Instagram: @dalebrains


1. What’s your story? Where are you from?

Born into a family of wolves I survived in the depths of the Amazon for 12 long years until moving to the urban capital of the UK, Harrogate, where I was actually born. I used to spend my time just generally being urban, skateboarding around the local schools with my friends and being a little bit naughty, until I learnt the most important lesson there is in life – crime doesn’t pay. We used to get packets of crumpets and eat them straight out the packet. We found out later that it wasn’t the ‘done thing’. We were mavericks. I currently live in Leeds, UK with some amigos but I am soon to be a resident of Sheffield so I can be just that bit closer to the snooker. PS. I’m not that fussed about the snooker.


2. Tell us about your aesthetic.

I’d describe it as cool as a cucumber and strong as a crisp. I enjoy scenes full of little people doing things, from running to being a dog, just generally having a good time. I use a limited colour palette a lot of the time, I used to struggle a lot with colour but dipped my toes one at a time and now I’ve probably got an ankle’s worth of leg in the colour pool, it’s something I want to explore further, like a young explorer looking for new kinds of bees.

I like words, mainly ones I can understand but they’re all pretty good – made up ones especially. I tried to coin the phrase ‘decent decent Liam Neeson’ but it never really caught on. I like imagining what people would say in any given situation but recently I’ve been playing with 3D type which is a lot of fun. I just try to create work that I’d want to look at; I guess that’s what it boils down to.

3. What is your favorite medium and why?

It really depends on what I’m doing but I use a lot of Photoshop and sketchbooks for ideas – for me it takes away any fear of going wrong (though I save about 12 versions of each file and don’t delete layers, you know, just in case) – but if I’ve finished my work for the day I like going downstairs and sitting in the sun (I put the light on and sit under it if it’s raining) and wiggling around with some paint, which is a real hoot. I’d find it hard to create an editorial piece with paint, but then I’d probably find it hard to be free on Photoshop? Who knows, just a bit of everything really!

It’s fun to see where you can put new bits of work, when I get the chance it’s great to do some screen printing but I never have the money to indulge properly. I have a blast imagining creating work for books, working in sequence and what happens when you turn the page. Moving image is also great but again it’s quite time indulgent and when the bills come knocking it’s hard to justify the time. I’d love to create some murals, working huge for everyone to see and think ‘man that’s a waste of a perfectly good wall’, but yeah, probably Photoshop at the moment.

4. What is your artistic process like?

I usually have a sketchy b near me or some sort of note making device which I’m always adding ideas and dreams to, so when I have a bit of free time I’ll delve into that, do a little thumbnail or 6 then try translate that into something digital. Sometimes you have a really clear idea in your head about what you want a bit to look like which is great, other times it’s a bit harder and I want to cry into a little cup and feed it to a mouse (only if the mouse consents). At the moment when I’m really stuck for ideas I’ll just lay a grid on Photoshop and see where the wind takes me. I try not to get too hung up on what I make; I’d say the vast majority of the work I create is just throwaway ideas waiting for Nike to hire me for a multi-million pound ad campaign. #Nike

5. Who and/or what inspires your work?

My biggest inspiration is my wonderful girlfriend – it’s corny as a dog but also true as a shoe – I like creating bits just to see what she thinks of them – she’s always making something cool and it just makes me want to create something cool too. Shouts out to Steph.

I’m also heavily inspired by games from my youth and animations by David Firth on Fat-pie – that’s probably where it all began, seeing what’s possible with just one person, made for the sake of making it, I find that really inspiring.

Also bin pictures, the fear of dying from starvation, wasps and tales about Farthing Wood.

6. What role does art play in your life? How does it change the way you view the world?

I think it’s pretty central, I make work pretty much every day, even if I’m hung over or feeling like my brain might crush a bit due to stress and / or volcanoes. It’s a way for me to earn money, a way to escape when I’m feeling a bit meh, a fun activity to do with friends, to while away the time and everything in between. There isn’t much of my time that I’m not thinking about what I could / should / would be making. Apart from when I’m thinking about mansions.


7. Where did you study?

I did my foundation at Leeds College of Art which I’d recommend to anyone and everyone in the local area, I learnt so much in that one tiny baby year it’s unreal. Then I studied Illustration & Animation at the other urban capital of the UK – Kingston upon Thames. I met a lot of my gang there, but they all still live in London so I don’t really see them as much as I’d like – I miss you my sweet sweet friends.

8. Where do you see yourself in five years? Working in an agency?

Hopefully alive and less worried about money. I’ve got a few ideas for towels and other products that everyone simply must have which I’m working on at the moment, so hopefully at some point in the near future I’ll be able to do something with that. I’d like to be making all the bits that I feel like I can’t currently due to quid issues – but hopefully I’ll be writing things, making games, making art and eating avocados left right and centre. Having an agent would also be swell.

9. What about in ten?

Living in a house with 3 children all called Dale and a jungle room where I keep all my old sketchbooks. I will be lord of the manor and have a small but elegant crown. I feel I should mention that the children would be mine; I don’t just want to live in a house with random children, no offense children but that would be weird.

10. What do you hope to achieve with your art?

It would be nice to reverse the effects of global warming but it might be a little bit out of my grasp. I don’t know really, I used to have big dreams about changing the world and stuff but I think these days I’m just happy if I make people laugh or make people want to stop and look at it. If I make a positive impact on the world then I’ll be really happy, but just living off what I enjoy doing is good enough for Daley boy.


11. Now, tell us a little more about you as a person: what is your favorite food?

Short answer? Bread. Long answer? Large amounts of bread. I can’t really eat it because it makes me inflate like a balloon but I never seem to learn, the allure of that bready soft goodness is just too much. Brb, going to get some bread.

12. Favorite book?

That’s a toughie, I think probably The 100 Year Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared – it’s by this Swedish author called Jonas Jonasson and it’s full of humour, fake but believable history and a great tale – there’s something about an adventure featuring an old person…

13. Favorite genre of music?

Guns and roses tribute bands. Is that a genre? No? Probably music from games then – I sometimes just put the Final Fantasy 9 soundtrack on in the background when I’m working. I listened to a good Studio Ghibli radio show on NTS the other day which was pretty sweet.

14. What are your hobbies?

I play games and like to make things. I make music and recently learned how to make games which took a big chunk of time but was rewarding as can be (hit me up if you want a game making). When I’m too tired to do anything productive I’ll usually just catch up on some anime, boy do I know how to have a good time.

15. If you weren’t an artist, what would you be?

A chef. Or a chief. I’ve always wanted to have my own café / bar and enjoy making food so it would be pretty delicious to be a chef I reckon. Can I be an inventor? Maybe an inventor. But almost definitely a chef.