Thomas Radclyffe: May Artist of the Month May 02 2017

As we all recover from a pretty wet bank holiday weekend many of us are returning to work within the inspiring structures of the city. We thought who better to catch up with than Illustrator Thomas Radclyffe! Radclyffe is an artist with a architectural background who creates stunning prints as often featuring memorable landmarks as imagined, sprawling cityscapes.

We talk everything from bedroom studios, sci-fi influences and even a recipe for a new way to use any left over hot cross buns you might still be able to grab hold of.




Tell us a bit about yourself. Can you recall how and why you became a maker?

I suppose I have always been artistic and drew loads as a child, I initially went to university to become a graphic designer but fell into illustration when I realised that was how I approached every brief.
It wasn’t until the third year of my BA that architecture really became the focal point of my work and as a result I decided to push the work further through a MA course - which is where you guys found me!

What are your main inspirations and influences for the work?

Architecture is obviously a big inspiration to me, but now days around 90% of what I draw is entirely imagined. I like to take bits I like from certain buildings and cut them together into something new.
I like that the drawn world does not have to follow the rules of physics, my drawings are crowded to an impossible sense with buildings often inhabiting the same physical space.

A lot of my influences come from artists who work in architecture. Piranesi, Hugh Ferriss, Lebbeus Woods…
I’m working on a more sci-fi influenced piece at the moment, so taking a lot of influence from pulp illustrators like Frank R Paul.

What is the process?

Everything is hand drawn with little real planning. I like there to be a bit of spontaneity so just fill in details straight with pen.
Usually there is a very rough sketch, which is quickly transferred to paper with the buildings and perspective roughly outlined - then I just fill in the blanks.

If you check my twitter or instagram (@tomradclyffe) I try and post process shots - when I remember!

Where are you based and how does that affect your work?

I’m based in West Hampstead and work from the corner of my bedroom. That obviously has a more physical affect on my work and limits the sizes of certain pieces.
I really want to work bigger and bigger, but in reality I don’t have anywhere to produce work on that scale.

What do you enjoy most about being a maker?

I have always been quite quiet and introverted, I like that drawing gives me a way of reaching and connecting with people, but also gives me a lot of time on my own to work on the images.

It's Spring! What's your favourite thing about this time of year?

I am so excited about the lighter warmer evenings. Winter seems to have lasted forever this year!

Do you have a top tip or what is something that others might think is a little odd but you think is actually brilliant? 

My girlfriend always says this is odd, but poached egg on a hot cross bun is definitely a favourite. But only at easter and only hot cross buns, tea cakes are not the same.

Do you have a recommendation for a good book/ tv series/ film/ podcast etc?

I’m listing to a lot of the Arrest All Mimics podcast at the moment, it has some great insights into illustration as an industry and really interesting guests.
I love the 99% Invisible podcast as well, the recent updates on Usonia were fascinating.




Thank you so much Tom!


You can currently purchase a range of Tom's prints online with more in store

Keep up to date with him over on his twitter


or over at his website