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Paddy Molloy was our first industry talk of the year. After graduating from Kingston University, he went on to study at the Royal Academy in his speciality, Illustration.

Paddy started his career working with newspaper being a more independent practitioner. This involved creating images that would be in print form.He explained he had a really strong working relationship with The New York Times, they gave him a lot of jobs that he felt suited the kind of illustrator he is. However he did not find this with The Guardian who usually gave him sports columns. He explained that drawings for these clients take several different stages from several thumbnail sketches until the real piece. In one brief the client took the original draft drawing as they thought the final piece lacked character in the lines.

Since then Paddy has worked a lot with different theatre companies. He spoke about his work here in terms of collaborating. His first dip in the water was collaborating on brochures with artist Hannah Montegue for The Yard, this involved a lot of negotiating between the images and the typography. Paddy then entered into the realm of more set design animation, something which he had not done previously. He started off with a collaboration with Theatre O, that eventually lasted 30 years, he worked on an animation that played with words in the background. It helped him to work on how to use image and space to tell a story. Continuing is work with theatres, narratives and the visual, he worked on the poster for The Secret Agent, a piece that took place at The Old Vic, these were shown all over London.

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The final big project he discussed centred again around theatre and this time working with the Unicorn Theatre, where shows are aimed at 2-18 year olds. In this case he arrived at the theatre thinking he has been employed to do animations similar those he had completed for Theatre O, however on arrival he was asked if he was the creative producer and he said yes. This was a big challenge for him but he completed set design, costume design and projected images. Paddy explained here that one of the collaborators on this project was the audience, the piece is never finished until someone else sees it.

Paddy rounded up his talk by discussing his work for the future creating public artwork with the House of Illustration. This artwork aims to look into narratives about changing landscapes to make the viewer to stop and think.

I really enjoyed Paddy’s talk, I though the projects he had taken on board since his graduation were intriguing and different from what we have previously seen with artists that have come to speak to us. I felt as though his journey from his graduation until now is exciting and he was an animated and lively speaker.

Images : http://cargocollective.com/paddymolloy

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