On Art - Suki Bishop

"I was still living at home with my parents and when I met Ron I'd started to work after leaving St Martins School of Art in London. I'd made an animated film there which went into my degree show, and I got offered a job by Rank. It was the advertising section of the film company. I was the only girl in the art department and I started working quite closely with one of the directors who was running the art department. I was making commercials and documentaries and then I started doing some animated films for the BBC for a programme called 'Vision On'.

"It was all stop frame animation, not cell drawing. It was all cut out artwork, moving a bit, clicking the camera and going on. It was all quite laborious. Then when Ron and Chris found this place down in the Westcountry, I got roped in to do all the artwork when we set the company up.

"Ron and I had a tiny little terraced house in Fulham and down in the basement I'd got my plantestand, a lightbox and great stacks of Letraset. Chris would come up and we'd talk about what we were going to do and we'd sit there in the basement and think about copy. Chris and Ron would write copy and I'd do the layouts and eventually produce all the ads. It was painstaking because every bit of wording was hand Letrasetted, which is rubbed down lettering. I don't know if it exists anymore but in those days that's how I did it.

"I went through books and books of layout paper and this is all Letraset stuff. I did a lot of things for the t-shirts as well, there were the badges, the letterheads.

"Then we did the little brochure. I remember I did the cover for it and I had this guy on a surfboard on the front and I didn't put a face on him for a long time. In the end Chris said: "For God's sake! You can't have a faceless surfer on the front cover of the thing!" That was our first little brochure that went out. All of these were just done in the basement of this little place in Fulham that we had. There was no brief. It was all up to me. It was just what I came up with. It was all this hand drawing and Letrasetting at night when I got back from the film company.

"Chris and Ron between them came up with all the copy, I did all the artwork and ... oh it looks so dated now it's a joke! But we thought it was wonderful at the time. Ron organised these guys to fly post all round London so it was all very exciting in those days. It was terrific and we were all good friends. As the years went by I was working up in town and I had little children, I saw less and less of it.

"So my involvement was sitting in a basement up in London!"

Original Artwork by kind permission of Suki Bishop.