Set Designer Andy Hillman created the fantastic world of melting ice-creams and giant candy sticks of rock for our Spring Summer 2012 campaign. He has worked with photographer Tim Walker on many campaigns and shoots, including features in Vogue. He often works with oversized props and with large scale set installations.
Andy Hillman Studio >
The oversized props for the campaign shoot are amazing! What was your starting point for their creation?
Thank you. I suppose the real starting point is the slight “wrong-ness” of the seaside, it’s a Victorian Circus of stripes, designs and colours which has been laminated with varying elements of the decades since. It’s not planned or designed, it’s just evolved. I think there’s lots of starting points amongst that lot if you look!
How long did it take to make a giant melting ice-cream cone or a stick of rock?
It took three weeks to create all the props for the shoot.
You’ve worked with Tim Walker numerous times now, how is it to work with him?
Haha, I know whatever I say here will cringe him out if he reads this. He is a pleasure to work with and for and easily one of the most creative and inspiring people I know.
How do you think English seasides and the eccentricities they come with compare with seasides around the world?
I think the British have the market sewn up for eccentrics and as a lot of them also enjoy the beach we must be beyond compare! I love British beaches but I prefer mine with dunes, cricket and picnics.
How did you get into the fantastical world of set design, and can you tell us about your most memorable designs or shoots?
I was lucky enough to understudy and assist an amazing designer for four years; it was a fantastic education into sets. Staying on the topic of the seaside and beaches, we once built a bathroom on a Sicilian Beach for a shoot which was supposed to be flooding as if you had left the tap on. It took three long days with the wind blowing sideways and sand clinging to everything. We dragged it to the water’s edge to allow the tide to roll back in and “flood” the set. We waited and waited as the sea crept nearer. Finally the second the first meaningful wave hit, the whole thing fell apart, or exploded, I’m not quite sure which!