Interview with The Pin-Up Project

Q1: Let’s start with the common question, if you can kindly introduce yourself.
My name is Philip Borg and my artistic endeavours come under the title of The Pin-Up Project, which is my continuing exploration of the traditional pin-up genre seen from a more modern angle. I work from life with real women in a traditional style, my pictures lean more toward the cute and quirky end of the spectrum.


Q2: How did you get into the field of your work?

It was purely by accident. I’d read that the original 40’s pin-ups were painted in oil so thought that doing a few little studies would be a fun way to get a bit more experience in using oils. They turned out to be not the cartoony images that I’d expected and I grew to appreciate the skill involved in producing them. I graduated from copying the original pin-ups for my own education to producing my own work. It’s a lot of fun and will hopefully be something I’ll keep doing for a while in some shape or form.


Q3: Do you have any current favourite artists, comic artists, photographers who may have influenced you to become the artist that you are?

Most of my influences are from the past, I’m a big fan of Victorian painters like Frederic Leighton, Frank Dicksee and Herbert Draper and of course the original pin-up artists like Gil Elvgren and Fritz Willis. As for more modern work, I adore the work of Chris Sanders, movie director and closet illustrator, his pin-up style cartoons are just bursting with cuteness.

Q4: What are the main tools of your trade?

I work in oils on canvas and for my preparatory sketches I use charcoal. When the painting is done it gets converted to digital to prepare it for print.


Q5: How was it for you to learn the process of that? Did you teach yourself, take classes or learn from other existing artist’s tutorial?

I’ve been drawing all my life so I’m largely self taught, I learn new stuff by just having a go which is exactly what I did with this. I do a lot of life drawing and have done for many years, that’s been the most important grounding for this type of work. The books of Andrew Loomis and Walt Stanchfield are also extremely useful to read, but I tend to pick up information from lots of different places. Nothing beats practice though.


Q6: Do you think its possible for you to describe the process of your art style, what are the dos and don’ts, the important aspects you set yourself to achieve your style of design?

It all starts with an idea which I’ll discuss with my model, I need to know what I’m doing before I arrange a sitting. I work from life for lots of reasons, mostly because you get so much from life that you couldn’t make up, plus it’s always nice to meet new people who are into pin-up art! I do a full size drawing in charcoal and a small colour study with my model in a single sitting. The drawing is then refined before being transferred to canvas where the painting begins in traditional fashion – underpainting, dead colour and then finally working up to completion.
My images are quite tightly constrained in that I’ve been sticking to a single, full figure in a rectangular portrait format – so yes, there are rules I try and adhere to. Mostly, these are all to do with composition, both linear and tonal, the figure needs to read properly to get the idea of the pose across easily. It’s something I struggle with constantly! The vintage pin-ups also have a very distinct palette that makes them instantly recognisable, I did start out with this but have since migrated to my own colour palette which is a little more realistic but still quite bright and clean.


Q7: What are the biggest struggles you encounter as an artist?

Lack of time is my biggest problem, I have pages and pages of ideas that would make cool pictures, I just never seem to be able to get the time to work on them.

Q8: Do you have any other future plans that don’t involve creative art?

No, this is in my blood. I’m not sure I could exist without some kind of creative outlet.


Q9: Do you have any personal mottos, quotes or existing quotes that motivates you to do what you love doing? Can you share it with us or provide words of wisdom from your experiences for those who look up to you?

Draw every day. I don’t, but I should – and so should you!


Q10: What do you think the future will hold for all artists from all backgrounds from now?

As long as there are people, there will always be those with a creative streak and others to enjoy it, I see no reason why the future isn’t as full of art as it is now.


Q11: To round off the last question, where can your fans and new fans find updated news and progress from you,  – Where can we find you?

My website is:

I try to keep it as up to date as possible, there’s a little diary there that I post pretty much everything that I do, whilst the gallery is a little more filtered!

Any potential models can also find me on here:


Q12: Ok this question is optional for you, you and I know that art theft is so common now in the internet world, so are there any words you want to share or shout at to those who steal people arts?

As far as my own work is concerned I only upload low resolution images to the web, that obviously doesn’t stop people stealing those but at least they can’t be printed or used for very much else. Obviously people should buy stuff they like but the world isn’t like that.

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