The Backstage Avatar: PETE FOWLER’s recent arwork is…ME

Pete Fowler, London, UK

This is Pete Fowler. Late one night, following a DJ set, throwing me the horns.

Pete Fowler is a Cardiff-born, London-dwelling illustrator, by far my most favourite artist.  I’m an avid collector of his work, and have been for years. I have prints, pillows, designer vinyl toys and posters. I’ve even got a character modelled out of clay that he made in the 1980s and which his brother (a fan) gave to then-Dinosaur Jr’s Lou Barlow. Knowing my affinity for all things Fowler, Lou gave it to me to keep safe on permanent loan, a couple of years ago. “Branchy” as he was dubbed by Pete, sits next to other Fowler pieces, cheering up my living room.

His art – colourful, whimsical, musical – makes me giddy, happy. And when I started this site and began to build up my rockhands gallery (are you in it? Why not?), I shamelessly asked Pete to draw me an image incorporating the horns. He did, I was gobsmacked…and so had it tattooed it on my back. As you do.

Why? Because his art sings to me.

He has designed album covers for the Super Furry Animals.

He has done a video for the Horrors.

He had designed mugs and coffee cups for Tim Burgess of the Charlatans.

He has made posters for the Flaming Lips.

He’s even put together this window radness for Hot Chip.

And his vinyl creations – whether they’re versions of The Mighty Boosh or the indie band the Magic Numbers, or members of his crowning community of Monsterism Island – are amazing.

Pete and I talk a lot on Twitter – , so we chat about music or stuff and nonsense – and have kept up over the last coupla years. And of course, I pester him. But little did I expect him to actually respond in kind to one of my cheeky reminders recently.

Here is what Pete Fowler did. It’s me.


How many people can say that their favourite artist did a portrait of them? I am humbled, throwin’ a giant-handed set of horns at the universe, thanking it for artists of all sorts and particularly Pete Fowler. Cheers, captain. You’ve made a big kid very happy. \m/

Check out Pete Fowler’s site and buy stuff.

Follow Pete Fowler at

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