Antony Forbes has been appointed as the illustrator for a new publication that will be given away free as part of the Homes for Heroes 100 programme.
Homes for Heroes 100: A Century of Council Housing in Bristol is devised, researched and written by local journalist and author Eugene Byrne. It will feature three principal elements: a chronological account of Bristol housing containing images, graphic panels, quotes and statistical information; a number of comic-strip style stories following three generations of a Bristol family; and a section that readers can use to identify and ‘collect’ several different house types in the city.
Thanks to funding from Bristol City Council and the National Lottery Heritage Fund, Bristol Cultural Development Partnership (BCDP) will be able to publish 50,000 copies that will be given away at Homes for Heroes 100 events and distributed through the city’s libraries between June 2019 and June 2020.
Antony Forbes is a local illustrator living and working in Bristol. He was born in St Pauls in 1964 and grew up in the council estate of Southmead, where his parents and all his friends still live.
In 1995 he enrolled onto the BA Honours Illustration course at UWE Bower Ashton and graduated in 1999. Straight after his degree show he signed with Sylvie Poggio, a London-based artist agent. The agency specialises in educational publishing and the majority of Antony’s commissions are through the English Language Teaching department at Oxford University Press where he creates artwork for school books that are used around the world. In 2018 he decided to return to UWE and is currently studying a Masters degree in Graphic Arts.
Melanie Kelly, Research Director and Project Manager for BCDP, was a member of the panel assessing the submissions sent in response to the call for artists. She says:
All those who applied for this commission were clearly talented artists and several had extensive professional experience. What made Tony stand out was his existing knowledge of the subject, his passion for the project and his understanding of the aims of the wider Homes For Heroes 100 programme. We look forward to working with him over the coming months.
As part of the submission process, applicants were set a choice of assignments. Antony worked on all three. The first was to sketch a front cover design inspired by the famous photograph of a soldier returning home from the Second World War to be greeted by his wife and son outside their new pre-fab home. Antony offered two versions.
The second assignment was aimed at the ‘I Spy’ section and was for an accurate sketch of an AIROH house exterior, front-facing directly, with one quirky touch.
The final assignment was to sketch a sample frame to fit one third of a page of A4 showing a scene from the comic-strip featuring the characters of Daisy, her husband George, her daughter Doris and son-in-law Norman (Eugene Byrne provided some background about the characters and the situation to be depicted).