Poster Designer Paul Hempstead: Q&A

Having grown up in Glasgow and cut my teeth playing at the city’s clubs and learning from the scene godfathers, I love everything about the community that makes the nightlife scene so special.

One of the many figures in that community is Paul Hempstead. Poster designer and illustrator extraordinaire, he’s the visual artist behind responsible for a distinctively fun and light-hearted artistic vibe. His posters are some of my favourites ever. He’s the absolute man.

Check out a selection (picked out by the man himself) below and read a chat I had with him about Coco Pops and club nights. You can follow him on Instagram here.

Tell us a little bit about who you are and what you do…

My name is Paul Hempstead, I’m a graphic designer and illustrator from Glasgow, Scotland. I’m a ’90s kid so love all things silly and over the top from that era. I’m 25 years old and still eat Coco Pops and watch cartoons every day. At the moment I mostly create posters for clubs, DJs and music events. I think my posters all carry an element of illustration that is recognisable as my own style. 

How did you get in to poster design?

Well I was doing little bits of poster design while I was at art school for small clubs and nights for a bit of extra cash. Then when I graduated and moved back to Glasgow I turned to poster design as a source of income. It was slow at first and I was still having to work in various bars filling any spare time with poster design to try and improve in order to get my work noticed. A short while later the dudes Barry, Junior and Craig that run the long standing Glasgow night SENSU were looking for a new designer, so I managed to land a meeting with them. We had a chat, they liked my stuff, we trialled a design and then that resulted in me getting the gig and taking on all their design work. After that things snowballed, one thing led to another and now I’m super lucky to be doing posters for al kinds of great clubs and night around the world. 

What’s the Glasgow creative scene like?

I think the creative scene in Glasgow is great and always has been. Everyone is super supportive of one another and the older people in the scene are never shy to share their knowledge with the younger creatives and supply them with opportunities to collaborate or get involved in new projects. From young music producers to fine art painters and everything in between I would say Glasgow is a fantastic place to develop your skills.  

Any other artists we should be looking out for?

To be honest there is too many to list, from all areas of the creative scene. It would be rude to mention a few and not them all as there are heaps and heaps of amazing talent out there and especially coming out of Glasgow at the moment. 

Which are your favourites of your posters?

My favourite posters are the ones that I can really let my creative side out, where there isn’t too much of a brief and I can really put my stamp on them. Some of the posters shown here (gallery above) are a good example of that.

What do you listen to when you’re working?

I usually start the poster or at least develop the concept while listening a mix from the artist that it’s for. Possibly sounds a bit obvious but I find it really does help as sometimes its’ a DJ that I haven’t heard of, so to create an image that reflects that person or group is hard without a grasp on what they play. Also this often leads to me finding great music that I would otherwise not have discovered. This will usually fade out once the concept has been developed and I’ll then stick on some classic cartoons in the back ground such as Real Monsters, Rocko’s Modern LifeI Am WeaselCourage The Cowardly Dog… the list goes on.