: Al’s name had been mentioned a few times whilst I was in the LOVE studio, pretty early on, and I kept trying to work out where I had heard it before, It turns out that I followed him on Twitter months before even coming into the studio AND he was the art director of Computer Arts Magazine before he came back down to a designer level and moved to Manchester. From the get go, I feel like I pestered him a little too much but that was purely because out of the whole design team, he was the main guy who knew about illustration as he had worked with and still collaborates with a lot of the illustrators he made contact with whilst working for Projects. Late one Friday afternoon I was lucky enough to grab some of his free time and talk through my portfolio with him. Immediately he was responsive to my work, telling me what he liked about it and also what he thought I didn’t need to include… for example – He personally prefers vectored artwork and the styles associated with it because it has a little more commercial value in his words and the layout and size of my portfolio might be a little off putting, some art directors don’t want a load of work to have to sift through…Admittedly my original folio was chocked full of as much work as possible just so I could show what I’m capable of. Al has actually worked with a lot of artists whose work I really like such as Meka (ZombieCorp), Jonathan Edwards, Adrian Johnson, Stanley Chow, Lunartik, Niark1, Toki Doki, etc so I’d like to think he knows a little about what he’s talking about… ;) He also offered me suggestions, I don’t think he was overly keen on my stickers idea for promotional items but suggestion postcards were more useful, it was something he would personally keep on his desk where as unless you collect stickers, you wouldn’t really have a use for the ones I produce. He also pointed me in the direction of Kuler.com when I’m on the hunt for colour combinations and he did seem really keen that I worked in vectors rather than just my hand drawn line… Before I knew it, I had taken up an hour of his time. He warned me that most art directors wont take this amount of time to go through my work, they will know straight away what they like or what they are looking for, but the fact that he did take the time to go through my folio with me is very much appreciated.