9 Sep 2010

Artist 16: David Booth

From the magical mind of David Booth, fantastic and intriguing imagery bursts forth to captivate and enlighten the viewer. Based in the far south on a little island, he brings all his experience and skill to bear while keeping himself sane!

Who Are You:
I'm a 25 year old freelance Illustrator / Designer, currently based on the Isle of Wight.

What do you do:
During the week I'm a mind mannered marketing assistant, and at weekends I keep myself sane by drawing. It’s hard staying sane on this island, so I draw a lot of stuff.

I like to try all sorts of things; I make artists’ books, zines and prints. I draw with ink and pencil in a sketchbook or with pixels on a screen. I like to maintain a balance between traditional and digital, because each medium has its inherent strengths and weaknesses and it’s important to use them for their correct application.

My favourite subject is the human mind. It’s probably the most complex entity in the known universe and it does a lot of weird things I’ll never fully comprehend, but it also provides an infinite amount of inspiration. If you’re ever stuck for ideas, just have a think about that thing you use for thinking.

How did you start:
I guess it was nearly a quarter-century ago that I first picked up a crayon. I vaguely remember a stack of colouring books with meticulously coloured pages. I’ve always been a bit obsessed with neatness; I never strayed beyond that thin black line. These days I try to escape that comfort zone whenever possible.

I progressed to coloured pencils as soon as I was old enough to use one without stabbing myself in the eye, then on to felt tips as I left the colouring books behind. Why colour somebody else’s boring picture when you can draw whatever the heck you like? I drew a lot of dogs and telephones, inexplicably.

From then on the world was my canvas, an A level in fine art taught me how to paint and a degree in Illustration taught me how to research and develop my ideas properly. I taught myself Photoshop, and I’ve been happily doodling ever since!

A Personal statement about you or your work:
To use the most disgusting analogy imaginable, my brain is like a toilet cistern; it needs filling up before it’ll flush. To fill it, I research until I know a lot about my chosen subject, the hissing stops, the water settles and then with any luck I flush out a few pretty pictures.

It’s good to have a methodology that balances research and creativity. It’s great to make sexy illustrations, but it’s even better if you learn something of your subject along the way. Better still, if you help others to understand your subject.

The word illustrator is of Latin origin, and means “one who enlightens”. If I could offer one piece of advice to any budding illustrator, it would be to keep this in mind. If you want to enlighten people, you must first enlighten yourself, and then you must scribble enthusiastically to get your point across!


  1. P.S. I have a new website if anyone wishes to take a look :) www.illustrationbooth.com