Artist in Residence - Lance Hill

Welcome to the first Artist in Residence feature. Interviewing a whole host of arty types in their studios and trying to find out how they build a temple to creativity or a secure a sanctuary away from the world.

Lance Hill is creative guru of Brighton based Graphic Design Agency, Blank Associates.

When we work together in our home office, there are very clear delineation lines between my space and his – and in fact we are currently in the process of me moving upstairs and Lance taking on the entire room to himself. So, I thought it would be a good time to ask about the stuff that he likes to have around him and whether working from home is a good or bad thing.

Lance Hill with some favourite inspiration

Lance Hill with some favourite inspiration

1.    Where-abouts do you work? In my home office / spare room / dumping ground

2.    How long have you been working from here? 7 years

3.    Where did you come from before this? Serviced offices in town

4.    What are the pros and cons of working from home? I can put a wash on – which is a pro and a con. I like to keep this space separate as much as possible from whats going on in the rest of the house, and from the children for example. I think when your work is in your home you need to make it look different, which can annoy people but I think to be able to work effectively you sometimes have to mark your territory.

5.    What items do you like to have around you? Stuff that makes you feel inspired, lots of visual stimulation and reference, nice images or a lovely bit of type to help get you going.

Lance's pinboard

Lance's pinboard

6.    What is your one favourite item? My record player. Its a good distraction if I want to play some music I have to get up from my chair and move away from my desk to put a single on. Its tactile as well, unlike digital music. Also,  it was record covers that made me want to become a designer in the first place, to me they are beautiful things and I like to be surrounded by them all the time.

The beloved record player

The beloved record player

7.    What is your one most useful item? The computer unfortunately. Or a pencil because it doesn’t tend to crash or need its software updating. It just works. You don’t need a computer to be a designer its just a tool.

8.    How has this space affected your work and your thinking? Sometimes its really good, sometimes really annoying. It’s good because its comfortable and I feel literally ‘at home’ here. But it can be distracting, particularly when the kids come home. It’s also helpful because you can’t be creative 9 to 5 so you can pop into your studio at any time. Although saying that - you don’t need an office to be creative either.

9.    What one thing would make it better? Kate Moss

10. Where do you go or what do you do to find inspiration? Loads! Anywhere, even just walking to the end of the road can give me loads of ideas. You sometimes just have to change your environment, for example a browse in Waterstones or just going to get a sandwich from M&S can be enough.

11. Can you describe your perfect studio? Yes - big and spacious with space to walk around so you didn’t have to sit at a desk all the time. Honestly, if I could I wouldn’t have a desk, you don’t need a desk really.

Pin ups feature heavily in Lance's studio from this deco ornament to modern magazine photos.

Pin ups feature heavily in Lance's studio from this deco ornament to modern magazine photos.

12. Do you find this space energizing or relaxing? It can be both – which is why music is so important to help create a mood. I choose music based on what I need to do.

13. Do you keep a strict routine in your studio? God no - thats why I'm self employed.

14.  Is there anywhere else you like to work? Yes, I'm always 'at work' and never switch off wherever I am. You can find inspirational things anywhere – being creative is a state of mind, not a location.

15. If you could choose one person (alive or dead) to collaborate with, who would you choose? Peter Saville. He is the reason I do the job.

16. Where / What next? I’m happy with my own company and I’m looking forward to having my own space. Otherwise it’s a compromise – and everybody loses!

So there we have it. Some of Lance's design work can be found at It will be interesting to see how Lance's studio evolves when it is purely his environment and how my attic differs from the shared space we both currently inhabit.

Coming soon, artistic polymath Ste McGregor.