Interview: We talk to menswear artist, Mr Slowboy

You know you've made it when you've got a portrait of yourself in oil on canvas hanging over your fireplace...

In the meantime, for something a bit more affordable and much more whimsical, reach out to the 36-year-old London-based artist known as Mr. Slowboy. You can email him photos to work from, which certainly beats trying to sit still for a hundred hours. Gentleman’s Journal recently reached out to the mysterious artist to find out more about his work.

GJ: What are some of your more notable projects?

MS: I’ve done projects for Lock & Co Hatters, Alfred Dunhill, London Undercover, and Fox Brothers in London, The Armoury in New York, Pelikamo/Tailor’s Coffee in Zürich, as well as Esquire in Beijing. 

GJ: How can people buy your work?

MS: At the moment you can only purchase some limited edition prints from London Undercover, both online and in-store.

GJ: And what about commissions?

MS: I do take private commissions, but selectively of course. The cost could vary depending on the brief, but starts at £800.

GJ: Did you originally become an illustrator because of an interest in men’s fashion, or did you discover style and tailoring long after you became an artist?

MS: I used to be a creative director in an advertising agency, who had to spend most of the time and energy on creating “big ideas.” But I always spared some time for drawing, because I had wanted to be an illustrator since my teenage years and my interest in men’s fashion also started around the same time. After working at the agency for 12 years, I thought I had achieved enough. In late 2015 I moved from Beijing to London and started pursuing my illustrator dream.

GJ: What are your menswear influences? What eras, looks, designers or countries do you most admire?

MS: I love both the Ivy League Look as well as classic sartorial style, and I like menswear from ’30s to the ’50s, when gentlemen wore suits and jackets. I really admire Yves Saint Laurent for the way he dressed: always appropriate and always elegant. 

GJ: Menswear illustration has such a great tradition. What are your artistic influences or artists and eras you most admire?

MS: I draw a lot of influence from the British portrait artist Sir Leslie Ward, who did more than a thousand portraits for Vanity Fair. I also integrate some Indian miniature painting techniques, and on top of that, the Japanese master Hozumi Kazuo inspired me a great deal, especially the touch of quirkiness.

GJ: How did you come up with the nickname Mr. Slowboy?

MS: I’m very slow it’s as simple as that.

GJ: Finally, how can people contact you?

Further Reading