P&Co Art Dept.

Meet Illwookie (Will Richards)

As creatives, we are constantly inspired by other artists & designers who share that same need to create. Our Art Dept. Series allows us to collaborate with the best of the best- artists who we feel not only resonate with us but also our community. We dropped our first range featuring artwork designed by Lukas Krol in early May, followed by our collaboration with artist Illwookie at the start of June. We headed to Brighton, where he is based to find out more about him.

Our P&Co x Illwookie T-shirt range launches Friday 10th June 4PM GMT/ 8AM PT.

Tell us a bit about yourself!

My name is Will Richards, I’m 30 years old and I am a freelance illustrator from Brighton, specialising in merchandising and branding. I have been working as an illustrator for about 10 years now, the last 5 of which have been full time. I work with a wide variety of both independent and more established clients, across many industries including clothing brands, bands, events, restaurants and breweries etc.

What do you get up to in your spare time? Would you say this influences your work?

In my spare time I walk my dog along the seafront, play both folky and heavy music on my guitar, try to keep up with my friends on my gravel bike and I dabble in many mega nerd activities like playing Magic the Gathering, D and D, video games and so on. I think it definitely all seeps into my work in some form. For example, if I’m going through a period of enjoying heavy music and playing Dungeons and Dragons, I am more likely to try and squeeze a wizard or something into my work… other times I will directly reach out to a company that creates something I enjoy- something that is reflective of my hobbies and try to collaborate with them.

What or who else inspires you?

Inspiration, for me anyway, is a constantly revolving door which in turn is always allowing my work to evolve. Other artists and brands I look to for inspiration are Cleon Peterson, Terry Urban, Joshua Noom, Cheatin' Snakes, Brett Stenson, and of course Lukas Krol who you recently collaborated with!

Tell us a bit about the pieces you’ve designed for P&Co, do you have a favourite?

I love starting a design with a phrase and seeing what imagery conjures up, that's why working with P&Co is so satisfying for me because their slogans are a huge part of the brand.  I also enjoy drawing in a variety of styles, so wanted to show that breadth in these designs by having something more cartoony and fun with the cat mechanic vs. something more detailed and textured with the skull and snake, or the scorpion for example. It's hard to pick a favourite out of these but I think I'd have to say the cat ‘cause I like his little face.

Do you have any exciting projects or plans for the future?

I have some work ongoing with Floc Brewing who are based in Margate- which I'm super excited about, I have a lot of free roam on the can label designs so that's a lot of fun, the beer is bloody good too! I have also recently been working a lot with Dark Arts Coffee creating a bunch of silly little characters for various products and bits of merch. In terms of personal work, I am looking forward to creating more paintings this year and hopefully aim to do a couple of exhibitions.

Online Friday 10th June 4PM GMT