Full of charming little characters surrounded by plenty of rich detail, Peter Allen’s illustrations are graphic and colourful. Travel guides, history books, children’s stories, advertising – they’ve all benefited from Peter’s vast images, each of which is full of fun and has many stories to tell.
Based in Eastern France, his influences include everything from Thomas Bewick and Hogarth to Galt Toys and Miffy. While he’s working, his music is equally eclectic with Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci, The Cosmic Dead and Causa Sui on the playlist. He also listens to the American West Coast Station KFJC and dreams of California, where he’d love to go big wall climbing in Yosemite National Park, and drive along the Pacific coast from San Francisco to Portland.
Peter has a first class bachelors degree in Graphic Design from Liverpool John Moores University, and an MA in Book Arts from Aberystwyth.
Though he works digitally, Peter draws on his training using traditional media including lino-cutting, stenciling, letterpress and drawing. “I colour in pencil outlines in Illustrator using vectors to create colour shapes, like cutting out stencils with a knife,” he says. “Similarly my drawing is simplified like lino-cut and wood-cut lines.”
Peter’s simplified drawing style often has the look and feel of a classic newspaper cartoon, but his images tend to have a lot more to them than that. He uses colour to give them a strong graphic character, and lots of observational humour can be found in the little characters and details he ads. They can contain plenty of information too – often his illustrations are like a mixture between cartoons and infographics.