Aeonium was made with fineliner, acrylic, ink and varnish, before assembling the print digitally

One way to get round the file size problem is to work in stages. But a piecemeal approach creates another – albeit positive – problem, says Dawn, who wields a scalpel, cutting mat and pencil, alongside an iMac and Ion hand-held document scanner.

“Ensuring that all of the dissimilar parts come together and work as a unified whole can also be challenging, at times,” says Dawn. “But I find that
is half the fun of creating illustrations of this nature.”

And software programs must be mastered quickly, says Ollie, especially when deadlines are looming.

“Learning what all the different tools do can be daunting and time-consuming. For example, using the Pen tool in Illustrator can be tricky at first, but once you get the hang of it, you can get an individual style going,” he says.

Russ Mills used emulsion, fineliner, acrylic, ink and varnish in Ricochet

“When you work professionally, five to seven days a week, you pick things up very fast. When a client is demanding stuff, you pick your feet
up and get going.”

While Ollie has a vast array of kit, including a Macbook Pro, 22-inch Apple monitor, Epson scanner, HP A3 printer, Wacom tablet, pens, pencils, Posca markers and paint, other mixed media artists with far less equipment, such as Raphaël and Sam, still achieve spectacular effects.

And although final year media and production student Mateusz bemoans the fact that he doesn’t really have enough space to build paper objects and shoot professional pictures, his work proves that – despite these obvious challenges – a mixed media approach can take our art to a whole new level.