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Paul X. Johnson — London, UK

“I love working from a written piece because my brain naturally starts forming visual images. My notes give me a platform to be able to think more deeply about possible ideas. I’m always in my own head, thinking about something.”

The cast of Paul X. Johnson’s editorial illustrations are a beautiful but melancholy crew. Tinged with sadness, his portraiture radiates a hushed stillness akin to that evoked by the artist Lucien Freud and largely inspired by his interest in the restraint of Japanese Ukiyo wood-blocks. Unsurprisingly considering that he was born and raised in the UK’s industrial North-East, he enjoys painting dull cloudy skies and bleak landscapes, something that has informed his muted palette.

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