Ben Pickup

I am a freelance illustrator based in Penistone, Sheffield. I am always open to new briefs and challeneges to be thrown my way.

My Work

I mainly use pencils and alcohol based pens within my work, and I like to experiment using just a few colours to create a stronger impact, forcing certain aspects to stand out and suggest a greater meaning. My work tends to be very detailed so observational work is one of my strong points; however, I do enjoy combining images and context and challenging my creativity to produce something surreal, innovative and original.

Additionally i also have a lot of experience using design software to produce pieces of work and add finishing touches to other physical work. So this can range from logo design to full scale digital paintings and so on. At this moment i havent displayed much of my talents using design software on my website, however i will be uploading new digital artwork in the near future.


In 2016 i finished my Teacher Training (Lifelong Learning) PGCE at the University of Huddersfield / University Campus Barnsley. This has allowed me to further develop my abilities as an artist and develop my skills using materials and design software further.


My first major influence was my father; he was a signwriter and painter/decorator but he was also a BA in Fine Arts and has worked up and down the country. He has influenced and encouraged me to draw since I could first hold a pencil.

I continued to draw and studied art at school, Fine Art at college and finally moved on to illustration at the University of Central Lancashire in Preston, where I gained by BA (Hons).

During my time at college I began researching Surrealism and artists within the movement; I found extraordinary surrealists such as Salvador Dali, MC Escher, Rene Magritte, plus other artists that contained surrealistic qualities such as Dan Mumford and Drew Millward, who have all had a big influence on the direction and conceptual design of my work. I have also looked at other surrealist illustrators that I have more of a connection with and who visually excite me such as Robert Crumb, Pat Perry and John Paul Thurlow, and many other contemporary illustrators that I have found on websites and forums such as Etsy.