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People often ask about my inspirations and how I developed @the14thfactory. This is my story...


My parents dropped out of art school in their teens to have me and my brother and we moved around as they tried to put food on the table. Brighton, Northampton and then the Midlands (Leicester).
As a kid, I experienced village and countryside life outdoors, and urban darkness, many cultures and communities and loved it all, as happy climbing trees as exploring the gritty inner city urban landscape.
SB - P2I1
Simon and his brother Theo, image courtesy of Simon Birch
We lived humbly but when you're a kid you don't know you're poor and as my parents worked all the time so I was left alone 99% of the time, so I made my own adventures and often came home with cuts and bruises but no one seemed to worry as long as I was relatively in one piece. It was not all fun though, as my grandparents died in quick succession as did my uncle Paul, a very good man.
I was obsessed with comic books and dreamed of being a comic book artist, working with Frank Miller or Alan Moore or Los Bros Hernandez, and spent endless hours drawing. Star Wars obsessed, Blade Runner even more so.
SB - P2I2
Simon and his brother Theo, image courtesy of Simon Birch
I never fit in at multiple schools, always the weird new kid with the funny haircut, but in retrospect that was nourishing, forced to adapt and innovate as an outsider in new environments. My strategy was always to be funny to avoid a beating from the kids from the council estate. That worked well and I was good at drawing which seemed to give me something of value.
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