Under the moniker Omgidrawedit, illustrator George Goodwin creates unique artwork inspired by his loves of nature and science-fiction.
Specialising in world-building George draws heavily detailed, quirky and vibrant scenes. His work often looks at subjects that promote a socially conscious message about our relationship with the planet and a need to reconnect with nature across society.
This message is generally depicted in a light-hearted and humorous fashion, with the intention being more about the viewer engage with the work, looking at it repeatedly and gradually making their own discoveries over time, rather than being slapped in the face with aggressive messages or themes.
So does he consider to have a certain style? “When I was in my first year at university, one of my tutors looked at an illustration I had made of a cowboy and said me ‘As you improve remember this piece, do whatever you can to not lose your style, it is special.’ So in typical student fashion, I started doing the complete opposite,” George tells Creative Boom.
“Having spent nearly the first two years of university extremely conscious of my limited abilities compared to some in my class, I began drawing very macabre, almost exclusively monochromatic pieces, which if I was feeling very adventurous would include maybe a splash of one or two additional colours.”
George continues: “I was at this point really focusing on drawing from photos and from life in a real attempt to improve my overall skills as an artist. I never really felt these pieces were ‘me’. I remember completing a piece that included realistic (ish) depictions of a woman and a puma stood on a car, looking out onto an apocalyptic wasteland. I drew the piece entirely without reference. I looked at it completed and said to myself, ok that’s good enough you can return to the goofy naive and humorous stuff that is truly who you are.
“Overnight I began creating the work I had always intended. Weird and wonderful characters with over exaggerated limbs were born. I actually made my human characters this way to make them look dumb, stupid or idiotic but also sort of cute and good at times.. as I really felt this was what we are as a race, this is another easter egg in a sense that secretly carries a message about what we are doing to the environment and nature on our planet.”
“Then the colour came, The floodgates opened and it scared me,” George says. “I love colour but I am terrified of it. I’m still very conscious of the colour in my work. I went from black line work to ‘full-on packet of skittles’ variety. I think because I work digitally 90% of the time I don’t really see why I should limit my palette.”
What about his inspiration? His detailed style apparently comes from a childhood of ‘Where’s Wally?’ books, which gave him a deep-seated desire to create illustrations “full of interest”.
“I also have a secret obsession with objects, weird ones, mundane ones and I’m always on the lookout for random bits that I can put into an illustration,” George adds. “Sometimes, a whole illustration will be inspired by one object. Like my Arcade piece that began with looking at roller skates. The final image has some tiny skates, but would you ever know they were the basis of the piece? Probably not.”
Like most of us, George likes to indulge in the competition, seeing what they’re up to: “I do look at a lot of other artists work and quite often find illustrators with styles that are the furthest from mine very inspiring.
“I like imagining how I could create what they do but in my style. Marc Martins book, A River, is a prime suspect. And a huge influence and inspiration behind my own jungle based scenes. Then there is my crazy old brain, bursting full of absolutely stupid ideas the whole time. I try and filter out the noise and focus on the humour and humanity that surrounds me all day.”