Meet the Artist – An Interview with Nicky Thompson

We’ve decided to ask some of our clients a few questions, we love learning more about what and how artists are inspired. Here in our first blog post, we’ve spoken to artist Nicky Thompson.

Nicky Thompson - The Artist's Print Room
Nicky Thompson

When did you first discover your passion for art and painting/drawing/photography?

By drawing with my mum as a child, my early works were mostly bad copies of Roy of The Rovers comics.

Where do you get your inspiration from and what inspires you?

Nature and the work of artists and illustrators I greatly admire. I especially like Singer Sargent, Barbara Hepworth, Peter Firmin, Charles Tunnicliffe, Frank Henry Mason and Ken Paine.

How would you describe your style?

I have a few styles (being mostly a commercial illustrator)…I am probably best known for my 1930’s inspired travel posters, although I love portraits (pastel/charcoal) and botanical work.

What makes you different from other artists?

Virgin Visual, Nicky Thompson - The Artist's Print Room
Virgin Trains, Nicky Thompson

I tend to have a direct style. I think this comes from my background as a commercial illustrator/designer…I like images that work viscerally. I enjoy pushing the boundaries between fine art and commercial illustration. Illustration seems to be enjoying a renaissance at the moment, with people purchasing illustration as fine art print. It’s all very exciting.

What is the most challenging thing for you when it comes to your art?

Commercial work is difficult because you need to marry your intuition and instinct with the expectations of a client (and often the voices behind the client).

What would be your career dream? What project would you love to be able to do?

I think to leave behind a body of work that transcends the commercial requirements of a brief. I think of Charles Tunnicliffe and how those Ladybird Book illustrations did so much more than keep his client happy. They inspired awe in generations of children. That is a wonderful thing.

Did you have another career prior to this? If so, what was it?

I briefly flirted with the idea of being footballer! However, two left feet swiftly ended this dream…I started art school at 16 and have been doing it since.

Where would you like to see yourself in 10-15 years’ time?

Cheshire Life, Nicky Thompson - The Artist's Print Room
Cheshire Life, Nicky Thompson

Still drawing and creating pictures. It’s what makes me happy.

What is your typical day like?

I’m not sure I have a typical day! Tomorrow looks like this…coffee at home, drive to Chester University to deliver two-hour lecture. then a meeting afterwards with course leader. Drive to my studio, eat a sandwich in the car. Work in the afternoon (three projects need attention tomorrow). Finish work at 6pm, play racketball. Shower. Home, cook tea (maybe with a glass of wine). Read for an hour (The Magpie Murders). Watch a sit-com (Early Doors). Then sleep.

What do you love the most about your job and what do you hate the most?

I love drawing. My day feels exactly the same as doing art at school…but all day, which is brilliant. I never take for granted how lucky I am. I don’t hate anything, although admin and invoicing is never a daily highlight.

How do you relax after a long day?

Playing racketball, cooking dinner, glass of wine and reading.


To see more of Nicky’s work you can follow him on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.