In conversation about the pencil, technology and workflows.
Q: So, at your workspace – in front of you, are all the necessary tools you require to produce your work. How digitalised is your workflow? What parts of your workflow are digital?
A lot of my process uses digital software – mostly Photoshop. Often, if I’m doing something that requires a plan/sketch I’ll start in Photoshop – drawing with my Wacom – moving stuff around and rescaling until I’m happy with it. I then print the plan and use my lightbox to trace it onto paper with pencil– finally scanning the pencil piece in and colouring it with Photoshop.
Q: You have been working with spray paint in a public setting – creating large scale pieces. This is a big change in the material delivery of your art. Considering yourself and your audience what are your experiences?
Spraypainting is something I never really thought I’d end up doing as the whole process is very different to how I usually work. The strokes are wide, the scale is way bigger and I’m forced to simplify all of the details. I wouldn’t consider myself a painter in that sense though, it’s mostly for fun and learning something new. I’ve enjoyed translating my style to what I consider a new version of my style – often thick outlines and much bolder colours – the restrictions/differences of it are the thingthat makes it interesting for me.
Q: You have a style of mark making in your work which always signifies your presence when audiences interact with your work. In addition, I feel the world building and the unique universe in which your illustrations exists also help with the distinctive nature of your illustration. There is a predominateuse of the simple pencil in your work – why is this important to you?
I’ve always loved pencil and the imperfections of it. When I get into an artist’s work I like to see their sketches and pencil work. One of my all-time favourite artists is Egon Schiele because of his distinct pencil/linework – it’s precision that comes across as rough marks.�I love for illustration to have elements of physical and digital and, for me, the pencil is the ideal tool. I also leave things like smudge marks and inaccurate lines sometimes – to keep the physical and imperfect aspect in there.
Q: Many aspects of our modern workflow as illustrators is increasingly digitalised. For example, colouring/inking in Photoshop. Is there any part of your workflow you could NEVER substitute digitally?
I’ve done fully digital pieces in the past – I have custom brushes that feel a bit like drawing with a pencil. I could never go fully digital with my style completely – I imagine I’ll always use pencil and even if not, I like to include paper/paint textures to still give it that almost printed feel.
Q: You have been creating art for a while now, there have been multiple material forms in which your work is delivered (zines/book/print/online publication), the big question I have is how these different material forms affect the end user. How do you feel these different deliverable formats of your work change the experience for the end user/audience?
I really like illustrationin print. Although I haven’t made one in a while I think zines or self-published books are great for having a small collection of work in one printed form. A few of my zines included scans of my sketchbooks – pages which I’d fill with little pencil illustrations. I think these were the most popular ones because when you’re physically holding the book you can get lost looking at the small details and hidden things. A print on the wall has a presence in the room and is great aesthetically but actually opening up a book, to me, means making a decision to enter the world of the book.Imade a print which was an A2 reimagining of Hieronymus Bosch’s ‘The Garden Of Earthly Delights’ which I filled with almost stream-of-consciousness drawings, references and narratives – I’ve always loved pictures like that that have a ‘Where’s Wally?’ feeling – you can get lost, looking and finding new things.
Thank you Daniel.
You can view Danialswork: danieljamiewilliams.com