Coming a long way from drawing star wars and Indiana jones comics for his brother and sister (although arguably there is no improving on that really), Bedford based illustrator David Litchfield’s list of clients is impressively broad, from The Anorak Magazine to The Telegraph. He’s also a regular contributor to the Bedford Clanger and Creaturemag, a zine definitely suited to his tastes.
For as an illustrator his work possesses possibly the most envied aspect any artist searches for: a unique and exciting style. His textured sketches of bowlegged men and monsters suited up in tweed are fascinating in their originality, and just generally very cool. Subtle washes of watercolour and texture keep a sketchy varied feel to every piece, and his use of patternwork definitely deserves a mention for it’s intricacy.
Such techniques were really pushed in his A Drawing a Day project of July 1st 2010 to June 31st 2011; in which, as much as I’m sure you won’t see this coming, he drew a drawing a day for a year, posting each one on facebook for people to comment/criticise/critique. Shown in various exhibitions from Augst 2011 it’s a really insightful look into his experimentation with style. (Although warning: this will make any aspiring artist feel guilty for never being able to be even half as dedicated as managing to stick with anything so consistently).
When asked if anything in particular helped develop the way he works he replied: “In terms of illustrators I love people like Ryan Andrews and Andy Kehoe. But I’m inspired by loads of things really, such as Tim Burton and Stanely Kubric films and Tom Waits’ music which have as much impact on my drawing as artist and illustrators do. If not more”.
In terms of current projects the future looks busy to say the least- not only is David working on a graphic novel, two children’s books, a film, and furthering his animation work, but he also has a 10 month son to look after.
That’s why it’s pretty surprising to learn David is not yet a full-time illustrator, but works part time at his local art college as well. However in a rather “scary but exciting” move he told me, he is at last “thinking about taking that leap into being a full time illustrator”. Despite the intense schedule he’s pretty self-deprecating, maintaining, “I try not to get too stressed about it, after all I’m working away at something I love, so I can’t really complain”.
In the short term he is currently finishing up designs for the new Rue Royale album: an Anglo-American duo with a lovely tranquil Fleetwood Mac-esque sound, who are deserving of their own article on here to be honest.
So if you’re interested in something a bit more interesting and a tad more exciting than just another pastel drawing of a cat, or a twee watercolour of a landscape go see his website, tumblr, or facebook.
His animations are also pretty awesome and carry on with his distinct approach to drawing, so here’s a fast-deadline advert about Galicia in Spain done for the Telegraph. And if you’re just plain sick of looking at drawings and links I’ll leave you with a Lucha Libre game designed for the School of Craft– you can change their boots and masks and make them fight! Groovy.
And lastly make sure to watch the documentary on Litchfield made by Will Meighan of ONE99TWO as embedded above- it shows his working progress much better than I could ever poorly explain it, and it’s a very lovely insight into a really genuine guy doing what he loves.
GO I DARE YOU: