A very talented and prolific illustrator, Owen Davey lives and works in Leicester, UK. He got his First Class BA (Hons.) Degree in Illustration from Falmouth University. Owen has a big and fancy list of global clients and he’s the Illustrator for most of popular app TwoDots. His work has been published in numerous print and online magazines.
Most of Owen’s work is characterized with vintage-come-folk inspired bold figures and contrastive color scheme. He’s also published some picture-books that are a delight for children and adults alike. His fantastic maps have all requisite elements of geography and regional flavors. Overall, his work is full of fun, hues, cool concepts, and playfulness that make him a much sought-after artist. PhotoArtMag brings to you some of his recent illustrations with his answers to our simple interview below:
I am a freelance illustrator working in Leicester, UK. I work on projects all across the board, from kids books to advertising. And I love all of it.
How did you get into art/illustration. Did you always want to become an artist?
I’ve always loved drawing since I was a kid and it’s pretty much all I did in my spare time. As a kid I was asked what I wanted to do when I grew up, and I said that I wanted to write and draw books for children. When I found out exactly what illustration was, I was totally up for doing it and am very pleased to make a living from it
I take my work very seriously but I’m not serious with it. Does that make sense? I feel like illustration and illustrators often aren’t given the respect they (and it) deserves. I take my job very seriously. This is my livelihood and I aim to be very professional in doing what clients want, on time and to the standard they should expect. Having said that, that doesn’t mean that the illustration itself has to be serious or even the way you go about doing it has to be. I have a laugh with clients and its usually very casual. And as you say, I love to put humour into my work.
I’ve been developing my style for 28 years and I won’t ever stop I don’t think. I’m always looking for ways to improve upon my last piece of work. Subtle shifts happen in my work over time. One of the biggest aspects of my work has been experimenting with the simplification of things and playing about with geometry. Geometry can be very satisfying for me.
Tell us about the art supplies/equipment you use at work:
I’m pretty boring in this respect really. I have a sketchbook and a pencil, and then a computer with Photoshop and a bunch of scanned in textures that I’ve found or made over the years.
I was shortlisted for World Illustration Awards 2015 and Academy of British Cover Design in the Children’s Category 2015. I won YCN Professional Awards 2013 (Illustration), and Junior Magazine Most Promising New Talent Award 2011. I was also Highly Commended for Macmillan Book Prize, Merit Award (x2) for 3×3 Pro Show, Merit Award (x2) for 3×3 Children’s Pro Show
My clients include Facebook, Google, TwoDots, Flying Eye Books, Nobrow, Templar Publishing, Lego, The Guardian, New York Times, BBC, GQ, Tinybop, Stella Artois, Benecol, Smithsonian, Walker Books, EasyJet, Virgin, Manchester City Council, Wired, Orange, Jamie Oliver, Threadless, Time Out, The Times, Dettol, Microsoft, Unilever, BePapers, Creative Review, Kuvva, Mother London, Conran, Global Blue, Nielsen, Washington Post, John Brown Media, Candlewick, Walker Books, Scholastic and many many more.
I’ve got a few books I’m working on at the moment, plenty more work for TwoDots, and a follow up to my non-fiction book ‘Mad About Monkeys’ with Flying Eye Books
Something to say to our readers or aspiring illustrators:
Work hard. Understand your audience but illustrate for yourself. Meet deadlines.