Ollie Hirst's conceptual illustrations on science, the human body, and some of the world's biggest stories

The Shadow King

Describing himself as a "life-long cardiac pacemaker patient", Manchester-based Ollie Hirst is a conceptual illustrator that has a natural affinity to science and the human body, but he also loves to stay abreast of world news.

"I like my work to hinge on a strong idea and the concept usually drives it, helped by a splash of colour," he tells Creative Boom. "I'd say my work is a look at the real world, often through a filter of humanity and what it means to be human."

Hands feature a lot in Ollie's work, too: "I'd say that's because I find them more interesting than faces. They are emotive but can sometimes pose questions, which has led some people to say most of my work quite thought-provoking."

Fresh out of illustrating for the University of Sheffield on 'greenwashing' and our plastic consumption, Ollie has also just created artwork for Politico on its 'How Europe failed the Coronavirus test' story.

Aside from working with other clients such as The Washington Post, Financial Times, Adobe, WeTransfer, and The Big Issue, Ollie was recently asked by BounceBack Food to be involved in a new recipe fundraising book they were collaborating on with 20 artists of all ages, across Manchester and the North West. Thanks to amazing support via crowdfunding, the project is going ahead, and Ollie's contribution focuses on Cuba.

"I could already hear the music and see the colours. As the heart of the Caribbean, Cuba has a rich history, rooted in community and it was important in my eyes to capture that," he says.

Find out more about Ollie's work at www.olliehirst.co.uk.

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