Sweaty, jam-packed public transport was an unlikely source of character inspiration for this illustrator and designer
Designer Georgios Xanthos is known for his quirky, expressive and colourful character illustrations. Nowhere is his humorous style and vivid imagination better expressed than in his Daily Finger project.
Where did your inspiration come from?
A mixture of my love of characters, excitement at a new gadget and grief at public transport!
What was the new gadget?
I had just replaced my archaic mobile with a nifty smartphone and discovered the Paint Joy app. This magic of the portable workspace, stripped down to a minimal set of tools – a smartphone and my old finger – really blew me away.
How did this develop into the Daily Finger?
From that moment I began thinking about how my characters would turn out if I took them outside for a walk with me – when I was sleepy, pushed around and squeezed in on Athenian trains. Soon the Finger got a mind of its own and I began drawing in cafés, on the streets and in the place where even the King goes alone.
What inspires your character designs?
It could be a colour combination or a shape that intrigues me. There was a time when used to draw brogues every day – I loved the shapes, and all the perforated details! Sometimes I get lucky and a guy or a girl walks in that just screams to be turned into a character.
Do you struggle to find new ideas?
Not at all! There are hundreds of characters I have drawn that are based on small details of passengers. What Daily Finger did for me is to take me away from my old desk where I was sitting and waiting for things to happen and throw at me genuine, everyday characters carrying their angst, happiness and hastiness with them day after day.
What’s the most unusual thing to inspire you?
I love making music and all sorts of crazy sounds and noise, and I have this thing for collecting instruments. So sound plays a really big role when I create a character – I always try to imagine in my head how it sounds.