Instagram: @michaeldriver Twitter: @michaelwdriver Tumblr: mikewdriver.tumblr.com Website: www.michaeldriver.co.uk
1. What's your story? Where are you from?Im originally from Nottingham, but moved to London to study illustration and Animation at Kingston University, That was about five years ago. I’m now based in Stoke Newignton and have been freelancing full time since I graduated ( 2 years ago), I’ve worked mainly in editorial since graduating for clients like the Guardian and the Telegraph but have had the pleasure of doing a few book covers and recently animating some stuff for a release by one of penguins imprints.
2. Tell us about your aesthetic.My stuff is flat graphic and bold, I like using bright colors and I suppose most of my images have a fair few characters in. Thats a pretty vague description I know… I also like to experiment with textures i like the crossover between analogue and digital, and experimenting allows me to continue to feel like I’m still using my hands to make things.
3. What is your favourite medium and why?I make most of my work using a computer, if i had the time i’d try and do everything by hand, I really love using graphite and experimenting with print.
4. What is your artistic process like?I think I work best when working with a brief. For commercial work a client will usually email me with a brief, I pencil out some roughs, the client then picks the image they like the most or they feel best explains the idea they are trying to get across, and then I start to work it up on the computer scanning in bits of textures as I go along, I try hard to continue to experiment as i make commercial work but time constraints can sometimes limit the possibility of play and the opportunity to develop my craft.
5. Who and/or what inspires your work?The answer to these sorts of questions change a lot, I suppose at the moment i’m really into a lot of old toys from the 90’s, garbage pail kids, bootleg toys, menko cards and sentai robots, I have a weird obsession with a lot of pop culture things at the moment. In regards to artists I still have a big soft spot for henry moore, I think that love was a lot more obvious in work i was making around the time i graduated.
6. What role does art play in your life? How does it change the way you view the world?I can’t sing, I’m dyslexic, so I’m not the greatest writer and I can’t play a instrument, so I guess art or drawing or whatever you want to call what i do is my means of expressing myself. More practically its my only income, its the reason i get up in the morning and its the only way i can earn money to buy beer.
7. Where did you study?I studied at Kingston University the course there is pretty good, they like to focus on ideas as much as they do on the practical side of making work for specs.
8. Where do you see yourself in five years? Working in an agency?I think in five years I’ll be happy to still be doing just this, it’s nice to think that people want to pay me to do the work I do, I’d like to think id of at least done a action figure within the next five years and at least one show. I don’t like to set too many goals or else i just get really stressed.
9. What about in ten?That's a question I ask myself everyday, in short I don’t want to be doing this in ten years, I think what i do at the moment is fun but I don’t want to get stuck doing just newspaper work, not to sound ungrateful at all but it would be nice to think maybe in five years i’ll be doing more animated work or doing more shows, designing toys and games, broadening the possibilities of my aesthetic. I don’t know I suppose I get a bit anxious that, this is just it.
10. What do you hope to achieve with your art?There's no grandiose plan to achieve anything but get better at making my work and try and enjoy it and continuing carving out my voice, I don’t think many people think about the bigger picture, I’m just happy chugging along at the minute.
11. Now, tell us a little more about you as a person: what is your favourite food?All food!
12. Favourite book?I don’t really read too much, I read a lot of comics though, I read death ray not so long ago, thats a pretty fun comic, daniel clowes is a genius, I’m very slowly working through a lot of those alt american comic books.
13. Favourite genre of music?god, i listen to too much grime.
14. What are your hobbies?I don’t have any hobbies as such, i swim a bit and i look after a dog a few days a week and i go out to eat a lot, if being overly indulgent in every aspect of my life is a hobby, thats my hobby?
15. If you weren't an artist, what would you be?probably some sort of dealer in 90’s pop culture and toys and stuff.