PAUL LEITH

Illustrator currently working on a variety of creative projects, please get in touch if you would like to commission a project, collaborate or just to say hello.

Phone UK 01228 594 195 Email lydialeith@gmail.com

 

QUOTES:

Quentin Blake:
Illustrator & Pauls former teacher at the RCA.

” I first encountered Paul Leith’s work when he was a post graduate student at the Royal College of Art.  His is an unusual talent which manages to convey atmospheres of retro art along with a personal voice.  I don’t think I have ever seen anything quite like it and I still admire it now in its more recent manifestations. ”

Professor Geoff Grandfield: 
Illustrator and Course Director for BA Illustration Animation at Kingston University.

“For me his work was an inspiration. He came at a time when the referencing of previous style decades was crude pastiche (not naming names), obviously pre google and Steven Heller’s massive trawl and chronicle books repros so less knowledge around.

He seemed reference British deco/ravillious/bawden/poster art graphic directness and importantly made it his own (maybe not consciously?) in a fresh spare and powerful way. Like the best communicators it was what it didn’t do that created its individuality. I always enjoyed seeing his work amidst the piles of crap commissioned and i think it made me think that it might be possible to make a living from illustration as an original, not following the dominant trend. He made his own visual identity, however he hit a popular nerve and that i remember hearing the story that his own agent (sharp practice?) set up Dolores Fairman to copy his style as he couldn’t meet all the demand? Not sure if that was true but put me off agents for life!  anyway when i finally met him when i asked him into Middlesex to do a talk he was as charming as i had hoped, though he did flummox the students by turning his talk into a kind of crit about where he should go next with his work! they didn’t know what to make of highly successful doubt!”

Humphrey Ocean
RA Artist.
“I met Paul Leith at the Radio Times building in Marylebone High Street around 1975. The RT commissioned drawings in those days. Paul was always there at the end of the week handing in his work so we would coincide on the relatively rare occasions I was asked to do something. It was the famous Christmas parties that rounded up these sparsely remunerated souls, made even better by Kenneth Williams standing in the corner, loving being there and enjoying being funny.

Paul’s distinctive and wistful illustrations reflected a newer age, more Ravilious than Rockwell but modern, cut loose from the explanatory stuff we had grown up with. They combined daily activity with an atmospheric isolation, something about the mottled planes of pink and lemon and grey. Figures adrift, even in a crowd. He pioneered a detachment prevalent in newspapers to this day.

Many years later I moved into the next street to Paul. He always had a motorcycle in bits in the house. Even his humour was detached. Still is. When eventually he moved away to Cumbria our neighbourhood became a duller place.”

 

Jacqui Figgis
Pauls former agent from Sharp Practice.

“Paul’s work was so cutting edge, he was very brave, in a world of airbrush realism he went completely out on a limb, early days colour pencil. He did all the most innovative authors covers, Knut Hamson etc.

I have a huge regard and respect for Paul, he was the ultimate professional to work with, he pulled the rabbit out of the hat every time.  Paul Leith, summed up, a gentle man of great talent and quiet humour, a professional to work with and an inspirational talent.”

 

Pedro Silmon
Former Sunday Times Art Direcor.
“I have a couple of framed small, simple maps that he did for John Tennant at The Sunday Times Magazine, for another travel story on drives through France. I remember Paul wandering into the office wearing his leather jacket and either wearing or carrying his old-fashioned motorbike helmet, looking a bit lost. He stayed for no more than 15 minutes, picked up a couple of French road maps from John and disappeared off to France. We weren’t at all sure whether we’d ever see him again.

We were doing a Men’s Fashion Special in about 1986 and I wanted it to look really different from anything that might have appeared in Arena, Vogue Hommes, etc. One of the features was about beachwear – shorts, sunhats and short-sleeved shirts – and I commissioned Paul to produce three, or possibly four, full-bleed, consecutive double-page spread illustrations for it. They were some of the most colourful and lively fashion pages The Sunday Times Magazine ever published.”

 

CLIENTS INCLUDE: 

MURALS:

HARDWICK CIRCUS, CARLISLE DULUX PAINT

HAMMONDS POND, CARLISLE COUNCIL

TALKIN TARN, BIRD OBSERVATORY

CARLISLE TRAIN STATION, VIRGIN TRAINS

SOHO BRASSERIE

NEXT, HEAD OFFICE

EDITORIAL & BOOKS:

TIMES

GUARDIAN

RADIO TIMES

BOSTON GLOBE

ROLLING STONE

NEW YORK TIMES

ECONOMIST

SUNDAY TIMES

OBSERVER

INDEPENDENT

ARCHITECTURAL REVIEW

VOGUE

HONEY

COSMOPOLITAN

ELLE

COUNTRY LIFE

FINANCIAL TIMES

T.E.S.

PENGUIN BOOKS

PAN BOOKS

PLUTO PRESS

FABER&FABER

VICTOR GOLLANCZ

MACMILLAN PUBLISHING

BEASLEY

PACKAGING, ADVERTISING & PRINT: 

 VAUXHALL

SAINSBURY

MUSICSALES

B.T.

BRITISH RAIL

BOOTS

SAINSBURYS

SAFEWAY

ASDA

CADBURYS

HSBC

BODY SHOP

ROYAL MAIL

COSTAINS

SINGAPORE AIRLINES

WH SMITHS

BRITISH AIRWAYS

OASIS SHOP

LIBERTYS