Christopher Rich took his education in Graphic Design first at Suffolk College before completing a Masters at the Norwich University College of the Arts.
‘I have been drawing and illustrating for as long as I can remember. As a youngster I was hugely influenced by comics and animation. I spent a large part of my childhood making up my own comics and illustrating stories with my own goofy characters. My parents were also a huge influence on my artwork growing up. My mother is a textile artist, and her love of textures and use of colour is something that I try to emulate in my own work. My father ran a theatre lighting business and is a skilled amateur photographer. His skill with composition and his ability to enhance a subject through use of light is very inspiring.’
‘After studying Art and Design at GCSE and A Level, I went on to study Graphic Design at Suffolk College in Ipswich. I obtained a 2:1 degree in the subject and was awarded the Student Video award for work I did on an animated website. The project was a mixture of traditional hand drawn elements combined with digital colouring and animation tools, techniques which I explored further during my Masters Degree in Digital Art at Norwich University College of the Arts. During my studies I was heavily influenced by the work of Blacksad co-creator Juanjo Guarnido, comic artists John Romita Jr and Skottie Young, and illustrators Chris Riddell and Quentin Blake.
My final project for my Masters degree gave me the opportunity to focus on digital illustration techniques. My work combines hand drawn elements which are scanned and finished through Photoshop. I like to produce work which has a slightly raw quality to it. I aim to inject my work with energy by using a loose and sketchy approach, harnessing the effect created by working quickly and not tightening up the under-drawing too much. I love the spontaneous nature of this style of drawing which I think helps to add texture and movement to an image. I currently teach part time in a primary school, alongside my work as a freelance illustrator. I have a number of personal projects that I’m working on, as well as a collaboration with Dear Dinosaur creator Ryan L. Schrodt.’