Ho-Ho-Hollo (does that work?) one and all to the December issue of Your Favourite Label.
Hop Culture are an online publication who do a terrific job celebrating all things wonderful in beer. They create some of the best articles and merchandise in the biz as well as putting on some seriously good events. Recently their apri-ski themed winter invitational was a massive hit as was Beers With(out) Beards a weeklong celebration of women in the beer industry last summer.
All their gorgeous invitations, glassware and pins come from someone, and that someone is UK illustrator Sam Taylor. We spoke this month on Die Hard, fast planes and Jack Nicholson. Enjoy…
WHAT WAS THE LAST BEER YOU DRUNK?
I think it was a Stella, some sort of lager anyway.
THE FIRST BEER YOU DRUNK?
I’ve pretty much only ever drank the same stuff, basic lagers. Although when I was a student I went mad on cider, any kind, even K Cider which is totally toxic, I don’t think it even has apples in it to be honest! I never drink cider these days though, way too sugary for me. I’m a beer boy.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE BEER?
I’m pretty simple in my tastes. Every now and then I’ll have a Guinness and very rarely I’ll have something more crafty but most of the time I drink Stella, Estrella, Amstel, that sort of thing. I put my hands up, I’m no craft beer nerd or expert!
WHY DON’T YOU TELL US A LITTLE MORE ABOUT HOW YOU CAME TO MEET THE HOP CULTURE TEAM?
I’m an illustrator based in London, UK. They (Travis and Kenny, owners of Hop Culture) emailed me a while ago because they’d seen some work that I’d done for a different company and they asked if I’d like to work with them. Of course I was down, all of their ideas sounded great, but nothing really happened for a while and then, a few months later, they were ready to get things going and sent me my first commissions. I had no idea that it would snowball like it has. I’m stoked to be involved.
WHAT’S IT LIKE DESIGNING HOP CULTURE MAGAZINE? CAN YOU TALK US THROUGH THE PROCESS AT ALL?
Sure. Firstly, they email me a brief, for example the Summer Invitational festival and they tell me what products we’re going to be working on, glassware, t-shirts etc. They give me some ideas and a general direction to go in and then I run with it. They came to me in the first place because they like what I do so I have a lot of freedom with what I draw. I try my best to include all the things they want but I also inject a lot of my own characters so that I can be most proud of the end product.
YOUR FAVOURITE LABEL?
Branding wise I like classic, simple stuff mostly, like Red Stripe, stuff that’s bold and has instant brand recognition. I’m also really into old-timey moonshine with a big ‘X’ on the glass or jug, that’s very cartoony to me, like those old Acme anvils in Roadrunner.
WHERE DO YOU FIND YOUR INSPIRATION?
All over. I listen to a broad range of podcasts that inspire me a lot, I like to listen to creative people in any discipline and try to absorb their lessons and take on board techniques or whatever. I also love art documentaries, it doesn’t even matter who it’s about most of the time.
I watch a lot of films, listen to music and talk to my friends about art. I generally try to consume as much as possible. I try my best to remember things I find interesting and most of the time my interests find their way into my art.
IF YOU COULD HAVE SOMEONE PLAY YOU IN A FILM, WHO WOULD IT BE?
I’d like to let a young Jack Nicholson take the roll, just ‘cus. He’d have to learn the Leicester accent though.
WHAT’S THE ONE SUBJECT YOU THINK YOU COULD BEAT ANYONE ANSWERING ON?
I did win a pub quiz the other night for my team by answering a question about ‘00s pop music in a quick answer round but I wouldn’t say that.
Maybe films? Or The Simpsons?
But there are definitely people out there that know more about that than me. Erm, I’m going to go with Die Hard.
GOT ANY GOOD FACTS OR JOKES FOR US?
The SR-71 Blackbird is the fastest plane to ever take flight, with a top recorded speed of 2,193.13mph (July 1976), it could fly from New York to London in under two hours, how’s that?
ADVISE FOR ASPIRING DESIGNERS?
You’ve got to draw a lot. All the time.
Constantly record your ideas and be on the look out for new ways you can implement them. I think you need to have some sort of natural talent and work really hard at the same time, one by it’s self isn’t enough. Come up with your own way of doing things. Do as much work as you can. Contact the people or companies that you want to work for and show them what you can offer.
NOW SUM ALL THAT UP IN ONE WORD…
I’d rather sum it up in an emoji: 😅
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