Freelance Illustrator Tom Radclyffe

Tom Radclyffe is a London based freelance illustrator currently studying MA Visual Communication at the Royal College of Art, having graduated from the Winchester School of Art in 2012. “I specialise in hand dawn, intensely detailed images often focusing on architecture and the built environment.”


“I started my MA at the Royal College of Art in October and I am fast approaching the end of my first year. Being in a location like Kensington so regularly is amazing and a constant source of inspiration, especially for my drawings of buildings. While I miss Winchester it is hard not to appreciate your surroundings in London and being in the city has been great for my work. I realised towards the end of the second year of my BA, that architecture was a subject matter that particularly interested me and one that I could engage with in interesting ways; it was a key point in my progression as an illustrator and helped me develop my own style and way of working.”


“In terms of influences I tend to return to several key artists again and again as a source of inspiration, however more often I strive to inspire my own approach through a degree of research and exploration of a theme. Influences outside of illustration and drawing are often more useful as starting points and for formulating ideas to apply to my drawings, authors like Italo Calvino for example. With my work, I develop very quickly an idea of what I would like my image to look like and just start creating imagery, sometimes it works, more often it doesn’t, but that process helps formulate the final piece. People often struggle to understand my process, I don’t create roughs or detailed sketches, I just aim to create that image in my head.

My most recent project has been an exploration of several of London’s train stations, specifically St. Pancreas, Sloane Square, Waterloo and Paddington, in response to an essay by Jonathan Meads. Having completed this I am looking to progress my work by exploring more narrative pieces, plus experimenting with gif’s and moving illustration. With a lot of illustration now existing on screens it feels important to explore how an illustration can be more than just a static image.”





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