‘Having an intellectual justification for my compulsion is very handy’
You’ve seen the work of East London illustrator and IO collaborator Rob Flowers – even if you’ve never heard of him. His illustrations recently featured on the front cover of Creative Review, and he’s worked for everyone from Nike and Google to Children in Need and Action Aid.
There’s an unavoidably youthful familiarity to Rob’s characters, largely owing to his unique source of inspiration – his formidable toy collection and his love of 1970’s and 80’s McDonalds merchandise. His favourite pieces are frequently referenced in his work, and ensure an innovative and emotive consistency to all that Rob touches.
The soft toy he created for Infinite Objects, the Woahnut, was (fittingly enough) designed around the theme of infinity. He says of the space doughnut: ‘I think of him as being more indifferent than unhappy, like most gods he’s probably pretty bored. He’s definitely pure sugar, whatever flavour those rainbow cakes are that’s what he is. The cloth toys that I’ve made are inspired by some in my collection, I’ve got a awesome Hamburglar cloth toy that was the basis for what I was trying to do with him but I’d quite like to revisit the character and see what else I could make with him, maybe something ceramic would be fun.’.
2017 is already promising to be one of his most successful years in the industry yet, as he fulfils a career ambition in speaking at this May’s Pictoplasma festival in Berlin. Rob’s also just signed a deal to write and illustrate a global encyclopaedia of ritual and costume – there’s a video game in the pipeline too.