It’s a Spatial and Colourful Affair

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Artist, Colour, Texture

It’s a Spatial and Colourful Affair 

Daniel Clarke

Who influences you graphically? 

I’m mostly influenced by my surroundings and the architecture/ spaces that I stumble across. I grew up in London and I spend a lot of time exploring the city which has become a key source of inspiration for my work. I also find inspiration in key printmakers such as A.M Cassandre, Eric Ravilious and one of my favourite painters Nomata Minoru.


What dictates your choice of colour palette? 

I’m often drawn to particular buildings or environments based on their colour palette, it’s a combination of the shapes and colours that inspire me to recreate a specific scene. I often manipulate the colours that I find to make the illustration work to my taste. If I’m illustrating an imaginary space, I’m usually a bit more open with the palette which will lead to a more vibrant colour palette.



What is your work process? Do you work first through sketch and then post produce in photoshop? 

I work initially with a pencil drawing which will then either take the form of a gouache painting or digital collage. With the digital collage, I use a similar process to print making where each colour will be hand drawn and layered up in photoshop, this allows me to then reproduce the illustration as a print.

How does the ‘wood’ background influence the image?What is its purpose? 

These paintings were commissioned by Assemble who wanted to use the Canadian Douglas fir plywood as a reference to the location,Vancouver, where the paintings were based on. This isn’t something that I usually do but I’m interested in adapting my work to difference surfaces in the future.



You seize to show people within the images, what is the reason and effect? 

I often avoid including characters in my illustrations as characters aren’t what inspire me to capture a scene, if they are included it will often be an after thought. The reason for this is that I enjoy reproducing the patterns, shapes and atmosphere found within an environment through it’s design and structure. To bring people into the illustration often comes as a distraction as to what I’m focusing on and can then mislead the viewer. I think the lack of characters gives a truer appreciation to the architecture which is what the focus point of my work is.

Have you ever thought of going into ‘books’ and building a visual narrative through imagery? 

Definitely, I’ve produced a book before which focused on a particular housing estate in London which was soon to be demolished. The book featured the architectural patterns found throughout the estate alongside memories of the former residents, working as a memoir of living on the estate. You can see more from this here. I’d like to work on a new book in the near future, and I expect it will be in a similar vein. I currently use my instagram as a blog so you can keep up to date with new projects over there.


Barbican Conservatory







Daniel is a freelance Illustrator from London. His collaborations include: Amnesty Intl, the New York Times, the Smith Journal, Wallpaper* magazine, Wired Magazine, Dezeen, Assemble Studio and many others!


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