The illustration was for the cover of the magazine. The cover feature was about the film director Guillermo Del Toro (director of films that include Pan’s Labyrinth, Hellboy and Shape of Water).
The feature was commissioned with particular reference to Guillermo’s recent film, Nightmare Alley. The plot revolves around a circus mind-reader. The Art Director at The Guardian (Christophe Gowans) wanted some hints of eyeballs/monster/fantasy/circus freakiness etc looming from the darkness around Guillermo’s head/shoulders.
More of Joe’s work can be reviewed at https://www.debutart.com/artist/joe-wilson