Iain proves quick on the draw
Airdrie duo’s collaboration
Two of Airdrie’s creative talents collaborated on a recent project, and made such a perfect partnership that they are already working on their next venture.
Calderbank artist Iain Johnston illustrated the cover of Rawyards poet Tony Wilson’ s latest anthology, Going Undercover.
Both had met at a writing group in the town and Iain said: “I showed Tony some of my work and he was quite interested.
“I’ve illustrated a few magazine covers in the past; my whole family are artists and have had this as a hobby for four or five generations.
“Tony had an idea for the cover and gave me a suggestion of what he wanted – he had this idea of a man at a bus stop with a bag on his head, and I did rough sketches and then the final version took a further two hours to do.
“He’s already working on his next book and asked me to do the cover for that too, which I’ve already completed for him and is ready and waiting for the next volume.”
Iain, 77, is also a keen writer and recently teamed up with Craigneuk writer Janette Horn to produce a volume entitled Echoes of War, detailing the stories of some of Monklands’ WWI heroes.
He said: “I did a rough version of the cover, which the printer then took on; and did all the pen and ink illustrations for inside.
“It was a good project to work on and the book has been selling well.”
He added: “I use lots of different mediums – paint, pastels, pen and ink, watercolours and pencil on paperboard.
“At the moment I’m working on some magazine covers, and I’m trying to do a graphic novel.”
Going Undercover features 30 poems by Tony Wilson inspired by the people, places and memories of Monklands, and is on sale in the gift shop at Summerlee museum in Coatbridge.
The “Rawyards bard” previously told the Advertiser of his ninth anthology: “There are one or two poems about places in Airdrie, such as Henry Scott and sons, the ironmonger on Chapelside Street.
“Other poems are about local and world events, and some from when I was younger and even back at St Margaret’s High.
“I was really impressed with Iain’s sketches; he’s brilliant and the design he showed me for the book just fit perfectly.
“He’s very skilled and his design really adds to the book.”
My whole family are artists
Top team Poet Tony Wilson, left, and cover illustrator Iain Johnston