For all things drawn, written, conceived or designed.

About me

Everyone’s career history is a bit of a personal journey, and mine is no



So here are a few details about

where I’ve been and what I’ve done.




And if you want to ask me anything

specific, see some different work

samples, or talk to me about any

projects I could help you with, go to

I was born at an early age...


The son of an architect, I was educated at King’s School Worcester. I left at 15 to work for a

local architectural practice, and take A-levels at the local college. Seemed like a good plan...


So I worked as an architectural technician for the next six years - although I couldn’t progress

to the next stage until I got qualified, so I came to Cheltenham to take my degree. But

afterwards, I became increasingly frustrated by the lengthy process between creative idea

and actual realisation. Remembering that I had always been applauded for my artistic skills,

I had something of an epiphany, and took the bold decision to see if I could make a living at

graphic design.


So I took a job with a small local graphics studio, and over two years did so well that I

became creative head. After that, I worked for two full-service agencies in Cheltenham,

after which I went out on my own and formed Studio B with my wife Sheila. That went well

for the best part of ten years, until I was head-hunted by Chapter One. I stayed with them

for nearly three years, then returned to the freelance life for another five - until I was

headhunted again, this time by Target Direct. Two-and-a-half years with them, then in 2001

I went back on the freelance trail again - and so ever since.


I could write about the skills I have, and the many clients and types of business I have worked

on, but hopefully the samples shown on this site will tell a better story in that regard than

words ever could.



The truth is, I like working independently because I thrive on variety and challenge. I love

being tasked to deliver good work, on time, for sensible cost - it keeps me sharp, and gives

my clients what they need. Whether that’s an advertising agency, marketing company, or an

independent client, I am stimulated by different demands and disciplines. And I believe that

excitement is reflected in the work I deliver.


Contact me any time, and see what I can do for you.



“I’ve known Mike for longer than I care to remember and every time we get him in, we know the end product is going to be just what we wanted and always of the highest possible standard. One of the safest, most reliable pairs of hands in the business, in my humble opinion.”

“Mike has always been great to work with. He has a fresh and natural style, always delivers work on time with the minimum of fuss, and is excellent at understanding exactly what our authors actually want!”

Keith Nichol, Founder and Planning Director, Flourish

Janet Wrench, Production Director, The Book Guild

“Mike's marker work is a joy to behold, but along with his exceptional visualising skills he also contributes top quality creative and marketing thinking. He also happens to be a really nice bloke and is always always a pleasure to work with.”

Nick Holmes, Director, Different Kettle

“I’ve worked with Mike for many years, and his key strength for me is the ability to think conceptually as well as translate ideas into strong client-friendly visuals. His creation of intelligent concept boards that integrate all the elements needed to prove an idea is a rare skill.”

Kevin Yull, Creative Director, Bray Leino Bristol

“No matter how small or large the campaign, Mike delivers the goods - knowing what will get the target audience to sit up and take notice, and producing second-to-none visuals. Nothing better than a happy client, and we always have one when we ask Mike to help!”

Andrew Kenyon, Head of Agency, The Creative Lab - exclusive to Zurich Insurance

“Mike is Different Kettle’s go-to visualiser. Our ideas spring into life through his marker pens, and his colourful, vibrant illustrations never fail to charm our clients.”

Dave Sturdy, Creative Director, Different Kettle

“I value Mike’s huge level of experience in design for direct marketing. It’s rare that you can get someone who is so clued up about how small design decisions can improve response rates. Mike knows this stuff, he’s great to work with, and engages thoroughly with the brief.”

John Ranford, Fundraising Strategy and Innovation Officer, Bible Society

"Mike translated the brief for my book cover into something magical. A few words became something which instantly told a story and perfectly illustrated the book's content."

Angela Lightburn, author





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© All material copyright Mike Bastin 2015.  Website designed by Mike Bastin, developed and built by Lee Bastin.