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Makers Exhibition: Old Town by Simon Fowler

When most people think of Leigh-on-Sea they think about the sun shining on the estuary and the blustery walks through the Old Town. There are Fisherman’s Cottages a plenty and enough seafood to keep the locals and tourists well served throughout the year.

So, it seems fitting for local Designer Simon Fowler to have used this as the inspiration for his upcoming Makers Exhibition entitled ‘Old Town’, which will showcase a series of bright and vibrant illustrations featuring well known monuments from the town such as Gypsy Bridge and the Endeavour.

Simon’s exhibition at Create98 will run from the 22nd October – 12th November and we met up with him ahead of the opening to have a chat about his work.

Simon, we’re looking forward to displaying your work in the studio! Tell us about the inspiration for these pieces.

“I’d previously made a series of illustrations for a friend of mine who owns a café in Harlow. They were really well received and are something a bit different, I think. For me it just made sense to do a series of illustrations for Leigh-on-Sea, which is where I’ve lived for most of my life.

The Old Town has always been a source of inspiration for me, I used to live at the bottom of Leigh Hill so spent a lot of time walking around the area, the old buildings are just great!”

Aren’t they just! So, when you say Illustration, are these all hand drawn by you?

“They are; well hand drawn using a computer! Each image focusses on the main subject but I still wanted to find a way of telling the story in the background. So, you will see that a lot of the images detail what’s in the background, but it has been created using single colours so that it’s simple, yet really effective.

When I started making the images for Harlow, I dabbled with creating a shadow around the main subject – which has now become a trend in all of the images ever since. It really highlights the centre of the piece and makes it pop.”

Great! For anyone who doesn’t know you, can you tell us a bit about you and how you got started in the world of Design and Photography?

“I started my career as an Illustrator. For 15 years I worked in the automotive sector and drew all the assembly instructions for manufacturers such as Mercedes, Audi and Porsche. I’ve also created illustrations for the MOD and once created visuals for the Sultan of Brunei of his Rolls Royce!

Since then I have been working for myself and undertaking various different projects over the years. I’m now really proud to be the Co-owner of Chufd in Leigh-on-Sea which is a social enterprise where we harness the talent of Designers from all over the world. We’ve currently got over 80 Designers on our books, some who are super experienced and have been doing this for years and some who are amongst the world’s best up and coming talent. It means that all of our clients get a unique experience and we can always find the perfect Designer for every brief we receive.”

If you’d like to pop in and see Simon’s exhibition please email so that we can help you to find the best time. Simon’s work will be on display between the 22nd October and the 12th November with a selection of different sizes pieces available to purchase.


What People Say…

Thanks to the Virtual Write Club and Create98 I’ve got plenty of momentum now!!

Adrian Lacey -

“If you haven't been to a Leigh-on-Sea Supper Club event at Create98 - go! The food was delicious, and even though they've had to make some adjustments due to Covid-19, the atmosphere was lovely and what better way to sample a different culture on your doorstep.”

Natasha Kwakwa -

“It was really great to be back at Create98 with Christine and Debbie. Had a lovely 2 days and I've got another mosaic course booked for August - can't wait!”

Joan Simmons -

“Susan is a talented Artist and Teacher. I wish I'd had her teaching me years ago!”

Lou -

“It's great that the Tutors are all published writers who really know the industry, but are also very encouraging and enthusiastic.”

Lynden Wade -

“I’ve been attending Create98’s Virtual Write Club since lockdown began, which has been an absolute tonic every Wednesday evening.”

Ray Morgan -

“Enjoyed our class last night! And the Covid stuff was dealt with and handled really well.      ”

Lucy Saunders -

“Great idea. Wonderful workshops to do something different . Already booked up six workshops for next three months.😀”

Alison Pollard -

“Thoroughly enjoyed the 'Celebrating Chelsea' flower school special today, helping to create the floral installation outside the shop, together with other designs internally. Christine and her team were relaxed and helpful as were the other participants. Will be returning regularly to experience other creative courses. Thank you Create 98.”

Patsy Wiggins -

“I just love everything about the place! From the friendliness that immediately puts you at ease, the excellent equipment/tools for the course, the generosity of the host when prosecco is included! I really enjoy anytime I spend there.”