In 1998, when he was just 16, Phillip Butah was the youngest prize-winner in the ‘Young Artists’ Britain’ competition: The Prince of Wales’s Young Artists’ Award. This encouraged him to take art more seriously, and he went on to study Fine Art at Central Saint Martin’s College of Art and Design in London.


Phillip Butah is an outstanding designer whose skills are mainly suited to portraiture. Apart from the accuracy and detail of visual appearance, Phillip’s sketches also capture the character and personality of the person in front of him.



Since Phillip was a teenager, he has used himself as a model and drawn his own face from different angles, lights and colours. He is captivated by the refinements of the art in portraiture, especially how slight changes in the angle of a head, or in the use of a specific line, colour or texture, can disturb the mood of a picture. So, he often creates several drawings of a person to reflect the different aspects of their character and showing fundamental humanity in his work.


Phillip Butah, who was commissioned to do a project for Prince Charles, has taken a step in the world of young musicians established and new. He was asked by up and coming musician Ed Sheeran to work on the project and create the cover art for his LP. For Butah, the experience was interesting due to the fact that when he first met Sheeran, the young musician had been working for 12 days solid and was visibly drained. When Butah first showed him what he was working on creative differences were flared and he had to go back to the drawing board. The hard work of both of these men resulted in one of the portraits used as the cover art to the album, it captures the shyness that the rising star still feels when approached by people appreciating his music and congratulating him.


This project is not only a collaboration of two artists but also a collaboration of two expressions of art, music and drawn media. Collaborations are a strong way in which to find new ideas and create exciting works and this is a fine example. The collaborations didn’t stop there as Ed Sheeran’s album featured a list of stars that were happy to get involved and lay down some tracks with him.


Phillip Butah has lent his skills in collaboration with Ed Sheeran’s music project entitled “No.5 Collaborations Project” and has captured the young musician’s shy side.


When commissioning a portrait, Phillip Butah is definitely an artist who draws his silent wonder at the originality of every individual. From his portraits you get the sense that though there are billions of people on this planet; Phillip Butah will be able to find each one of us an interesting subject to draw. Not just once but again and again. Imagine owning an outstanding portrait by Phillip Butah, it’s easier than you’d think. Portrait prices upon request can be paid in instalments, usually with a quarter upfront, with the last instalment upon delivery.


When wanting a portrait, Phillip Butah, whose studio is based in the East End of London, will personally travel to your home environment or to the location of your choice. The sitting will require no longer that one hour per person, with the majority of the time being spent on composition sketches. The sittings will be an enlightening experience, as well as individual photographs that will be used for reference material and for the final portrait.


The portrait will be completed in three days, then if requested Phillip will then use his expertise to personally frame the piece. This will be based on your chosen, colours, composition, and home decor which he will have already assessed during the portrait sitting. Framing is inclusive. The highly finished portrait will then be delivered by recorded delivery to your home or location.


You will not need to sign a contract, though you may be asked to kindly lend work back to the artist in anticipation of exhibitions. In these cases work will be sent back. Phillip Butah’s portraits exploit his own technique which has the memories of the “old master” drawings. His images not only capture detail in visual appearance but also something much deeper and heartfelt. They express the seen and unseen in every individual that creates a priceless masterpiece of you, your children or your family that will be loved by all, valued by you and cherished for generations to come.


When Phillip was younger he would sit in front of the TV with his crayons, watching Micheal Jackson videos and try to draw his face.  For Phillip, this was a way that he could learn how to draw faces, and up till this day he really enjoys it, just as he did back then.  


Phillip had admitted that one of the good thing about his career was that he was getting to do what he found true joy in, but the disadvantage is that, he could easily feel isolated as he deals with more solitary work.


‘Art’, which Phillip defines as his major passion and a reason for his being on this earth, has always wanted to open up an Art school in different parts of the world, particularly in Africa, which he feels has  only just scratched the surface of its artistic talents. In the upcoming future Phillip will also be working with numerous people and plans to travel around the globe and still doing Art as his profession, something that has always been a blessing upon his life.


Check out some of Phillip Butah’s designs below:



Matt Morgan - May have seen him in Ed's video 'ynmidny'


One the covers for Ed's Album's


The cover for Ed's single 'The A Team'


The 'No.5 Collaboration Project Album'


This picture shows one of the artist’s close friends from his art school days who worked as a performer and children’s entertainer.




From Prince Charles to Ed Sheeran, young artist, Phillip Butah captures detail and personality


(Images culled from Ofset media)

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