Architectural illustrator Hexham brings big business projects to life
An architectural illustrator who moved to Northumberland for its beauty has developed a successful home business that now counts Lidl as a client base.
Londoner Simon Edwards moved to Hexham after living in Holland for 10 years, during which time he worked in the field of architecture.
After moving to Northumberland, a county he loved for his campaign, Mr Edwards created 3DArtvision in 2011 – a home-based architectural illustration and animation practice.
Specializing in the making of architectural plans through still images and digitally created animation, Mr. Edwards has produced work for a wide range of developments, from Newcastle’s Lane 7 bowling alley to the National Library of Wales.
With nearly 20 years of industry experience and formal training as an architect, Mr. Edwards has learned on his own to use modeling and rendering software, including 3ds Max and other design programs. plug-in.
Mr. Edwards explains: “I worked for architects from the start and got into the layout and visualization of plans quite early. I learned on my own how to use the software, which at the time was still in its infancy.
“My work covers the entire initial phase of information modeling in the development process. I normally collect information from the architect or developer, most often architectural plans, and turn it into an exciting and sexy image.
Using contacts developed from previous positions in industry including a Newcastle-based architectural firm, Mr Edwards landed work in the North East and beyond.
For the past four years he has illustrated developments at Tyne Valley Retail Park in Hexham and the headquarters of the Welsh language television station S4C.
His biggest client currently is Lidl for whom he has produced more than 20 illustrations for northern stores – a contract he landed after introducing himself to supermarket planners at a community consultation meeting. It was led by Leeds-based HTC Architects before landing direct work with Lidl.
Mr Edwards added: “My work is best imagined as if I was trying to produce a photograph of the development. It’s my job to get the best possible view of the designer’s building.
“Some planning authorities insist on having a visualization. In these cases, it’s all about getting the right environment. In other cases, illustrations are used by developers in their marketing efforts and may appear on the side of construction signs, as sometimes seen on construction sites.
Mr Edwards admits that it has been difficult to convince potential clients elsewhere in the country that his work in the Northeast is viable, but he points to his growing portfolio of work to counter any doubts.
In addition to commercial work, the creative entrepreneur, who dabbled in watercolor painting in the past, also produces illustrative reconstructions of historic buildings.
Recent work includes a depiction of the 16th century London Bridge, which was published in London newspapers, and the 18th century Eddystone Lighthouse off the Devonshire coast, which is to be published in the art magazine 3D 3dworld.