– Since when you have this love for drawing ?Could we say that a hobby became a job ?
I always drew as a child, and always was doodling on books in school, then in the last 2 years of high school I really took art seriously. From there I went to art college an UNiversity and about a year after I finished I took the plunge into freelance, eventually building up as a professional. So yes the natural progression took the hobby and made it into the job. THe best job in the world!
– Have you been self taught , or are there10 many hours of academia behind your drawings?
I have been self taught to an extent. I started by copying other peoples work (when I was young not plagiarising people!) just hours and hours drawing from photos, copying graffiti artists sketches and things like that. Then when I went to art school I was taught how to draw the human form through life drawing and objects through still life. Later on when I started as a professional I was told my photoshop skills went very good by one of the best photo retouchers in the world (not in a nasty way just constructive criticism, he told me to go and learn) so I taught myself photoshop from a book. SO it really is a mix of self taught and education/learning along the way and taking advice when it’s given!
-What is all your work that makes you feel most proud of?
From start to finish its got to be the adidas print. It’s just a ridiculous story behind it. I was quiet around christmas one year so decided to make a ‘check list’ of vintage adidas in my spare time. I didn’t finish it until the following christmas. I thought a few collectors might buy it but sales went through the roof. It’s easily my most popular print nd I actually just recently got hired by adidas off the back off it. Its like i’m dreaming. Just sitting and watching it progress from a rough idea to getting a contract is amazing.
-Tell us a bit that is already dedicated O’toole Studio.
This stemmed from doing a print for the casual connoisseur clothing label. It was their idea to draw a few casuals with ‘this thing of ours ‘ written underneath. A few people saw it and more nd more people wanted to get drawn. Like the adidas project it just spiralled out of control to the point where I found it easier to manage by creating a website you can go to to upload a picture and pay all at once. so this has become studiotoole.
-Possibly readers of this blog will know you by your collaborations with Casual Connoisseur , how they came about ?
You have also related to other historical brands , Adidas, Clarks Originals jobs, and more recently Baracutta , are the brands that you handle the drawings,
or are a kind of homage to brands do you like ?
Casual connoisseur are 2 brothers who are based in a town not so far away from my own town, so we had a lot of things in common. They asked me to do a design initially and i found them really easy to get along with. I said I was cool to do more if they wanted and the rest is history!
Clients like adidas and barracuda,clarks etc are just lucky and coincidental. I absolutely love them and for some reason I got to work with them! The people who gave me the jobs for these clients very much share similar interests and tastes as me sand are easy to get along with so thats the only reason I can think as to why they gave me the jobs!
– My favorites are all those engaged in casual culture drawings Casualco , Our Culture , and others, what led you to do ?
Consider yourself in the casual culture?
The unique thing that I can bring to the table is that I used to go to the football and be an active casual and always thought there was a gap in the casual market for an illustrator to take advantage of even around ten years ago. Its just taken me this long to gain the skills and expertise to take advantage of it!
I know the brands they wear, i wear the same brands, I can relate to the culture. It always helps if you can understand the culture. I also feel this about other cultures too, like skate and street wear. You have to put yourself in that mindset, theres an old saying, apparently by queen victoria. ‘Beware of artists. They mix with all classes of society and are therefore most dangerous’ I can relate to that!
-I guess you know the work of A guy called minty , what do you think?
Yeh man hes a great guy. We both actually signed contracts for adidas on the same day. We have similar interest but completely different styles so we don’t tend to tread on each others toes! He still has more Facebook likes on his page than me so I’ve got a bit of catching up to do!
-We know you ‘re fan of Huddersfield Town, do you usually go to the matches of your team? do you remember when was the first time that you came to
the stadium ?
I rarely go nowadays! I tend to work most weekends and to be honest id rather be drawing as thats my love! But i am running a usiness and money comes first. My dad got my brother and I season tickets for the 94-95 season, the first year our new stadium was opened. We held season tickets until the late 90’s. Then I used to go on occasion around 2002-05 with a different group of people! I can’t remember the first match I went to but we had players like phil starbuck, ronnie jepson, ewan roberts and ian dune. Great memories!
-From the beginning the violence has been linked to this culture , do you think a lover of casual culture can be totally against the violence?
I don’t think so no. The whole ‘romance’ surrounding the casual culture is to be part of something, a group. that was the appeal to me. You know they have your back and you have theirs. Fightings just part of it. You know that before you get involved.
I think people can grow out of that side of things as you get older but if your talking about from the beginning you can’t be against the violence or you would never be accepted into the fold (if you didn’t fight or get stuck in)
Peter O’Toole interview for Izquierdacual, thanks Peter.
-What is your opinion of modern football ? What do you think the fanzine Stand?
I was involved in stand from day one. Not just doing illustrations but the graphic designer who lays it all out is a close friend of mine, Adam Gill. I put his name forward and he’s done a really good job. Modern football is what it is. I can’t really complain as I don’t go! maybe thats what people need to do to fight it, not go!
Tell us a little about Dirtcheap magazine.
Dirtcheap magazine was a project a friend (ollie smth) and myself started in university. It was an outlet for us to showcase our work and the work of others who didn’t have a reputation or enough experience to get in other magazines. It started out as a digital magazine for 12 months and we also ran a live art night monthly along side it, called fresh kids. We got an issue of dirt-cheap printed up which was the aim but i have since stepped away from it as i wanted to concentrate on my freelance work. Ollie and his brother Sholto are still doing a great job on the blog and also Fresh Kids.
-What clothing brands can we find in your closet?
Wow, Erm, Albam, Pendleton, Woolrich Woollen Mills, Stone Island, Baracutta, Lacoste, Berghaus, Carhaart, Adidas, Clarks, Casual co, Levi’s, Dickies, Stuff like that!
– FreeCell. Tell us whatever you want