This is My Origins Story

Help An Illustrator

Residing in the dark depths of East London; Daniel dwells in the shadow of his drawing board, illuminated only by the glow of a computer monitor. Once with aspirations of grandeur; he dreamt of money, fame and the adulation of his peers.

Now his days are consumed one-by-one. Alone in the din of the big city, he counts the hours by a tally of hot beverages and focuses his pencil on character design and illustration.

…he is happy.

But the journey to get to this point has been arduous and non-linear.

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Fuck You Internet

Late Night

It may have gone unnoticed as the weeks and months have peeled by, but this is to be my first addition to the BiccyBlog in some time.

I wish I could excuse my prolonged absence by recounting some intriguing adventure in distant lands. This would not be true. Nor have I been engaged in a deep introspective endeavour; tackling the grand existential questions and reconnecting with one’s ever-elusive inner child. This also would be a work of fiction as I still have yet to discover my spirit animal…

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Digging through piles of the past

Visiting with my dearest mother, I decided to have a rummage through the attic and dig out some boxes of old drawings. With a healthy measure of curiosity, I endeavoured through itchy fibreglass insulation and cobwebs in the hope of discovering some forgotten treasure – kinda like in The Goonies. Retrieving my bounty was no easy feat, relocating to the kitchen to assess my finds in the hope of uncovering something that would help reflect upon my early years of work. Going through old sketchbooks, piles of loose papers and notes, I was a little bit disappointed with my past self. To my eyes, there was a lot of crap.

Sure there was plenty to be nostalgic about, but much of what I had once created with pride was now viewed with negativity. Sketches I had made with the firmest of convictions now seemed to be infantile and poorly executed. Self-deprecating doodles seemed trivial and predictable while experiments with medium appeared clumsy.

‘I thought I was good at drawing’ – I breathed under my breath as I systematically flicked through the old notebooks and loose papers.

‘You have to start somewhere’ – came a voice over my shoulder.

Consumed by the indignation of my former self, I had forgotten to consider how all of these angry scrawlings and random doodles had built over the years to inform the illustrator I am today. In this blog, I will look through a few of my old drawings and discuss the evolving process of one’s artistic approach.

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From mild-mannered Architect-elect to unstable gun-for-hire

Upon graduating from the Newcastle School of Architecture, it was widely believed to some relief that I had finally found my vocation. Having toyed with the Sciences – and later with three different disciplines of Engineering – it was hoped by many that a career in design would satisfy both my inquisitive mind and artistic desires.

Taking work in a medium-sized architectural practice, I was exposed to the glitz and glamour of life in the profession, throwing myself into the rigours of working long hours and taking on much responsibility. Becoming unenthused by the day-to-day grind, I found my job satisfaction wavering and began to recede into the sanctuary of my own creative pursuits. Sitting at my drawing board in the studio, I found myself drawing at any opportunity. On the phone to consultants I would sketch out ideas, and on post-it notes I found myself doodling characters to later be developed.

Around this time I had been developing a character as a semi self-portrait, bringing together ideas from previous drawings to create a vibrant composition. As I incorporated facial elements and the flowing forms from doodles made in a spare moment, I now had a project with which I could experiment and express my primal artistic urges.

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