An Artist Interview with... Tim Bulmer!

An Artist Interview with... Tim Bulmer!

We asked Tim Bulmer, a UK based artist, a few questions about his artwork!

We have a fantastic range of county map jigsaw puzzles by Tim Bulmer on our store, plus many more fun and fascinating puzzles about all manor of topics, including Wine, Gin and Cricket!

So without further ado, here is our interview with Tim so we could find out more about him...

We would love to learn more about you! Tell us a little bit about yourself, Tim.

'I was born in 1958 in Northumberland and was sent away to school, which in the 60's and 70's was a rather cruel environment. Then I lived in North Yorkshire before going off to art school firstly Tees Side and then Wimbledon School Of Art to study Theatre Design of all things. I did work in the theatre, briefly, but that was to shift scenery and make the lights work.'

'I was lucky to be offered a job in a brand new picture framing company called Frame Express where we were expected to frame the customers' pictures in under the hour. Very stressful! My next place of work was Forest Gallery in Guildford where I was supposed to be a sales person - but I was useless - so I concentrated on mounting up the work instead and would doodle on the table tops. Rather than fire me they put frames around the doodles and my career as a cartoonist had started.'

Tim Bulmer Kent Jigsaw Puzzle
Comical Map of Kent by Tim Bulmer

    What inspired you to become an artist?

    'Life in general! It wasn't intended to be anything that sold necessarily. Schooldays could be fairly grim - all those cold baths and running up fells. Drawing just kept me sane. I spent all my time in the art department which may not have impressed the authorities but I loved it. After that I just never really stopped. It was others who saw the merit in it-I didn't show it to anybody as such. I think the word is serendipity but don't quote me on that-I'm not even sure I can spell it!'

      When did you start drawing your fantastic images?

      'The first fuss I seem to recall made over my drawings was as a six year old at my local Primary School in South Yorkshire (our first family home) I can't recall what it looked it like exactly but I seem to recollect trees and beehives. All very surreal - I don't know what it was they must have been feeding us in those days. The cartoons grew from that point I suppose. When people show encouragement you don't tend to stop and however hard they try stop you in the future you refuse to give up. A useful lesson all round!'

        We love the comical map range, what inspired you to draw them?

        'Living in Yorkshire I simply wanted to come up with an image that said (funnily enough) "YORKSHIRE" - they are extremely proud of their county up there and of course one can end up well and truly covered in egg. I didn't really do anything with it though and it lived in my plan chest for about ten years. It was only after being commissioned to illustrate a book about Yorkshire that I got it out and turned it into a poster to go in the back of the book. It went down like a plate of Fat Rascals (that's good by the way) and I was asked to try another map, then another and another…….'

        Tim Bulmer Map of Yorkshire
        Comical Map of Yorkshire by Tim Bulmer

          What is your favourite subject to draw?

          'I love doing maps - the research - the plotting out - all the daft and/or interesting facts - the rough sketch, tidying it all up into an attractive entity. The accuracy isn't great, don't whatever you do try to navigate your way round the country using my maps. It is a long old process but by the time I am three quarters of the way through one map I am already thinking of the next!'

          Thank you, Tim :)

          You can find Tim's fantastic comical map jigsaw puzzles here: Tim Bulmer Jigsaw Puzzles.
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