1. What’s your story? Where are you from?
Hi! My name’s Dan, I’m an illustrator and animator, and it’s been a bit of a rollercoaster to get me to where I am now. Originally I was going to be an archaeologist. I’m from Leeds, but I studied in Scotland and my family are a real mix – Egyptian / Russian / German and Polish grandparents.
2. Tell us about your aesthetic.
I like experimenting with interesting colours combinations, so my animations tend to have a limited palette. I love old lino-prints so try and give an echo of that to all my artwork.
3. What is your favourite medium and why?
My favourite medium is actually charcoal but I rarely use it professionally nowadays since I’m an animator – everything I do is on Photoshop. I love the scope of Photoshop, and it’s fun experimenting with textures.
4. What is your artistic process like?
I always start with a still image in mind. Sometimes it’s just popped into my head or sometimes I go looking for it on Pinterest. Then I start imagining what the story behind it is, and how I can make it move.
5. Who and/or what inspires your work?
Fairytales and myths inspire my work. I used to want to be an ancient Greek archaeologist – studied it in university originally. So a lot of my work involves folklore, even if the subject matter isn’t anything to do with it – perhaps just the tone or the mood.
6. What role does art play in your life? How does it change the way you view the world?
I guess doing art encourages you to really to pay attention to things. If you’re always studying objects, people etc, and imagining how you would go about drawing them, then you can’t take their shape for granted. Animation is the same but with movement instead – I’m always looking at the way things move and imagining how many frames it would take to replicate it. Proper weird…
7. Where did you study?
I don’t actually have a background in art – I studied Classics at the University of St Andrews in Scotland. And now I’m at the Royal College of Art doing the Animation MA.
8. Where do you see yourself in five years?
In five years, I’d love to be working for a creative design / animation studio while doing bits and bobs of freelance work on the side.
9. What about in ten?
In ten years, I’d love to be making my own animated short films for festivals etc – while doing bits and bobs on the side!
10. What do you hope to achieve with your art?
Honestly, I don’t really know what I hope to achieve… It’s so satisfying when you finish at sequence and it plays back well. So it’s like a little sense of achievement for each shot. I just love making nice images. And I’d love it if I could continue making nice images, and even make a living doing what I love. That would be great.
11. Now, tell us a little more about you as a person: what is your favourite food?
My favourite food is middle eastern food. Anything with tahini!
12. Favourite book?
My favourite book is Mervyn Peake’s Gormenghast trilogy. It’s very dark and beautiful and a bit melodramatic. It’s probably super obvious when you see my artwork.
13. Favourite genre of music?
My favourite genre of music is oldies at the minute – anything funky or with soul.
14. What are your hobbies?
I love reading, listening to music, watching films. I do also have an irrational love of plants, although plants I own tend to die…
15. If you weren’t an artist, what would you be?
If I wasn’t an animator I’d be an ancient Greek archaeologist – I worked a bit for the British Museum, and even went on digs.