Illustrator Interview: Gino Cullen

Categorised as ART.

Gino Cullen is a freelance illustrator with a penchant for fun-loving images, whose work consists of analogue and digital drawing, printmaking, observational studies and happiness. Having graduated from Middlesex University last July, I caught up with the sunny side up illustrator.


Hey Gino, how’s life treating you after graduation?

Hey there. It’s great to be a freelancer now, but also tough sometimes. You just
have to keep going and believe in yourself. I had the pleasure to be involved in a
lot of great exhibitions like the ‘D&AD New Blood’ and one of my images will be
featured in the Association of Illustrators ‘Images’ publication. So that’s nice.

You’re a pretty happy person, is it drugs? Or are you just high on life?

Haha, yeah definitely the drugs. Yep. Loads of crack for breakfast. No, honestly, I
am the most teetotal person in every way you could meet. And that is because I
want to be independent, ambitious and just a nice person. I do believe in karma
and all that you know.

Your illustrations reflect that, what inspires you?

I just don’t see the sense in making negative or dark art. I love to draw monsters and stuff, but even those are pretty happy dappy at the end of the day. I know this all sounds like I would just listen to MJ’s ‘Heal The World’ all day or something but I mean it. Being productive makes me happy. And being happy inspires me to do things.

What would you say is your favourite illustration to date?

Wow. I honestly can’t answer that. I tend to not like my work anymore after
some months because I always think that it could be better. You decide.

I’m gonna go with the ‘Evolution’ cover you did for Fatbread. Speaking of
which, how did the Zine come about?

We formed Fatbread Collective because of the want to collaborate and grow
together, share clients and possibly get commissioned as a collective. Fatbread
Magazine is just one of the things we are doing and we’re doing it because we
just loved the idea of producing this mix between Zine and Magazine.

What did you think of the ’10 ways to be cool’ article we collaborated on?

That was great! I bet you can’t wait to see it in print, eh? But don’t worry it’s
gonna be out soon. You came up with some pretty cool things. Except that I
bloody hate Doc Martens in contrary to you, haha (Shoe hate list: 1. Uggs, 2. Doc
Martens, 3. Adidas Superstars).

I’ll agree with you on the Uggs. They’re pretty gross. What made you want to draw for a living?

That’s a good one. I couldn’t stand the thought of just doing any random job
simply to survive. There had to be a way of earning money AND having fun
doing it. If I wasn’t an illustrator I’d probably be a bulldog, bullterrier, and
bullmastiff breeder. That’d be pretty awesome too.

Random, but cool. If you had to describe your work in three words, what would they be?

Fun. Colours. Love.

What would your illustrative interpretation of the word ‘Mint’ be?

Probably a ‘Japanese packaging’ – crazy character style – peppermint bubblegum
kind of thing.

What’s next for you?

You mean besides winning a whole lot of awards, competitions and getting
commissioned to design the next 20 Quentin Tarantino movie posters?
Well, I will go to the London Book Fair in April and got a couple of self-motivated
projects and great commissions lined up. I am also seriously thinking about
starting my own kind of something. I am just not sure yet what this something
will be.

Can’t wait to see those Tarantino movie posters.

Check out more of Gino’s work
Look out for the new issue of Fatbread Zine coming soon http://

Sufiyeh Hadian.

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