We caught up with Mike to find out more about how he composited the piece – and about his overall approach to his artworks.
DA: How would describe your background, creatively?
MH: "I'm a completely self taught multi-disciplinary designer with a particular penchant for illustration. I started way back in 2004 but at that stage I was just playing around with it and having fun, so much so that I couldn't put Photoshop down and was using it more and more each day.
"Throughout the next four years at university I taught myself and got to grips with many disciplines, styles and techniques, finding out what I enjoyed most."
DA: It's been a couple of years since we last featured your work in Digital Arts. What's changed for you and your work in that time?
MH: "Time does fly! In my professional life I have left the world of freelancing and am now working in an awesome agency called Stereo in London, in a small team of very awesome and very talented people.
"In terms of my illustration work I feel i've moved a lot more towards a traditional style and less digital, but at the same time combining the two for some interesting and unique results, which I always find fun.
DA: Could you give us a broad overview of the creative process behind your piece for Fotolia?
MH: "The concept is based around a powerful animal, the bull, and loosely based on bullfighting but adding a playful touch by the use of colourful elements and hand drawn details.
"Compositionally it all started from the centre and worked outwards, adding aliments, re-arranging and building up the layering as I went, keeping it an organic process from start to finish.
"To make sure I had the most flexibility organisation was key as I had so many layers, and groups of layers, so keeping things organised helped make changes relatively painless and quick."
DA: What's your favourite thing that that you're working on currently?
MH: "I've just completed some new personal illustrations which i'm excited to share. I've also been working on some cool projects at work, but you'll have to wait for those."
DA: How can you see yourself developing your work and your style in the future?
MH: "In the future I think i'll have two portfolio's, one for just my illustration work and one for web, branding and motion work. I may just combine them all into one awesome portfolio though. I can see myself learning and developing a lot this year at my new job and also in my personal work. Exciting times ahead!"