What are the most and least enjoyable aspects of your job?
I find it really enjoyable to work in a field where there is a lot of great talent – I’m a big fan of illustration and it’s nice to be a part of a world that feels like its own living organism, separate from the normal idea of a working life.
But honestly, living in Devon is secluded from all of this in some respects. It does enable me to travel to art fairs and exhibitions, as well as chat to other illustrators I admire and sell my wares – which is a lot of fun – but the least enjoyable aspect, again, would be the seclusion. It’s rare to come across illustrators here and there isn’t really a scene for illustration. It’s tough to find a studio space, let alone one full of young, like-minded creatives.
What has been the most exciting project of the last twelve months?
A really exciting project that came to me at the end of last year was the opportunity to create works for giffgaff’s social media accounts. I was approached by the great creative team at YRS TRULY [creative studio based in London] to create three illustrations based on the themes, ‘freedom’, ‘control’ and ‘flexibility’. During this project, I had learnt a great deal about brand guidelines and tone of voice, plus how to create works that adhered to these instructions. It breathed new life into my illustration practice, both in terms of learning about client expectations as well as the fact that I’d just gotten my first drawing tablet – enabling me to work quicker and learn new techniques.
I was excited to see my work presented to a new audience of non-illustrators and the general public through social media. It was also great to see what people had to say about my work. “Stay off the acid, Darren,” was a personal highlight.