1. Introduce yourself Tashi, what makes you tick?


My name is Tashi Reeve and I'm and illustrator and animator from Brighton in the UK. I was born in Brighton and grew up around the rolling hills of the South Downs. I love jamming, ramen, boardgames, exploring nature, history, sword fighting and adventures.

2. When did you realise that you can draw and you can actually make a living out of it?


I've actually never thought about this. I guess the pivotal moment was during my Art Foundation in Brighton. During the course you do a load of different types of art, from sewing to oil painting, woodwork to graphic design. One of the sessions was on Illustration and I'd never heard of it before that moment. I always thought I would end up as a fine artist or a sculptor. So I though "Wow! I can draw as a job!?" And so my story began.

3. What did you study in college and how that helped your career?
 

After my Foundation in Art I went on to study Illustration at Falmouth University in Cornwall. It's a tiny place at the end of the world full of pirates and pasties, and has an incredible reputation as a course. It definitely shaped me as a person and as an illustrator, both the course and the amazing and harsh coastal environment. Lost of my work is based on old Cornish folk tales or by the sea.

4. If you were not an illustrator what would you be?
 

A wizard! No, but if we're being serious I would have probably been a musician. I still play, but it's only recreational now with friends or at open mic nights.

5. What’s your main goal as an illustrator?


The ultimate long term dream would be to have a story/children's book I created turned into an animated cartoon. I mean that would be the most amazing thing! But a more short term goal is to have one of my children's book ideas published.

6. Who or what inspires you the most?
 

Hmm.... I would say two things inspire me equally. Landscapes and Stories. I love and have lived near the sea and the countryside all my life. The ocean, forests, hills, mountains, cliffs, and even moor's all inspire my work massively. I also read, listen and watch a lot of stories, often fantasy or historical. I like to listen to audio books when I draw. I also run Dungeons and Dragons sessions with friends at my house and all these things end up in my brain and therefore in my work.

7. Do you get creative block? If so what do you do to get over it?
 

Of course! Sometimes I just have one of those frustrating days, when I can't come up with any interesting ideas or everything I draw doesn't come out how I visualised it. For me the best thing to do is to leave the house and go down to the sea, as it's just down the road. I Just totally remove myself from any work and just focus on the landscape. I don't think about work. I don't think about anything actually. I often come back with a new perspective on my work, and importantly in a better mood creatively. However, sometimes there are times when I have a tight deadline and I can't be indulge in escapism. I just have to plough through the block with brute force!

8. What do you like the most about your job?

Seeing the finished pieces. Making it is the hard part but seeing the final result is very satisfying. Often I will take a piece of my work and animate it. Seeing one of my illustration come to life with animation is an even more exciting experience. Another aspect of being an illustrator that I love, is when people I don't know enjoy my work. This is because my work is full of my imagination and my personality, therefore when someone else takes an interest it is a huge compliment.

9. What’s the best/worst piece of advice you have ever received?

In the words of Shia LaBeouf "Just do it!". It's hands down the best piece of advice which has been given to me by so many people, both friends, family and people in the industry. It's all about saying yes to things and just pushing yourself out of your comfort zone. I used this a few weeks ago at the Brighton Illustration Fair. I said yes to things and so I got to have a portfolio review with Will Hudson who founded 'It's Nice That' as well as having a chat with David Shrigley!
The Worst piece of advice I ever had was to make my work more 'trendy'. It's the idea that in order to be successful you need to be current and fashionable. This can be true to an extent but I believe your work needs to be timeless more than anything. Illustration trends are a fickle beast and can change as quickly as the winds. You can try and keep up with them but my advice is to be original and come up with your own.

10. What’s the process of your Illustration walk me through it?

So often the idea/image will have been floating around in my head for days. I usually do a few tiny and extremely messy thumbnails in a sketchbook with pencil. But the real magic happens with my tablet in Photoshop. I do all the drawing with a Photoshop pencil brush, and then a ton of mystical Photoshop wizardry colouring with a ludicrous amount of layers. Voila!

11. Are there any brands or companies that you hope to work with?


I would love to produce a children's book or graphic novel with publishers like Bloomsbury, NoBrow/Flying Eye Books, Penguin Random House and Jonathan Cape. I would also like to venture into collaborations with animation studios.

12. Your #1 word of wisdom?

‘It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to.’ – Bilbo Baggins