Interview: Percie Edgeler – Illustrator

Tell us about yourself, who are you, where are you from, and what do you do?*
Hey Jung Katz! My name is Percie Edgeler, I’m from Greenwich in London. I currently study on the Illustration course at Camberwell College of Arts and I draw things. I collage. I’m kind of a bit obsessed with buildings and architecture, but never grew up enough to translate that into actually changing the landscape around me.

How did you get started doing what you do?
I kind of always loved making things, but I think collaging has come to me more recently through some of the great tutors at Camberwell. They really want us to try new things, which is great, because I could kind of do bits and bobs but it never really made any sense until they taught me a way to stick it together.

Illustrator Percie EdgelerWhat’s your inspiration?
Architecture, buildings, travelling. There are hundreds of places in the world I will probably never see, so by making all these works I guess I’m getting halfway there; or at least I get to travel there mentally. Plus, living in London right now, I’m very aware of how expensive housing is, and I’ll probably never be able to afford to stay here. Part of my inspiration I think is recording the things which I’m going to lose if I leave; and recording that in a way in which other people can understand it. But then I also want to communicate that to the next generation, because even in the nineties growing up where I have, I never really realised there was a world beyond where I lived.

What is art to you?
Art to me is creating something which causes a reaction or emotion, good or bad.

What does your typical day look like?
Cutting up hundreds of pieces of paper! To make even a small drawing can take me forever, I can spend twelve hours plus for three days straight cutting and sticking on one sheet and then only just starting to put the ink in.

Illustrator Percie Edgeler

How do you keep motivated?
I guess I’m fairly obsessive when it comes to organisation and just keep going, but if I’m feeling particularly unmotivated and someone has sent me a nice message recently I’ll re-read that and play some music that I don’t have to think too much about, like Olafur Arnalds or some Hot Chip before I try to continue what I’m doing.

What do you hope to accomplish with your work?
Eventually I want to make books and zines, and just show people the things around us that we tend to ignore.  At the moment it’s buildings and architecture, but we tend to ignore what we see everyday and dismiss it as ordinary when it might be anything but that.

What, if anything, would you tell your younger self?

Keep going (because A levels aren’t the be all and end all)!

Illustrator Percie EdgelerWhat’s the best advice you’ve been given?
When I was putting too much into something, one of the tutors on my course pretty bluntly told me I was ruining what I’d done by overthinking it, then said “I feel like I’m kicking a small puppy.” So don’t overthink things, and know how to take criticism.

Any words of wisdom to aspiring artists who want to pursue a similar career?
Everyone is good at something, but only you are good at creating something the way that you do. Focus on that, don’t get too into what everyone else is doing: pugs are great animals, but nobody wants to see two hundred variations of pugs just because they’re fashionable.

Illustrator Percie Edgeler

What are your thoughts on art school?
I still haven’t finished yet, so I haven’t quite decided. I feel like at my university it’s a good experience because we’ve got teachers who actually care about what we’re doing, but the fee rise is extortionate: we’re not getting any more than the years before us, our education hasn’t improved, the money has just gone straight to the pay rise of whoever is in charge whilst cutting the pay of the people who prevent it from being a glorified expensive baby creche.

Have any future aspirations that you’d like to share?
Actually, I have a list of things of things I want to achieve. I think the most sensible one – though it might be a bit out of reach right now – is to do a cover for The New Yorker. Preferably something obviously tacky and American.

What’s your dream project?
Sitting at home and making nice books all day every day would be a dream project.

Illustrator Percie EdgelerWhat art supplies do you use?
Muji fine liner pens, they’re great because they come in really nice colours and different thicknesses; pencils, I make my own textures with watercolours; and a little bit of Photoshop.

Any other artists that you would like to recommend for others to check out as well?

Some of my personal favourites are Egon Schiele, Ernst Haeckel and Edward Gorey; but currently illustrators like Dany Reede, David Doran and Laura Carlin are all doing really amazing things; and there’s even great people on my course like Hana Lee and a bundle of others it’d take me years to list whose work I really love.

Follow Percie Edgeler on Twitter and Tumblr!



Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s