Inspiring Celebrity Illustrations by Local Artist Andrew Needham

My art education first began in High School. I studied at Hesketh Fletcher; admittedly not the most inspiring of places, but this environment never dimmed my love for art and I gained an A* at GCSE. I then moved on to studying graphic design at Wigan School for the Arts at National Diploma level before progressing further to complete a foundation degree. I passed the course with top grades, and had the option to complete a final year in Graphic Design for a full degree, but personally I felt like I could progress no further in education, and felt comfortable to enter the big world and develop my illustrative style on the side. After firing my CV off to various Graphic Design roles, and attending interviews all concluding with the disheartening blow of lacking in studio experience, I made the decision to focus on my illustrations. I learned quite a lot about the design industry completing my foundation degree, and felt I could utilise my knowledge to an illustrative advantage.

Amy Winehouse

Inspiration comes in to me in eclectic waves; the human figure, popular culture, nature. I am interested in every subject. I am a creative intellectual. Throughout life I strived to have knowledge in a diverse collection of subjects. I believe creativity and intelligence is an essential partnership to becoming successful in the world of art and design, so I try to maintain a well rounded knowledge in both academia and the arts. I like to immerse myself in a variety of subjects, from astronomy to zoology, and regularly divulge in popular culture, but also politics. I see myself as an open person; I’m welcoming of many genres. Even my iPod is abundant with diverse playlists, from operatic arias to punk rock, from Elvis Presley to Lady Gaga. I think it is important to have an open mindset as an artist, having tunnel vision will only hinder your development.

Vivienne Westwood

I believe I got the artistic gene from my dear Grandma, and I can recall many visits to her house where she would teach me about various artists, artistic movements and techniques. My love for art was secured in college when we had to visit art galleries, from Manchester to London, even stretching to Paris. Discovering more about these eccentric figures and their respective art movements propelled me to pursue my own artistic career. I keep an extensive bank of artist and illustrators who I admire, whose work I often look at as inspiration. However, I always remember that I am myself, and should never want to completely mimic anyone. I have my own style, my own aspirations, and my own achievements.


I recognised that I could always draw but I had never really thought about it as a career until present. I’m addicted to watercolours. I pay particular interest in ink and the more fluid forms of media. I have an obsession with fashion illustrations, David Downton and René Gruau being divine figures to me. Traditional illustration has a look and feel that no computer can compete with. It’s from the heart and mind of the creator; a piece of them. I do love some digital illustration, but for me it lacks soul. A pencil line or a paint stroke is unique, it’s like a fingerprint. It’s impossible to replicate this mark making technique on computer software.

Lady Gaga

Recently I have been doing portraiture, and wanted to publicise my work. I contacted a person I follow on Tumblr, a Graphic Design lecturer, who’s the editor of his own online magazine. He was kind enough to feature my illustrations in one of his issues. This then went further as he asked me to create a drawing of his late Grandad, as a Christmas present for his Nan. Of course I accepted, what a wonderful cause for a first commission, one I will always remember.I am incredibly ambitious. I dream that every single person will own one of my illustrations in some form. I hope to one day be featured in Vogue or another leading fashion magazine. I’d love to illustrate a book. I want my own exhibition of celebrity portraiture. My list is endless. But my main goal is to achieve a lifelong career from producing my own artwork. That is the dream.

Justin Bieber

If anyone would like to contact me for a commission, contact me via any of the social networks or send me an email with your desired digital photo! Thank you.!/aneedham90

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