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23 June 2015

le cool

The incredible Stephen Wiltshire as cover interview for le cool magazine ahead of his in-store signing at The Stephen Wiltshire Gallery.

We imagine that pretty much all of our readers are aware of Stephen Wiltshire – his incredible renditions of super detailed cityscapes, done just from memory, have been subject of countless TV programmes and magazine articles. He has his own gallery on Royal Opera Arcade and, to celebrate its 10th anniversary, he’ll be there from 4pm – 6pm 14th May doing an in store signing. Josh Jones caught up with him for a quick chat.

Hey Stephen, how’s it going? Congratulations on your gallery’s 10 year anniversary!

Thank you very much. I am very proud of my gallery.

What music do you listen to when you’re working? Is it the same every time or do you like new music?
I like 60′s, 70′s motown, disco, r’n’b and also the latest charts. I have a lot of songs on my iPhone and always download some more. Music helps me to focus on my work.

When you start a huge piece like the Singapore one, do you see where everything will go on the canvas before you start or does your pen take on a life of its own?

First I go on a helicopter ride over the city, take in the view and then I might do a small sketch in my hotel room to work out the layout. With the Singapore Panorama I only used pen on paper and put as much details in my drawing as possible. Sometimes I work on different parts of my drawing and it all comes together in the end.

What’s your favourite piece that you’ve ever done?
New York street scenes, traffic chaos and the square avenues with skyscrapers. My favourite city is New York – London is my hometown.

Some people might not know that you’ve also drawn portraits of people – who has been the most interesting person to sit for you?

I draw people in my private sketchbook, celebrities and friends. I liked Cameron Diaz. Very pretty, very nice and looks very sexy (I also like brunettes!)

Have film makers ever asked you to design futuristic cityscapes for science fiction films? Because they really should if they haven’t. Is CGI something you’re interested in at all?

I have designed futuristic buildings before and also my imaginary city too with hundreds of buildings and parks, but not for films just yet.

Where can we see more of your work?

My own gallery is at 5 Royal Opera Arcade, Pall Mall, London SW1Y 4UY.