Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Interview with Illustrator/Typographer Darren Booth

A while ago we posted the work of the talented illustrator and typographer Darren Booth. Darren loved the post and was gracious enough to let us interview him so we could let you know a little bit more about him. Also enjoy the smattering of Darren's beautiful work scattered through out the interview.

Name: Darren Booth
History: Graduated from the Illustration program at Sheridan College, which is just outside of Toronto. I went to College in hopes of becoming an animator but quickly changed my mind and then pursued illustration.
Location: I'm currently living in Montreal, Canada.
What you are absorbing now: Am currently reading Chip Kidd's The Learners and I listen to blues most of the time. (Muddy Waters, Freddie King, Otis Rush), especially while drawing and painting.

Who are your influences and inspiration?
I don't think I really have influences anymore for Illustration. A long time ago I did though, guys like Gary Taxali, Joe Morse, Dushan Milic, were all inspiring to me. Alot of my inspiration also comes from typography and old signage, found materials, architecture, life drawing, sketchbooks, Coca Cola, etc...

What is your process?
My process is pretty straightforward - read the brief or story that I'm illustrating, then develop some thumbnails and more refined sketches. Present them to the Art Director and hope they chose the best one.

As for creating my finals, it's a pretty organic process. For the most part I stare at the sketch that I've transfered to the paper and then start mixing paint. Layer after layer a decent color palette starts to show itself and then I react to whatever the painting needs, like more contrast, more colors, etc. I used acrylic and found papers for all of my pieces. Sometimes my color palettes are created by searching through my inventory of found papers and combining them until it feels right, or until it seems like it would suit the content of what I'm illustrating. Sometimes, I'm just aiming to find colors that would help reinforce the desired mood of the piece.

What has been your favorite project to date?
My favorite project to date is probably a recent lettering assignment called Work Life.

The Art Director, Janine Vangool, was great to work with as we collaborated very well together. I often get total freedom with lettering assignments and as a result, I don't often get alot of feedback from Art Directors. Personally, I find that to be a bit of curse sometimes because I always second guess myself. Janine is a typographer and designer so it was great to receive feedback from her because she was very enthusiastic and it made the project that much more fun to work on.

Describe your dream project:
I think my dream project would be some sort of ad campaign that appears everywhere and on everything imaginable. I'd also love to do the opening titles for a movie.

Are you an illustrator who does type or a typographer who does

First and foremost I'm an artist/image-maker. Like I mentioned above, my formal education is Illustration so that's where I feel comfortable, especially with the business side of it. I don't have any training in typography. I'd feel limited with a title such as Illustrator or Typographer because it makes it sounds like I can only do one or two things. "Artist" seems like it could encapsulate all things that I do outside of illustration or type, whether it's screen-printing, fine art, photography, song-writing, etc. I haven't always felt that way about having a title though, but this is my latest feeling about the subject.

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