Paul Nugent creates digital artwork in an accessible visual language taking inspiration from cartoons and picture books

Paul Nugent is an illustrator from Dublin, Ireland. He originally studied fine art practices in Gorey School of Art before gravitating towards illustration during his time at Ballyfermot College of Further Education. Paul creates digital artwork in an accessible visual language taking inspiration from cartoons and picture books. His work often features humorous characters and a narrative driven focus. He jumps at any opportunity to shoehorn a bad pun into his work.

When did you start illustrating?

I have always been interested in drawing, but I only considered my work illustration after I graduated from Ballyfermot College of Further Education in 2016.

Who has been the most supportive in your illustration career, perhaps your teacher, family, friends?

My Girlfriend Kelly has been the most supportive in my illustration career, since even before I knew I wanted to be an illustrator. She’s always been so supportive of my work, even when my confidence falters. She’s been a fresh set of eyes and a second opinion when I’m stuck. She’s been my biggest fan and greatest advocate. Also, I steal all her jokes for my work.

Did you always think art was something that was going to be a major part of your life?

Ever since I could hold a pencil, drawing has been something I’ve done compulsively, on copy books, exam papers, on any surface I could reach, so I never expected that to change. What I didn’t expect was that as an adult I would get to draw every day, much less make a career out of it.

What is your favourite subject matter to illustrate?

I like to illustrate anything that’s funny and/or conveys character or narrative. In a word: I like to draw mischief!

How would you describe your style?

My art style is a little cartoonish and sometimes painterly, influenced mainly by traditional animation, concept art and picture books. I aim to make work in a clear visual language that’s accessible to all ages, so I try to avoid excessive abstraction.

What is your favourite collaboration to date?

My favourite collaboration to date is probably the second book I illustrated for author Emma Larkin, Izzy’s Magical Camogie Adventure. The story covers some of the history of women’s sport in Ireland and it really spurred me on to learn more about it.

What interested you about being represented by Illo Agency?

Being an illustrator can be a very solitary pursuit, and it can feel at times as though nobody is fighting your corner. This is why I sought an agency to begin with. When I first came across the Illo website, all I can say is that it felt right. The manner which they present their illustrator’s work felt more personable than other agencies, and the quality and range of the artists represented really drew me in!

Do you have a favourite author, film director, or designer?

I always struggle with this question; my opinions are constantly changing! At this moment I would say Philip K. Dick is my favourite author, Taika Waititi is my favourite director and Jon Klassen is my favourite Illustrator.

Are you working on any personal projects you can share with us?

When I’m not doing client work, I’m usually working on new ideas for picture books of my own. I’ve developed a few manuscripts and am hoping I can find the time to get them to publishing standard in the next year!

Do you listen to podcasts? If so, do you have a favourite?

There’s only one podcast I listen to religiously, the Blindboy Podcast. It offers a lot of great perspectives on being an artist and the psychology behind it, but more than that it’s just really entertaining!

If you have any questions or a specific project in mind, please do get in touch: [email protected]
at illo agency, we pride ourselves in representing a collation of global illustrators, distinctly diverse in creativity and uniquely celebrated by like-minded clients across a range of commercial markets.