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Q&A with Dave Bain

Illustrator and designer from Bristol, UK

I’ve been working as illustrator in Bristol for the past eight years. It’s been quite a journey… Along the way, I’ve helped set up a collective of illustrators, called Drawn in Bristol as well as working freelance for a number of exciting clients. My portfolio is here.

What inspired you to become an artist?

I was always doodling when I was growing up. I used to love trying to simplify people into shapes using felt-tips and colouring pencils. I had some inspiring teachers too and studying illustration at Falmouth was an incredible time of learning the trade under the careful direction of the tutors there.

What tools do you use to organize your work?

I work traditionally, as much as I can, so I have lots of boxes and shelves organised with the various media I use. Once the artwork gets onto the computer, it’s all about folders and naming the files - there’s nothing worse than spending ages hunting through a computer for a “lost” file.

What is your ideal work environment?

Part of setting up Drawn in Bristol involved creating a shared studio space, which I’ve worked from for the last three years.

For me, I need a space where I can reach everything I need with relative ease. I have a large work easel for painting and a smaller desk easel for drawing and my light box. I’ve then got a separate desk for the computer. Part of the joy of having the shared space is that the whole studio shares resources, so there is a shared printer, scanner and screen-printing space, plus - of course - the wonderful opportunities to discuss and collaborate on numerous projects.

Where does your design inspiration come from?

Everywhere is probably the most honest answer! Nothing beats seeing other artists and fellow illustrators working in real-life and also viewing exhibitions and design events. I pour over design magazines and follow a number of blogs, like Inkygoodness and Creative Boom. I listen to a lot of music too, which sometimes feeds into my work.

Who are the creative people you admire most?

I’m lucky to be in Bristol surrounded by such a creative scene, amazing friends and fellow creative people. I admire anyone who gets off their bum in the morning and has a go at creating something. It’s incredible that we live in an age where sharing and viewing other creatives work is so accessible and it’s learning to filter the right stuff into your life that’s key.

© Dave Bain