Born and bred in Manchester, Justin Eagleton has over 25 years’ experience working in the creative industries.
From his early days designing and making props and sets for TV and exhibitions, he became a lead graphic artist within the games industry, working with industry giants such as EA Sports on many of its best-selling FIFA titles.
Since leaving the games industry, Justin has gone on to work with a range of top clients such as Malmaison Hotels, The Manchester United Foundation and Gatwick Airport to name a few.
Justin’s commissioned work has seen him draw pencil portraits for Manchester United and England’s Rio Ferdinand, and more recently two very special drawings of Sir Bobby Charlton and Eric Cantona, of which he personally presented to the footballing legends.
Now, he is encouraging us to pick up a pencil and draw our way through lockdown with his free live virtual art classes.
“I wanted to give something back to people and I thought art classes would be a great way to break the doom and gloom of lockdown life,” says Justin.
“Mental health is really important and it’s something that a lot of people are struggling with at the moment, lockdown causes a lot of loneliness and feelings of isolation.
“If I can help people feel good and learn a new skill, even if it’s just for an hour or so then it is an hour well spent.”
Justin is no stranger when it comes to giving back to the community, having raised over £55,000 for local community projects and local Manchester charities in the past 18 months.
Last summer, he designed a series of Manchester-inspired face masks “made by Mancs, for Mancs, for the benefit of Mancs,” with a portion of sales being donated to Manchester MIND and the GM Mayor’s Charity.
“So far the feedback has been amazing,” he says about the virtual art classes.
“Hundreds of people are attending the classes, with attendance rocketing each week.
“I’ve had families taking the classes and having a draw off between them, couples and individuals of all ages and abilities and the feedback has been overwhelming.”
Justin’s art classes have been created for all abilities and ages, from beginners to novice and even budding artists – all you need is a pencil and paper.
“I cover a lot of the basic skills and techniques you need to draw something really special,” he says.
“We cover everything from constructing the bare bones of an image to shading and adding fine details.
“I’ve had a lot of people tell me that they are terrible at drawing, and haven’t picked up a pen or pencil to draw in years, who have then gone on to create some really impressive work.”
Classes are streamed live every Thursday at 7pm, you can register here. For those who would prefer to do the classes at their own pace, or to attend the classes that have already lapsed, Justin also uploads all his classes to his YouTube channel which you can find here.