We’ve collaborated with British artist and illustrator Stewart Easton on a collection of graphic printed t-shirts inspired by folk horror and the magic of nature. We sat down in Stewart’s studio to discuss music, work and creating a harmonic utopia through colour and pattern.

Hi Stewart. How are you doing?
Hi there. I’m doing good. Just finished a day of overseeing students presentations and tutorials.

Can you tell us a bit about the t-shirts you have designed for YMC? How did it come about? What was the inspiration?
The t-shirts came about following a conversation with the YMC guys about their latest campaign and the appreciation of the counterculture, 60s/70s cults and the whole ethos of living outside of the system.

Music plays a big role for me, these designs came from repetitious listening to two records; ‘Animal Collective – Sung Tongs’ and ‘Broadcast and the Focus Group – Investigate Witch Cults of the Radio Age’.

 How did you approach the designs? Why did you decide not to use colour?
I wanted to make a series of drawings based around a fictions world where I imagined that these songs (in the albums above) inhabited. This world would be rural, and hand made. Filled with music and ritual. And it would be black and white.

Where does the interest in folk stem from?
This love of Folk came from late teens. It was almost (the music side) a reaction to rave culture and all the noise. Since then I’ve wanted quiet, trees, stringed and wind instruments, songs and a fire. 

I love the rave scene too!

 What kind of music do you listen to when you are working?
Recently I have been listening to 70s, 80s and 90s ambient and new age music. I collect cassettes, especially this genre along with weird meditation, and spiritual tapes.

 How would you describe what you do?
Hmmmmmm. I spend pretty much my whole time drawing, sewing, painting. I also teach too. I teach MA Illustration (online) at Falmouth University.

  A lot of your work features colourful patterns. What was the inspiration behind that?
I love colour and pattern and most of this work stems from my attempt to create a kind of utopian/ harmonic image using shape and colour.


What’s the best thing about what you do?
I get to make up worlds all day. Worlds which I would like to inhabit.

What’s coming up next?
I’m just in the process of packaging some embroideries for an art fair over in New York, and making some new work for a show in Seattle later this year.

I’ve just bought a tufting gun too, but not sure when I will get the chance to have a play. I want to make rugs!

When you’re not working, how do you like to spend your leisure time and relax?
I pretty much work all the time which isn’t a problem because I’m lucky that I love what I do. But I also run, read a lot, record digging.

 What are your hopes and dreams for the year ahead?
That I am able to continue to make work. I’ll be happy for this.

Thank you so much. Before we let you go, would you mind completing the phrase,
You Must Create… Beauty