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Alex Rake is a freelance illustrator recently graduated from Falmouth University, and a printmaker with a passion for bold, fresh, exciting pieces. Lino fell into his lap almost by accident, and yet it’s stuck with him and become his conceptual anchor. It’s so versatile that Alex believes the hand cut element brings you incredibly close to the art you’re making, and also provides a sense of rawness and authenticity that can be hard to replicate. His favourite things to do are portraiture, often of pop culture icons that inspire him, and typography – Alex has cultivated his own style which captures the excitingly imperfect nature of print making. His art doesn’t necessarily have an overarching narrative, but since he first picked up lino tools he's learned to trust his own vision and for now, is enjoying where it takes him.

Tell us a fun fact about you I'm 6'4" and I walk into things ALL the time.

Top three clients you've worked with? Hallmark, Headcase Barbers and Nine by Nine

How did you get into illustration? I was introduced to the idea of Illustration as an option by my A Level fine art teacher and after going for an open day at Falmouth Uni I was hooked!

What tools (digital or not!) do you use to create your work? I use both! I will hand cut my lino because I think there is no substitute for the quality of line you get but I will then scan and add colour and few other final details digitally.

Tell us a fun fact about you I'm 6'4" and I walk into things ALL the time.

Top three clients you've worked with? Hallmark, Headcase Barbers and Nine by Nine

How did you get into illustration? I was introduced to the idea of Illustration as an option by my A Level fine art teacher and after going for an open day at Falmouth Uni I was hooked!

What tools (digital or not!) do you use to create your work? I use both! I will hand cut my lino because I think there is no substitute for the quality of line you get but I will then scan and add colour and few other final details digitally.

What does a typical day look like for you? I like to do a lot of self initiated projects to keep my style fresh and current; some I'll sell as limited edition prints, so I'll get in the studio early, plan a piece and print it. I like to have a quick turnaround on my work so I can stay on top of things and keep momentum going!

What do you do when you have a creative block? I have a set of prompts above my desk to help me create organic ideas when I'm in a creative rut. Sometimes a word or an idea can spark a really good thought process. But there's no point in forcing it, sometimes you've just got to watch a movie or browse Instagram and refresh.

Do you have any tips for artists thinking of doing freelance? I think it's really important to develop your own style and explore ideas and concepts within that niche; you should be doing all you can to make a distinctive visual identity, unique from other artists. Once you've carved out that identity, you need too work at it until you're producing pieces to the best of your ability. Then work will naturally find you that's appropriate and suited to your style.

How can fans keep up-to-date with your work? Instagram

  

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