Adrian Dutt’s fascinating illustrations stem from all paths of life, with an active imagination and a quirky outlook, he manages to create some of the most wonderful rising art. Hailing from Barnstaple in North Devon, he is a degree student currently studying for an FdA in Illustration. From an early age he would draw what he wanted, not what he saw was popular within the mainstream. by Myles Palmer Image and video hosting by TinyPic Throughout the years he has developed his style further, worked as a freelance designer, started his own small company and continued to press on with what seems to be a fascinating journey through the art world. You can see from Adrian’s early body of work, right through to his latest, that he is showing more of an original style and pouring his personality into his work, citing influences from all around him. Adrian took a few moments out of his time to talk to us here at The405, and with this being my first interview (and hopefully not last!) I aim to make it a good one! Image and video hosting by TinyPic How did your interest in art first form? Was it something you were interested in from an early age or did it come later on in life? I grew up drawing pictures of birds of prey and robots, I was a nerd. My first memory of drawing something people liked was a pony, and I swapped the drawing with a girl for an eraser. That was a good day. But my Dad is a sculptor and I was always encouraged to draw, so, it’s been with me since birth I think! I hope it wasn't a used eraser It was! I probably lost it too, but it got me talking to a girl! When did you first begin your interest in the illustration side? After college I worked as a graphic designer freelance, designing logos for a clothing company, but that got boring and I slipped into grown up life. I started developing more of my illustrations and realised I liked doing that way more, so I decided to get a degree in it. I was constantly surrounded by awesome art, and I wanted to be a part of that! I was lucky in that being in a band gave me an avenue of interest, and I started doing stuff for zines, and developing a style! What was the clothing company, out of interest? It was a skate company called epidemic, I left college to start it, with the help of the Prince's Trust, and for a couple of years I got it into shops and sold out my stock, but it was completely soul destroying, and I grew out of it! But it did give me confidence in my work, and showed me how the industry worked. A businessman as well as an artist! For a while! Most artists are, especially designers and illustrators, freelance is the main way people work, unless you're lucky enough to get an agent! What inspires all of your artwork? Is it personal experiences in your life that have effected who you are and what you draw? I bring everything I see into my work, but especially a quirky outlook on things. People respond to things that provoke an emotion, I like my stuff to be slightly weird, but cool at the same time. Obviously this leads to the problem of being contemporary, and right now, a lot of illustrators are following a similar path, it's really important for me to now push my style further and get something original out there. But yeah, I put my personality into all my work! You have done some work for various DIY magazines, is it possible to explain how you got involved with this to our readers? Were you approached, or did they approach you? Both, for the bigger ones, I approached them, with an email and a link to my work, and luckily they have always got back to me! It’s always a shot in the dark, and intimidating, especially with people like Vice magazine, but if you don’t ask, you don’t get! The magazines that approached me had seen my work on posters, or knew of what I did through other people! I have found recently though, that I’m getting more emails from strangers! And that’s a nice feeling! The ‘Love To Make Noise Society’ is this something of your own, a personal project? No, that’s a music society based in Egham, a university society. I did some work for a zine a few years ago, and the guy that ran that is now leader of this society, so he asked me to do all their artwork, which is real nice! They get their graphics done by the guy from 'The Steal' an awesome punk band. I've had a lot of good feedback from those pieces, and the relationship has gone from strength to strength. All of your work is very intricate and detailed. How do you transfer from drawing to digital, does it take a long time to reproduce the same quality? I rarely use a computer these days, I do everything hand drawn, and then scan it if the client wants it digitalised! Most of my work recently has been produced using a photocopier, using that to create layers with all my different images. Its a long way of doing it, but ultimately, so rewarding. I find the minute I go on the computer I lose the heart of what I'm doing, so I get my pens back out. Really nice to hear that not everything is produced on the computer, it's become a modern day idea that everything has to be done via the computer and most students you meet, who are now coming into the college level, all believe that it revolves around a computer! My tutors encourage the use of non-digital imagery, which is perfect! The down side to it is, if I spend 4 hours doing a textured/intricate poster and the client decides they want the font different, it's back to square one! But then I get my scalpel out, and use it to cut out what needs changing. You have done artwork for your own band, does the music and art you make relate and influence you also? Umm, I like to do images that I'd like to wear, or I'd be attracted too, and when I see other bands artwork I like, I think to myself, 'hmmmm how can I better that'. I'm currently doing a range of animal inspired images with overheard conversation tidbits, they will eventually be my first range of tees and canvas bags! But I think the imagery has to work with the band sound, I don’t think I could do a panda wearing a duck mask for a hardcore metal bands artwork. These new ones sound interesting - will they be available to buy any time soon and to look at in the near future? Within a few weeks. As here at the 405 we like music as well as art – what is your top 10 bands for the coming year – who do you believe are the ones to watch? Hmm, well, I'd love to see Pulled Apart By Horses go massssive! DIE!DIE!DIE! A New Zealand band who are awesome, Shoes and Socks Off, Nitevision, Slow Club, Blakfish deserve to be massive, Idiosync who are a stupendous wonky pop band from Birmingham, 'Ono palindromes', 'Spectres' are dark and brooding and make my heart swoon and probably loads more I cant remember right now. Elton John? What is the fondest memory you have? Shit, I don’t know, music wise it would have to be playing truck fest in oxford, and looking out at a big crowd! Illustration wise it'd have to be getting my work seen. But I treasure all my memories, I don’t think I can pick one! I love being on tour and hanging out with people that are awesome, exploring new places! I love new countries, and new socks. And the excitement of Polaroids! What other interests do you have outside art, what keeps you ticking over and not burning yourself out? I love music, records, shoes, hats, Polaroids, birds, birds of prey, my girlfriend, my friends, football, exploring, adventuring, laughing, making people laugh and cats. If I have a day that involves all of those, I know it's been a good one. Within your illustrations you always seem to use a few signature ‘patterns’, where did you think of these from and what’s your inspiration? Maths. Patterns are more interesting than block colour. I like to use line as a decorative form and Maths helps me. How so? I'm afraid that's a secret! Nahhh Geometry, Geometric Shapes, Numbers, it’s all fun! Repetition and Symmetry are two of my favourite things also. What is your favourite media to draw with? Pencils, Markers, Crayons? Fine Liners, 0.1 the absolute staple of my pencil case. Your work doesn’t use much colour – and when you do it seems you prefer to use red, is there any reason for this? Well in my more recent work I use a lot of colour, originally I preferred black and white as it's more powerful, bolder, and easier to reproduce. Semiotically, red increases heart rate and excites people. Once you learn semiotics, you can discover a way into people's heads I strongly suggest you learn it! Which out of your work is your favourite and why? I really like the t-shirt design for Alcopop records, and the bird logo for LCS!, But my favourite of the moment is my recent nursery rhyme work. It pushed boundaries for me. Sweet - where can we see these? I'll have them on my carbon made very soon and my website is under construction as we speak. Image and video hosting by TinyPic You have a distinctive style of text that you reproduce throughout some pieces of work, was it hard to perfect? It wasn’t hard to perfect, it developed over time, I love hand drawn text and how the slightest drop shadow can give a word a whole new emphasis, I try and use hand rendered text wherever possible. Where do you see yourself tomorrow? Doing the same, drawing and enjoying myself, one day maybe I’ll do it on a grander scale! We all have dreams I guess! What do you feel is the next step for you, personally, and within your artwork? I’m exploring more with found surfaces and scale, and I’m pushing my images further in their quirkiness. Music wise a new project is brewing and is excites me greatly. On behalf of myself, and the 405, I thank you MASSIVELY for your time and effort for this! No problem! Thank you very much! Whoop! Image and video hosting by TinyPic Adrian Dutt also produces various gig posters – some of his art work can be seen on - with the rest soon to be uploaded and the website under construction!