tried to incorporate more of his own style into projects: "I’m not into just doing the exact same style for everything I do- I prefer to use the project to come at something with the my interests and creative leanings and see what arises".
It's evident that Savile's body of work has lent itself to electronic music well, as, he adds, "a lot of the time, the musicians are creating their own conceptual worlds which need to be complemented somehow with visuals". Specifically, Savile tended to incorporate "experimentalism" into his own work. The ambiguity of this particular style, he added, seemed to align with his "chaotic brain".
But while his engagement with musicians has proved fit for use on packaging alone, his goal is to bring a musical body of work to life through a different medium. This, we hope, could be the start of a whole new chapter.