Dave Merrell is an artist, illustrator and designer located in Manchester. He is one of the artists shown in one of the "Weekly Inspirations" entries on our blog. His inspiring and unique style is definitely something to look at! Looking at Dave’s artwork – be it commissions, posters, logos or pictures drawn for the fun of it – it’s easy to see that he likes what he does and feels comfortable with his style. And he has agreed to answer a few of CG Workshop’s questions.
Without further ado…
CGW: When did you first start drawing?
Dave: I can’t remember the first time I started drawing but I do have vague memories of drawing at the breakfast table every morning before I went to nursery.
CGW: What inspired your unique style and how did it develop into what it is now?
Dave: I developed the style only recently while leisurely sketching stormtrooper’s body armour. One idea led to another and the style is continuing to evolve, so who knows what it may look like in a few years.
CGW: Who or what inspires you now?
Dave: Inspirations of mine are Marcel Duchamp, Alex Ross and Drew Struzan – Finding an emotional connection with your audience is a very important ability to possess.
CGW: You draw professionally, has it always been so?
Dave: No, believe it or not I started my working life at a solicitors. I have worked my way up from the bottom rung and am still climbing – Like anything, it’s all about getting your work in front of the right person in the right place at the right time.
CGW: Tell us something about the process of your work? Do you outline what you want to draw, or do you sometimes draw on impulse?
Dave: I start my work by sketching out the framework only using straight lines. I use these lines to create a proportional form and go from there really – I do leave a lot to artist license and try to gather as much reference surrounding the subject as I can.
Drawing on impulse is something I do everyday – when I have the time I challenge myself to make a quick sketch, sometimes it turns out great and sometimes it is just weird!
CGW: How do you organize your work routine and your workspace?
Dave: I’ll be the first to say, I am not the most organised person in the world but my wife, Sally helps me out in that department. Although my workspace is quite cluttered, amazingly I do know where everything is.
CGW: If you were to estimate the time it takes you to finish a piece, how long would that usually be?
Dave: It can range from 20 hours to around 35 hours depending on the subject and size of the painting.
CGW: What about work with clients? Do people who commission you usually have a specific vision, or do they depend on your creativity?
Dave: Most of my clients already have something in mind, although the odd time I have been given a blank canvas and can safely say not one of them has been disappointed. The best reactions have to be the emotional ones.
CGW: Do you also work using computers? If so, which programs do you use?
Dave: Yes, depending on style I use Photoshop and Illustrator, not necessarily in that order.
CGW: Do you have any words of encouragement for aspiring artists?
Dave: Never give up, never listen to the word ‚no’, always try to learn from success and the mistakes and never be afraid to try something new – history was never made by following rules.
CGW: Thanks Dave for taking the time to answer our questions. All the best to you!
For more information, please visit Dave Merrell’s website, linked at the bottom of the page.