Interview: Charles Williams, Made Up


Charles Williams goes under the name ‘Made Up.’ His innovative style is intricate and detailed, vector based illustrations and typography that challenges existing ideas. He recently broke out from the screen with a range of beautiful, three dimensional hand crafted works of art that retained the depth of his digital work. Both styles have enticed an impressive client list that includes Nike, ESPN, GQ and many more. He answers a few of our questions.

What were your first steps in the arts? Have you always been naturally creative?

I was always into drawing when I was a kid. In primary school I was second best after a boy called James – my nemesis. I remember the day I worked out how to make words look 3-dimensional – I’ve basically being doing that ever since. After graduating I helped start a magazine with some friends. It was in 2005 before the internet and TV, so people had time for magazines back then.

Sierra Cover

How would you describe your artistic style?

Precise. I like to work with shapes, looking at how they can interact with each other to form a bigger picture.

How did your recent hand made works come about?

From working digitally. Us illustrators/designers are always using digital tools to replicate real elements – shadows, textured surfaces etc – so I liked the idea of working the other way; using real elements to mimic a digital aesthetic.


Is this something you’d like to push further?

Definitely. Currently working on a self-initiated project using wires and string. Also looking at handmade infographics. One problem I’ve faced is my limited photographic ability – something that I’d like to address.


Do you ever express the way you’re feeling or get things off your chest through your work?

Not really in that direct sort of way, but I do find work therapeutic sometimes. I’m definitely guilty of burying myself in work as a way of avoiding stuff. I think if you really enjoy your creative work, it can be cathartic.


Do you find the community within the arts to be strong?

I think it’s pretty strong, yes. Twitter is great, obviously. I’m planning on getting involved with stuff on a more localised level as there’s lots of stuff going on, exhibitions etc


Is the interaction with other people interested/working in the arts something you find important/think is important?

Yeah, definitely. When you spend all your time working on your Jack, it’s great to communicate with other humans, especially ones who are similarly focused/obsessed.


Is your work influenced/inspired by any other forms of art, i.e comedy, music etc?

Not so much. I’m more inspired by weird buildings, random groupings of colours you might see in the street, overheard snippets of conversation, a flock of parakeets above, the smell of a kebab wafting across the street.

Am I right in thinking you have worked with CALM yourself?

Yeah I made a piece of motion graphics for CALM when I was at uni, and then did some graphic design work for them a couple of years later. Wonderful organisation.

Check out more of Charles’ work at

Written by: Ben Tallon

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