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Freelance Illustrator Donough O’Malley

Donough O’Malley is an Irish Illustrator currently based in Bristol UK.

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‘I kind of ended up in Bristol by accident, and then I ended up studying illustration at the University of the West of England by accident too.

While I was always nuts about drawing ever since I was a kid, it never seemed a viable way to make a living when I was younger. But right now I couldn’t consider doing anything else. While at University in Bristol it was drilled into me and my fellow students, the importance of drawing skills. That is something that has stayed with me ever since. Now if I ever hit a problem, I draw my way out of it. Even if it sends me mental.’

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‘After my degree I went on to do an MA in Narrative and sequential design at the University of Brighton. It was while I was there I was introduced to more graphic work than the traditional figurative illustration I had previously been exposed to. This was a bit of a game changer for myself, as graphics was no longer a dirty word to me and I started to experiment more.

It was also while I was there I discovered people such as James Jean, Ashley Wood, Sean Tan and Miroslav Sasek. These people have been big influences on me, not in a style sense but more in the fact that they have a singular vision they are striving towards.’

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‘Since then my work has expanded into a number of areas and styles, but one factor I always strive to communicate is a sense of fun. From my traditional pastel paintings for picture books, to my more graphic style for editorial and advertising, that’s my singular vision. Something fun to do, and something fun for people to look at.

It’s also what I admire in current illustrators such as Steve Simpson, Peter Donnelly and Peskimo. Recent projects I’ve been working on that I’ve had a lot of fun with is some illustrations for Jameson’s whiskey, and Pickles magazine. I’m currently working on a secret gig poster with Tiny Little Horse in Ireland, a image for an exhibition in Australia, and the next cover for the award winning book series ‘The World of Norm’. All seriously good fun.’

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Website | @pencilrobot