You know you’re in the presence of an artist when the business card they hand you looks something like this.
“It’s a sloth playing a banjo,” Neil Slorance points out helpfully. Seated in his studio/bedroom in Glasgow’s Southside, it looks as though the entire imaginative contents of Neil’s mind have exploded onto the four walls around him.
Every imaginable space has been covered in drawings of flying whales, tortoises, galaxies and dying stars.
Small robots peer out from behind curtains while a green Tyrannosaurus pops his head up above a rack of files.
And, in the midst of it all, Neil is drawing a turtle.
“I think every kid draws when they’re growing up,” says Neil. “I was always the boy who’d sit and doodle in his jotter in class while looking out the window.
“I was always drawing video game people like Super Mario or Spiderman. I just did it for fun really, I didn’t think much about it but then it sort of snowballed.
“I think a lot of kids draw at a young age, but for whatever reason they stop when they grow up. I was just one of the ones who kept going.”
Neil is now a professional artist and illustrator, creating entire small worlds of characters in his bedroom and self-publishing his works throughout the city.
“I was thinking earlier actually about how totally jammy I am,” Neil admits, a tad bashfully. “I feel just very lucky to find something I like doing, in a style I feel comfortable with. It means I’ve found a voice to express my ideas too.
“My ideas come just from doodling really. I don’t think my mind works in one set way, different ideas just hit me. But even the biggest of my projects starts from the smallest of thoughts.”
“There is quite a childish, innocent quality to the characters I draw,” adds Neil. “I use quite a lot of watercolours which hark back to children’s picture book illustrations - I love those.
“I draw childish looking ball heads with dots for eyes, but they do tell a very real, very human story about relationships."
“I’ve had people tattoo my stuff on them," Neil adds, looking slightly baffled. "A couple of people got some of my robots tattooed on their skin which sounds completely bonkers.
“I owe them everything really though. If it wasn’t for the people checking my art out and liking my stuff, well, I’d still be doing it but I wouldn’t be able to do it as much.”
“There’s a saying that art is never finished, it’s just left. There’s a lot of stuff I’m really happy with but I don’t think I’ve created the perfect piece of art yet. I don’t think I’d know if I did.”