If you’re not familiar with this creative, then now would be the best time to get to know Michael Driver.
What better way to introduce you, than to give you a little peek into his journey, inspirations and goals. Representing the Puck Collective, Michael Driver is a London based freelance illustrator who went from preparing delightful dishes to working with publications such as The Telegraph, Another Magazine and many more. We don’t want to spoil everything – so check out our conversation with Mike below:
Having just graduated from university. Would you say it has played an important role in your creative journey?
I think University has been an integral part of my creative journey. I’ve only been out of university for a few months and I’ve been freelancing ever since, so it’s really testament to how important it’s been. I don’t think I got the most out of university be it socially or work wise, but it gave me time to try things out and explore different avenues and get things wrong. The tutors were also really good at pushing you and being very critical of what you were doing conceptually.
How did your interest in illustration develop?
I’ve always had a really natural lean towards pictures. I’m dyslexic, I was the sort of kid at school that would just look at the illustration and pretend to read. I think there’s a couple of things that made me interested in illustration later on, but the main thing was my interest in music and the visual culture that surrounded it. When I was in my teens I started to go to a lot of gigs and started listening to a lot of heavy rock bands. I think that’s when I first got into illustration as I know it now. I found the idea that you could make a drawing and someone would buy it and maybe print it and sell a dozen fascinating. So for a long time I fantasised about making horrible t-shirts with corpses and blood splattered writing on it. It wasn’t until later on whilst on my foundation course that I realised that, it wasn’t really what I wanted to do and actually more commercial realms of illustration seemed to be where I was leaning to.
How has your work developed since you first started?
It’s changing really rapidly, I’ve been working full time for 5 months now and I already feel like it’s very quickly moving away from what I left University with. My palettes are getting brighter, my characters have started to slim down and are starting to feel like they belong in a world of their own. I’m not sure if the last one was a bold statement or not.
As a young creative, are there any illustrators who have inspired you?
There are so many great illustrators out there, and so many I really adore but, I’ll always really loved the work of illustrator come musician Keaton Henson. I really like his creative output, as it’s really diverse from his music to choreography, sculpture drawing and painting.
How do you come up with your ideas for illustrations? And where do those ideas come from?
Commercially I’m given a brief, a size and maybe a rough idea as to what the art director might be thinking of, then I usually start drawing. I usually use a really rubbish pen like a biro, so I can focus on trying to get the idea out and get the composition looking right before working on it. If I use a nice pen I start to obsess about silly things; like the weight of line and at that stage it really isn’t important. With personal projects it’s a bit more of a muddle now than it used to be. Sometimes I just want to draw something really mundane or try stuff out, other times I like to sit down and de-construct an idea and then go forward with it. In the first half of the New Year I shall be dropping a couple of personal projects that I’m really excited to drop. I’ve been a little quiet recently and that is because I’ve been working towards some new things that may or may not be interesting.
Describe your style in 3 words.
Colourful, fun, characters.
What mediums do you most enjoy working with?
That’s a real tough one! I really love experimenting with things. When I’m making stuff I like to think about the best way to make it through mark making. The other week I made a load of clouds using acetate and acrylic, which was pretty fun. In regards to general drawing just a mechanical pencil will do.
How do you find the working relationship with publications and companies?
Usually It’s pretty fun, sometimes if it’s a big client I get a little bit nervous and I don’t always get the best image done, when I’m nervous I end up over working the roughs or psyching myself into making really detailed stuff which might not actually be deliverable on time.
Do you have any tips for aspiring illustrators?
Go to university, get your head down, have fun and make the most out of it.
What’s up next for you?
I’m working on a few bits and bobs at the moment and I’m working on a few personal bits and bobs as well as some bits for the guardian.
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