Instagram: @danielmacleodillustration Website: www.danielmacleodillustration.com
1. What's your story? Where are you from?Ah my tale! I come from Canterbury originally, well... a village just outside of Canterbury called Aylesham (also known as the village of the dammed) but nothing interesting ever happens there. Alas there is nothing too interesting to say about it as I grew tired of my home town a long long time ago, but I did enjoy my time on my foundation course and have a lot of good memories from it! Canterbury is a lovely city however for me it’s a bit on the small side, I much more enjoy a big bustling city where I’m constantly on the move to be honest!
2. Tell us about your aesthetic.Well my aesthetic consists of a lot of atmosphere, I’m particularly drawn to very moody imagery (a main reason why most of my characters look uninterested at times, I just enjoy that disconnected look haha) I almost like my characters to look like they are thinking of something else (in their own world) and that you must work it out for yourself. I like to use a lot of earthy tones in my work (however sometimes I do get a bit colour crazy because that is always fun) because I want to create an almost dream like environment, quite soft yet dramatic with a possible air of mystery. I jump between two ways of approaching an illustration, either very detailed with a lot of almost dramatic scenery to a much simpler approach with just a character and a plain textured background, both work well, but it just depends on how I’m feeling at the time. I have also been told that my work can be quite nostalgic and that It reminds them of a time long past.
3. What is your favorite medium and why?Well my favorite medium would have to be the one I work in to be honest, pencil drawings which I then edit further. It took me a long time to realize that this was my favorite way of working, and I think that I almost went through every other medium until I realized that drawing was my favorite part, I remember a big gouache stage I had which did work as well but all that mixing paint… drives you crazy haha.
4. What is your artistic process like?My artistic approach physically consists of creating the initial drawing which I then digitally edit and then add textures I find to it (I love textures), this method works best for me and allows me to play around with colour and all that jazz quite well. I like to work quite conceptually most of the time so most of my work has a strange feel to it which I enjoy, I get this most when I challenge myself to do an illustration in response to editorials as I like approaching things from a deeper level.
5. Who and/or what inspires your work?I feel like I do gain a lot of inspiration from my surroundings (as well as the strange inner workings of my brain). A year ago, I moved to Bavaria to study on my semester abroad and living in the part of Bavaria I moved to was incredible. Every day I was surrounded by cute almost “toy town” types of houses and churches, but especially mountains (which feature a fair amount on my work). I also get inspiration from films and certain periods in time. When I was, younger I had a mass obsession for witches, I was addicted to hocus pocus and buffy the vampire slayer (which I am pretty sure I can still recite word for word whenever it comes on) so I really enjoy doing anything that revolves around that mystical theme. I also went through a brief period where I loved that Amish aesthetic and enjoyed anything that looked like it rumbled out of the 16th century, wooden log cabins are always fun! I am also very influenced by dystopian films, I love the weird worlds created in these and often try to convey dystopian-esque elements in some of my pieces.
6. What role does art play in your life? How does it change the way you view the world?Art to me has always been important, it was the only thing I ever really enjoyed in school and would often run away and hide in my art class to avoid P.E which I hated with a fiery passion. Art gives me a great avenue to unleash my imagination (which is very strange on occasion).
7. Where did you study?So, I am currently still studying at Falmouth university (However I graduate in basically 2 months) which has been fantastic and has really helped me grow as an illustrator. Also, Falmouth is such a beautiful place to live, being right by the sea and being able to walk around and see palm trees regularly is quite an odd thing to see in England, yet you can’t escape the English weather… that’s the same no matter where you go! It will be sad to leave but for me I am ready to move on.
8. Where do you see yourself in five years? Working in an agency?Well my plan for after my degree has finished is to move home and attempt to make some money, the depressing truth of being an ex-student! However, I really don’t want to do that for long as I get very itchy if I’m stuck in the same place for too long! The dream is to have become a little established in the illustration world with some published work that I can look back on! Place wise however I’m not sure, I have always wanted to live abroad and whilst studying in Germany I fell in love with it so possibly there. I love Berlin and have visited frequently but I’d love to see what Hamburg is like as I feel it would suit me quite well. Or somewhere warm would be nice like Portugal but who knows eh!
9. What about in ten?Hmmm I’m not sure really! I mostly try to live in the present so the future is like a mystery to me! Hopefully I’m living somewhere nice, yet constantly on the go still seeing loads of new and exciting things! I mean I’m a simple guy, so being overlord of the world will be enough.
10. What do you hope to achieve with your art?World peace haha. Nah probably just to be respected in my field and know that I have people who really enjoy the work I create. I’d love to have a collection of work that I have done for clients that I am proud of and to be instantly recognized by my style would be nice too! I feel like my work is my own and I don’t think I have seen anybody with a similar style which is nice.
11. Now, tell us a little more about you as a person: what is your favourite food?Ah now that is a big question! I am such a foodie haha. Depends on my mood, I love Mexican food and have been known to eat an obscene amount of the stuff (it’s really a sight to behold). I love cooking a lot so I tend to whip up ridiculous meals, before my loan came in the other day I was so poor that I decided to forage, made a wild garlic and pistachio pesto, I want to sound humble but it was frickin fantastic!
12. Favourite book?I have a couple, but mainly it must be Lolita, iv’e always loved that book, even with its dark undertones the story is really interesting and it has a dark humor running through it which I love. As well as that I would say Kafka on the shore by Murakami, He’s such a great writer and I have read a few of his books and they are all fantastic. I wish I had more time to read but I get too figity to sit with a book for a long period of time unless I am really into it!
13. Favourite genre of music?Ah that is quite hard actually. I have such a varied music taste (pretty much for any mood), I love old music and have a record player with a collection of all sorts like Simon and Garfunkel to Fleetwood mac and the moody blues. I recently got into PC music which is sickly cute yet brilliant and I have been listening to that a lot. Another thing which iv’e been addicted to are “the very polish cut outs” very good, should check it out!!
14. What are your hobbies?Well mainly it is drawing (good thing I like that as it’s my profession). But apart from that I love to cook, and I also love traveling. On my study, abroad I traveled around Europe a lot and loved it so much! I’d love to be able to play an instrument and have that on my hobby list but alas my attention span can be quite short sometimes.
15. If you weren't an artist, what would you be?Probably unemployed haha. But I have no idea really, when I was younger I wanted to be an archeologist but I would probably get frustrated if I didn’t find a great discovery in the first week! I would like to own my own coffee shop somewhere nice and feature art and music and such so probably that, I have a very high caffeine addiction though so I would probably consume all my stock.