George Butler is a reportage illustrator specialising in travel and current affairs. He has worked in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan. In 2014 he helped establish the Hands Up Foundation to fund health and education services in Syria. Winner of numerous awards and prizes, his illustrations have appeared in newspapers and on television internationally. Butler grew up in Oxfordshire and is now based in south London.
He is inspired by artists like Paul Hogarth and Ronald Searle. He also admires the way Grayson Perry uses his image and art as a platform.
George Butler carries with him a couple of bottles of Winsor & Newton Black Indian Ink and a box of 24 Winsor & Newton half pan watercolours, along with a Sceptre Gold brush set and an A2 pad of cartridge or watercolour paper.
George Butler thinks his best drawings are done as much as possible on site. As drawing takes time, drawing has become a good gauge for whether a place is safe. He chooses these locations to draw not for an adrenaline rush, or to compete with frontline photographers but rather his inspiration comes from sitting down and connecting with someone he would not have met otherwise.
He thinks since reportage illustration is honest and truthful (Williams, 2018) as the subject is always watching him as he draws them. This makes him unable to make up the scene and therefore, even though drawing is incredibly traditional as compared to how mainstream news is being delivered currently, drawing carries real weight over mainstream news that is known to be mistrusted or manipulated.