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Q&A with Daniel James Diggle

Designer, animator & illustrator from London

My name is Daniel James Diggle and I'm a designer, animator and illustrator working in London for digital production company Stinkdigital. Originally from Harlow - home of the Britains first residential tower block fyi! - I've been living in London for around 8 years and have worked for a number of creative agencies.

I work mainly in digital, creating websites, animations and experiences for clients ranging from Google to Adidas to Coca-Cola.

My illustration work is mostly focused around traditional ink work and inspired heavily by nature and the female form.

I seem to be prone to starting numerous side projects and am currently creating my own animated pantheon of UK underground musicians at The Pantheon and also documenting and illustrating the darker side of conversations via Overheard.

I've illustrated for Computer Arts, iDN and others and created pieces for illustration collective Depthcore and The KDU. I also set up and ran the illustration collaboration site Wolfbite with fellow artist Jessica Allan.

If ever I manage to squeeze in the time, you'll find me exploring music production and animation together.. never enough time.

You can check out the flavours of design work I create over at

Software / hardware

I have quite a strong love/hate relationship with the digital hardware and software I use. To my mind - and experience - software such as Adobe's Illustrator, Photoshop and Flash is far less stable these days and hardware - specifically the Mac - is becoming ever more restrictive in its work environments.  Anyone using the new Flash CC for example, will know the shock of finding numerous important features suddenly missing when they upgraded from the previous CS6. I'd say in general, the longer you work in the creative industy the more you find that the software and hardware struggles to keep up with the multi program dance as you create with code, design, video and more.

Technology issues aside! my illustration work is mostly traditional. A good set of Rotring Isograph, Rapidograph or the equally good Faber Castell's have yet to let me down. When you're creating artwork involving hundreds of thousands of points manually plotted by hand, it serves you well for the ink to not dry up!

© Daniel James Diggle

Ideal work environment

Somewhere busy, noisey and with a pool table! ...Im thinking of my first job at the now defunct glue London. The energy of an active workplace can be infectious and foster great creative work. I'm all for these new 'stand up' desks too - far too much of our creative lives involves sinking into our seats, it's not healthy for creativity of general life.

But when it comes to creating artwork, I need natural light and to be alone at my drawing desk. There's little worse than someone hovering around your back when you're concentrating on inking your lines.


In my design work I try not to chase 'inspiration' too much. If you keep your life varied and interesting your mind will make the creative connections on its own. Some of the very best iideas can come from completely unrelated elements fusing together.

That being said, if you're stuck for a stylistic flair, browsing through FFFFound, Designspiration or Dribbble can kickstart the engine.

With my illustration work, nature is the dominant inspiration; walks through Epping Forest or lounging up at Hampstead Heath, taking in the green spaces in and around London. I also use quite a few reference books of old engravings and etchings, botanical illustrations and collections of motif designs. The Dover Bookshop in London's Covent Garden was a brilliant source of inspiration until it unfortunately closed - though I discovered recently it lives on through its online store.

© Daniel James Diggle

Admire most

Vania Zouravliov was the first illustrator I came across who worked in the same style and technique that I do. His work is masterful - if the subject matter often dark, erotic and unusual - his illustrations set a standard for composition and detail that I aim to one day match.