This website uses cookies. Read more about our cookie/privacy policy.

Accept and Close

The Sheffield culture guide written by in-the-know locals

Geo Law

Kiehl's, New York

Oisoi Oriental Market

Geo Law's work can be spotted a mile off. Often because it takes the form of huge eye-catching murals, but also because his energetic and fun style is unlike anyone else's. Scenes by Geo tend to feature fantastical characters – somewhere between birds, bears, cats and dogs – gathered together and having a happy time amongst clouds, hills or cityscapes.

Geo's work has appeared in the New York Times, Stylist Magazine and the Washington Post, and he's created murals at companies such as Facebook, Walt Disney Animation Studios and Tumblr. Seeing his doodles on the wall would brighten up the most dismal of days at the office.

Geo's been doodling his way around Sheffield for a few years now and frankly it's a crime that we haven't featured him in Meet the Locals sooner! Here he is on his inspirations and his ways of working.

Update: Geo has put together a mini colouring book for you to print off at home for free – download it here. Happy colouring!

How would you describe your work?
My work is a mix of digital and analogue doodling with splashes and dots of colour and characters that inhabit worlds that exist halfway between nowhere and somewhere.

What inspires you?
A lot of things such as travelling, printed media, animation, paintings, video games, comic books and toys. I tend to fall back to looking at old Japanese animation such as Studio Ghibli and modern day cartoons like Adventure Time. I think whenever I’m away from the studio I can be inspired by anything that catches my eye. A lot of my peers can inspire me to observe my work and role as an illustrator differently.

What are you currently working on?
I’ve been working on an exciting piece for a new Asian food market called Oisoi Oriental Market. It’s a 13-metre feature mural with plenty of colour, character and narrative to sink your eyes into. It’s one of my most colourful mural works – I tend to keep colour to a minimum but this was a case where the client wanted to use a wider palette and I felt obliged to take up the challenge. Other than that I’ve been teaching part time at Sheffield Hallam University across Illustration and Digital Media Production as well as working on personal doodle works and occasional commissions that are building up in the background.

What do you love about Sheffield?
Sheffield allows you enough breathing room to take the freelance route – with enough preparation you can set up your business and allow yourself precious time to develop and try out different ideas. Sheffield is also home for me, many of my friends here have set up businesses and settled within it so the community is a strong feature. It still has an interesting spirit of humbleness and quiet professionalism, which is what I try and imbue my work and process with too.

What would you do to improve the city?
I’d like to see more spaces where you can hot desk. We have a couple but I want more to encourage people to go work for themselves, base themselves in the city and mix it up with other freelancers. I’d also like to see a bit more encouragement and leniency towards independent businesses to help them set up in the city centre too. I walk past the occasional empty shop front and just feel it’s a little of a wasted opportunity. I don’t know the inner workings of how a city is run but I like to be idealistic about these things!

You might also like...

Arts Catalyst

A visual arts organisation reimagining how we relate to the the world around us. Sparking conversation and creative responses to climate change, and building a communal sense of place through collaboration.

Roanna Wells

In her monochrome embroideries, Roanna substitutes people with stitches to create stunning, often dramatic, new perspectives on human gatherings. Crowds never looked so pleasing.

Sheffield Transformed Festival

Fri. 19 July 2024 — Sun. 21 July 2024

SADACCA, 48 Wicker, S3 8JB

A celebration of left-wing politics and arts. With chance to hear new ideas, take part in discussion, enjoy art, be creative, and get together at a party.

Gage Gallery

Sitting above a factory, wonderfully illuminated by skylights, Gage is run by Kelham Island Art Collective (KIAC). It puts on shows by its members, who include painters, sculptors, stone carvers and textile artists, as well as other local artists.