A Q&A with Andrew Groves

We teamed up with The Field to bring you this interview with the illustrator, designer, and self-taught wood carver behind Miscellaneous Adventures
April 19, 2016Words by Graham Hiemstra

We're big fans of everything the folks over at The Field are up to, which is why we thought it high time to feature a bit of their killer interviews, field reports, and photos here on the Journal. Read on to get a feel for a Q&A with Andrew Groves, the man behind Miscellaneous Adventures, and head on over to the Field to get the rest of the story. 

Andrew Groves is a UK-based illustrator and designer. And a damn good one at that. He’s worked with everyone from Cartoon Network and The New York Times to Google, The New Yorker and even our pals at Poler. But he’s also an avid outdoorsman, and self-taught wood carver. The first bit is what lead us to Andrew. And the latter is what lead him here, onto The Field. You see, a few years back Andrew started a little hobby project called Miscellaneous Adventures, bringing all aforementioned interests together in an effort to rely more on his hands than a computer, and perhaps more importantly, encourage fellow screen-based creatives to get outside and experience the great inspiration hub that nature can be.

As momentum has grown — thanks in part to MA’s inclusion in the 2014 publication The Outsiders — so has the product line. Andrew’s talented wife Emma Hughes has since joined too, bringing with her the skill set required to introduce soft goods like packs and pouches. To learn more about the beginning inspirations of Miscellaneous Adventures, what’s new in 2016, and just how one goes about turning sticks into utensils and much more, we recently caught up with Andrew Groves. Below is the resulting interview, complete with exclusive illustration, created specifically for us to share with you. 

An illustration by Andrew Groves

How has your background as an illustrator influenced Miscellaneous Adventures?

"I think it’s informed every aspect of what we do at MA. It was originally intended to be a side project to my regular illustration work—somewhere for me to create products and artwork related to my interest in outdoor activities—so that really kickstarted the whole thing. Since then, the way the products look and the graphics on the tees and patches etc are obviously directly influenced by my background, but so is the whole approach. We’re always looking for a creative angle to projects and the way we do things. Going even further, many of the people who come on the workshops are illustrators, designers, or involved in other creative industries, as well as being outdoor enthusiasts, so it’s pretty central to our whole ethos."

Have you always explored nature motifs in your illustration work?

"Yes, for sure. The outdoors and nature have been a constant source of inspiration for me and I’ve always looked to the natural world for ideas for shapes, patterns and color combinations. The way natural features get simplified for maps and signage is particularly interesting—like how everyone recognizes a triangle as a mountain or a tree—so I do this a lot in my work. I enjoy the way nature is intertwined with folklore too, so nature often features in the underlying stories of my personal work. It’s pretty hard to beat nature as a source of visual stimulation in general. There’s some crazy and beautiful stuff happening out there and it’s such a huge field of interest that there is always something new to learn from and be influenced by." [H]

Intrigued? Read the rest of the story over on The Field


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