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Q&A with David Doran

Editorial Illustrator from UK | Newspapers and magazines & posters

Portrait photo © Izzy Adams

Hello, my name is David Doran and I’m an illustrator based in the UK. I work mainly in editorial contexts; for newspapers and magazines, but have also had the pleasure to work on book covers, posters and advertising campaigns.

What inspired you to become an illustrator?

Like a lot of illustrators, I’ve drawn my whole life and always enjoyed it. Through school and college I became very interested in Graphic Design, but always longed to involve drawing more. Illustration seemed like the perfect combination of the two and so I decided to study BA (Hons) Illustration at Falmouth University. The course sets it’s students up to confidently pursue a career in freelance illustration, and offered all the valuable resources and guidance that was necessary to develop unique work.

What design software do you use?

My process is split 50/50 between using traditional media (ink and print) and digital media (Adobe Photoshop). I find a lot of inspiration in traditional printing techniques and work in a way that combines those skills with digital elements, to hopefully create a balance between the two.

What is your ideal work environment?

I would love to work in a building shared with other designers, illustrators and artists, with a good sense of community. I’d like to be able to get to the studio early and find enough hours in the day to juggle personal work with commercial projects, whilst still leaving enough time for a life outside of the studio… ideally!

Where does your design inspiration come from?

Interesting concepts, narratives and visual puns inspire me. I love the design and illustration for the British travel posters from the early 20th century. There’s a lot of great work that is being made at the moment, but I think in order to develop it is healthy to limit the amount of illustration blogs and sites I look at, and would prefer to not be directly inspired by another contemporary illustrator, otherwise there’s an obvious risk of everyone’s work melding into one.

Who is the person you admire most?

It’s hard to think of a single person, but I admire the designers and art directors from New York in the mid-twentieth century. I find their conviction and passion to make good, powerful work very inspiring and admirable.