|It’s not every day that you get a limited edition series of whiskies named after you, but this is exactly what happened to Peter Arkle when anCnoc got in touch with him to collaborate on a project for them. In Part 1 I got the inside story from anCnoc as to how the project came about and some information on the anCnoc Peter Arkle 1st Edition. In this part I catch up with Peter and we have a conversation about his beginnings, his design process and what it feels like having a whisky named after yourself.|
Do yourself a favour and watch the video below if you haven’t seen it before reading the full interview.
[vimeo width=”600″ height=”338″]http://vimeo.com/40544573[/vimeo]
Did you watch the video? Pretty good isn’t it? It really sparked my interest in the collaboration and was the catalyst to me writing these two posts. Hats off to Foundlight Productions for a great job. Now let’s get on with the interview!
WTF: Please give us a bit of a background on yourself – Peter Arkle – Illustrator Extraordinaire
WTF: Is it the first time you’re designing packaging for a company?
PA: I have done drawings for packages for Brooks Running Shoes and Bumble and bumble hair products. This is the first package I have done that has my name embossed on it in shiny letters.
WTF: Do you travel extensively for your work, or do you make use technology (e.g. Skype) for meetings?
Time magazine once flew me to Ohio to spend an afternoon watching new voting machines being demonstrated in a supermarket. Moscow’s Snob magazine flew me all the way to Moscow to
hang out and have fun (and write/draw about it) for a week.
WTF: Can you walk us through your process of capturing the essence of the whisky & distillery?
PA: Basically I try to collect as much information as possible: Written notes, doodles and sketches and tons of photos.
WTF: I really appreciated two comments you made in the video: 1. When talking about how you work you stated that it was “an evolving, rambling process” – does this sum up your design process? How does that gel with working to a spec?
Sometimes I am in the middle of scanning one drawing when I look at it with new eyes and decide on doing a totally new drawing. One drawing tends to lead to another – how quickly and how many times that can happen depends on the budget and time constraints of a particular assignment. Art directors often tell me that they need to have a finished drawing really quickly and then say “…but I want you to have fun.” So, I have learned lots of ways of having fun very quickly.
WTF: And 2. You also said that “try to look at things from a different angle” – this definitely comes across in some of your more whimsical drawings/concepts – the “wellies with tails”, “anCnoc rat” and “ageing diary”. You really seem to have had fun with it. Does this apply to all the projects you work on?
WTF: What kind of brief did anCnoc give you?
PA: AnCnoc gave me a fairly open brief – the only thing was that whatever I did had to be about anCnoc and had to fit on their bottle and cardboard tube.
WTF: And were you given free reign with regards to the end product?
PA: Yes. But I sent them lots of ideas so they had plenty of things to choose from.
WTF: Have you tasted the whisky named after yourself – the Peter Arkle 1st Edition? How would you describe it?
WTF: Can you tell us more about future the Peter Arkle releases?
PA: There will be a 2nd global release (with another of my drawings on it) in late August/early September of this year as well as a travel retail pack which will be launched in October of this year. This will include a travel-themed drawing by me. As for 2013… who knows!?
WTF: And what about release dates & markets?
WTF: Finally, what was your most memorable experience of the project, albeit working at home, or over in Scotland.
A huge thank you to Peter for indulging my curiosity and finding time in his schedule to share his story with me and for the sketches from his anCnoc sketchbook – the very drawings he made while at the distillery.
I find it fascinating that a Google search can lead to you having your name appear on a bottle of whisky – I can’t wait for a distillery to approach me for a Whisky Tasting Fellowship bottling!