David Doran (opens in new tab) was in his second year on Falmouth's well-respected BA Illustration course when the first freelance commission came in, and he hasn't looked back. We ask what's next for the super-talented creative…
How did you win your first job?
I've always been quite active in putting my work out there for people to see, whether through my blog, website or Twitter. That, coupled with a lot of late nights, not stopping during holiday periods and spending a lot of time developing ideas and processes, meant that my portfolio took shape a lot earlier on.
Did clients know you were still a student?
It's been mentioned, but never negatively. I always conduct myself professionally, whether it's meeting deadlines, presenting sketches or delivering final artwork. It's been a steep, but valuable, learning curve. The New York Times has 7-8 hour deadlines, which shifts your priorities to what an image needs to communicate immediately.
How has your style evolved while studying?
Three years focused purely on illustration is a great opportunity to develop a way of working that is individual and personal. Working with limited colour palettes, I take influence from traditional printmaking techniques, and find travel posters from the early- and mid-20th century inspiring: the glimpses into other lands combined with the interesting and adventurous compositions.
What are your plans for the next 12 months?
Hopefully more editorial projects and I'd like to branch out into book covers, publishing and other contexts too. Location-wise, I'm not sure where I'll be. It's a real blessing as an illustrator to be able to work from anywhere.
This article originally appeared in Computer Arts (opens in new tab) issue 230.