Stuart was born in Tunbridge Wells, England. He graduated from Kingston University with a combined degree in Illustration and Animation. He currently lives and works in London. Stuart has been represented by Heart since 2012.
Stuart’s work can be described as a mixture of the real with the unreal. His drawings are incredibly detailed, based on observation but with dreamt and surreal scenarios. All Stuart’s work is hand drawn, even repeated elements. He uses a compass, ruler and .35 mechanical pencil, drawing on off-white fine grain paper. Drawings are then faithfully committed to in pen or Indian ink.
The aesthetic of people like Aubrey Beardsley is apparent in Stuart’s work. The refined elegance and sophistication of the early 20th Century dress provides juxtaposition with the surreal themes in his work. Stuart’s cast is often exquisitely dressed and bohemian in outlook. Stuart also looks at silent films and the work of Alfred Hitchcock for graphic and suspenseful story telling. The films of David Lynch and dystopian novels ‘We’ by Yevgeny Zamtyatin and ‘Velvet Glove Cast in Iron’ by Daniel Clowes provide inspiration for fantastical narratives. Beyond his figurative characters, Stuart often includes animals in his drawings. They are treated with reverence as mythical and noble beasts. In his studio filing cabinets of ephemera overspill with reference, often oblique but constantly sparking new ideas. Stuart collects old encyclopedias, annuals, photos, postcards and newspaper cuttings. The stories contained in these files, especially unexplained mysteries or obscure mythological tales create much of the impetus for his imagery.
Stuart has worked prolifically for a diverse spectrum of clients, creating detailed artworks of engraved gun stocks used in marketing material for the historic rifle makers Purdey & Sons as well as apparel designs for Topshop, and packaging for Storksak nappy wipes.
Over several years Stuart has worked on collaborative projects with the fashion designer, Oliver Ruuger. Their first project ‘The House of Epicurus’ is a surreal short story narrated by a fictional party guest. The artworks, which were etched onto leather briefcases and printed on silk scarves, were showcased at LCFM’s debut Menswear show. The work went on to tour as part of the Craft Council’s ‘Added Value’ exhibition. Since this first collaboration Stuart has produced artwork for candles and related limited edition prints for Ruuger, sold exclusively at Barneys.
The House of Epicurus has provoked many commissions of a similar nature exploiting his sensitive and intense drawing style. Stuart produced a series of illustrations for the identity of a whisky distillery including bottle and packaging artwork. Stuart produced artwork for the visual identity for the Secret Garden Party, a music and arts festival in the UK. This has been followed by the launch of a new beer and packaging design for Camden Town Brewery, a series of corporate branding artworks for Australian investment bank ‘Platinum’ as well as website collateral for Maxmara. Stuart has worked with the ethical fast food chain, Chipotle, to create an illustrated short story with renowned author Neil Gaiman, this is being used on Chipotle’s takeaway cups and bags. His work has been commissioned for a fifty foot high site specific installation at a new creative work space in Whitechapel. He has created wallpaper designs for the restaurant of a boutique hotel in Australia and designs for guest coffee cups for Principle’s hotels. For The School of Life Stuart has produced over fifty portraits for a Guess Who? style card game. All of the portraits are of influential thinkers from different fields of Philosophy, Art and Design, Literature, Sociology, Psychology and Political Theory. In addition to this, The School of Life has also created a series of dinner table placemats of interesting party guests and a Curriculum Book.
Stuart’s work has also by permission, been translated into tattoo art by Maxime Buchi, meaning every now and then Stuart receives photos of naked torsos tattooed with one of his drawings from his Ragnarok series of personal work about Norse mythology.
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Camden Town Brewery, Chipotle, Condé Nast Traveller, Departures, Dwell, Esquire, Goodwood Magazine, The Guardian, Harrods, Harvey Nichols, Hollywood Reporter, Human After All, Illustrated People, The Loom Building, Maxmara, Muze magazine, The New Yorker, The New York Times, The New Scientist, Oliver Ruuger, Principle’s Hotels , Purdey & Sons Gunmakers, Pushkin Press, QT Hotels, Random House, The School of Life, The Ship Inn, Storsak, Suddeutsche Zeitung, Supersuperficial, Tatler magazine, The Telegraph, Topshop, Village Voice, W Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, Wired