Saturday, 8 September 2012

Art: Interview with Danny Pig

Jon Cronshaw: How did you get into graphic design? What inspired you to become an artist?

Danny: I started drawing cartoons as a kid and got into graphic design later on. initially inspired by the work of Neville Brody (Creative director of The Face magazine), Robert Crumb, Gilbert Shelton (Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers) and the psychedlic poster artists from the 60's - Wes Wilson, Rick Griffin, Lee Conklin, and Victor Moscoso. Also I remember being blown away by the art and satirical content of sixties undergound "hippie" magazine, Oz (c1967-1973)

Jon Cronshaw: How did you make the leap from casual artist to producing graphic work?

Danny: In the early days before I got a computer everything was hand-drawn and cut and paste, proper old skool with scissors and glue, it used to take hours just to cut out the lettering from photocopied Letraset catalogues. The first proper posters I made were for my own band Bulbous, we played regularly around Leeds and Manchester at venues such as the Duchess Of York (Leeds) and Night & Day (Manchester) and I made a different poster/flyer for every gig. Around about the same time I got into designing tattoos - several of my friends are adorned with designs I produced and I can tell you that there is nothing more rewarding than seeing a piece of your artwork on someone’s body - for life.

After the break up of Bulbous, my artwork took a back seat as I spent every spare moment teaching myself how to write and produce music until I formed a new band, Pigzipper and started gigging again, thus reinstating the need to produce posters again. I only started using a computer for my artwork about three years ago, I taught myself how to use software such as Photoshop, Illustrator and Freehand and became amazed at how quickly you could work and try out different ideas - in the past if I made a mistake, I either had to live with it or start all over again, now you can just click undo...too easy.

Jon Cronshaw: How do you work, is there a routine you follow when designing?

Danny: Most of my work now starts off with a bit of research and then where possible I hand draw the main elements with pen and pencil, then scan it into the computer and build on it from there. I believe it is vitally mportant to start with an original illustration as too many people have access to stock photos or images these days and obviously if you can find an image on the web then someone else can do just the same and everybody’s work looks the same (how
many adverts do you see now with that swirly floral shit? – it’s because everyone has the same set of Photoshop brushes!), its the only way to keep your art truly fresh and unique. I also believe this same principle is applicable to computer music, too many people relying on factory/library samples, play it in yourself or get a proper musician to do it

This was originally published in Art Fist magazine, 2008.

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