George Law has a lot to thank his parents’ takeaway for.
The 28-year old Sheffield illustrator and artist – who is now working on commissions from the likes of Microsoft – cut his teeth doodling as a toddler at his parents’ Chinese takeaway.
“I remember – I’d sit there for ages with my aunty and I’ve even got one of the drawings I did, it was one of my hand, I drew around it.”
Geo Law, as he is known in the art-graffiti world, has adorned Sheffield’s walls with images of surreal characters.
His creations are cartoon-like, friendly but very detailed and meticulously-drawn.
“Ideas just pop in to my head really. And the characters are completely made-up but I suppose I am inspired by all kinds of things.
“There was one book I read a lot when I was a kid called Journey to the West and I loved the characters in that book.
“I also played a lot of computer games when I was younger and I read a lot of comics so there’s an element of those too.”
There is indeed an element of Nintendo about George’s work and it is that which has caught the imagination of people.
One of his recent commissions was to illustrate the waiting room of Sheffield Children’s Hospital.
“It was really nice – there were lots of children coming up and asking me questions.”
George also created the ‘Teatopia’ tea towel for Sheffield Museums which shows a huge teacup, sat in a cloud, with birds bathing in the drink.
He has also produced work for Converse and – more recently – a brand new organic superstore known as Wholefoods in London.
“That’s the latest commission,” he says, looking at the huge spread of intricate designs and floorplans on his studio wall.
“It’s good doing work in London because people see you and often I get other commissions from that.”
It is not hard to see how George is grabbing attention.
On his site there is a video of him doodling a huge scene onto a bright yellow wall.
“I enjoy working on site,” he says. “But I also like getting on with my own stuff and that’s what I want to focus on in the short-term future.”
Being on his own is what George likes best.
“I love my studio space. I work here on my own but I also get to see other artists so I have that interaction when I need it or want it.”
George works from S1 Artspace, near Division Street, though the illustrator served his apprenticeship much further away than Sheffield.
“I did an internship for four months as a graphic designer in the Czech Republic in 2008 after I finished university but decided graphic design wasn’t for me.
“At that time I also launched a clothing label back here in Sheffield called the Handtu Collective and we ran a shop on Division Street.
“That was good but we closed the shop eventually and I realised that retail wasn’t the end game I wanted to be in.
“It’s the illustration work that I really enjoy and I have been lucky with commissions like the Wholefoods job and I’ve also had a commission from Microsoft so I’m really pleased.
“I feel I’m getting better and better.”
But George is honest about his motivation to work as an illustrator.
“I’m just a big kid who likes to draw,” he says.