Welcoming The Summer Season with Illustrator Brett Ryder

Renowned for our long-standing lineage with talented artists and illustrators over the years; we are thrilled to unveil our 2018 Summer Season campaign in partnership with Illustrator, Brett Ryder. We spoke to Brett all about his signature style, the inspiration behind his delightful designs, and what he is most excited for this summer (sun, sea and G&Ts aplenty).

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Tell us about the inspiration behind your illustrations for the Fenwick Summer Season...

The main idea behind the Fenwick illustrations is celebration, with a big 'C' and the Fenwick team have very much encouraged this. We are having a lot of fun!

The Summer Season campaign is set in an enchanted woodland scene. Do you prefer summer in the city, the beach or the countryside?

Some of my fondest memories are long summer days in London, lazing around with friends, or blasting around on my motorcycle in flip-flops. Not something I would dare to do now.

Fenwick has worked with some incredible illustrators in the past such as David Downton and Clym Evernden. What appealed to you about working with Fenwick and joining this acclaimed alum?

I felt incredibly honored to be asked work with Fenwick, steeped in so much history, which would be a major source for ideas and reference, and to meet Paul Baptiste and the team who were incredibly enthusiastic and wanted to really have fun with the images.

Your illustrations mix collage, drawing, photography and digital manipulation. How did you arrive at this signature style?

My mother is an Artist and I was surrounded by her work, tools and funny looking friends (it was the '70s). I have always loved to collage and draw from my earliest memories, and I carried this on through college and into my working career.
When home computers were powerful and affordable enough to cope with the manipulation of images, this was when my work really started to come together, and I could unify all the elements and materials.

Your work is spectacularly surrealist. How do you come up with the ideas for your illustrations?

To be honest I'm not sure. I think its just part of my personality. To me, it’s my natural language when resolving ideas.

Which other illustrators have inspired and influenced your work and style?

I admire so many artists and illustrators, anyone who I think does something well really, but I’ve always admired the artist Richard Hamilton and Raoul Hausmann, and illustrator Ralph Stedman and cartoonist Gerard Hoffnung.

What songs are the soundtrack to your summer?

As a family we go away a lot in a van camping in the summer and Mumford & Sons seem to be the band that's played on repeat.

What are you most excited for this summer?

Travelling down to northern Spain to eat their lovely seafood, drink their great wine and I may even have a surf. I’m also very excited to see the Fenwick windows in all their glory.

How would you describe your summer style? What brands will you be wearing?

My agent laughed at this when she read this question, as I'm not known for my fashion sense, I'm generally scruffy. I do actually love clothes, but I ruin them because I'm always fiddling or fixing something so end up with stains everywhere. But I love John Smedley and Paul Smith, and the odd cowboy shirt with embroidery.

What are your tips on how to make the most of the British summer?

Make sure you take time to enjoy it. Find a patch of grass in the sun, lie down on your back in a star position and close your eyes, and have a well made gin and tonic close at hand.

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Find out more about The Summer Season campaign, and see what activity your local store has planned throughout the season here. 

By Grace Gargini