In the second part of our Coastal Conversations series, we catch up with our friend, award-winning illustrator David Doran. Based in Cornwall but featured all over the world, David’s projects range from Apple and Airbnb to BAFTA and the NY Times. David talks about how community has helped him find hope and live ethically during these difficult times.
What influenced your style as an illustrator?
I’m really interested in colour and shapes, ultimately striving to strike a balance between graphic elements and hand drawn detail, creating scenes that communicate a mood or particular atmosphere. I love old travel posters and all that they encompass: the traditional printing techniques, the depth of field in the compositions and the idea of illustrating a scene that has a sense of time and place.
"I love old travel posters and all that they encompass"
A collaboration based on time spent at mid-century design specialist Hotel Alexandra in Copenhagen, Denmark.
What aspect of your work brings you joy?
I love the freedom of being an illustrator. Though I’m often working on commercial client projects, I feel blessed that the projects I receive often allow me to have freedom to be creative within the briefs. On a more practical level, there’s freedom in how my working day looks. My wife works with me in the studio, which means that my illustration is integrated into our life and our days can be varied.
Where have you found hope in these trying times?
My main hope in this past year has been grounded in my faith. Our community in Falmouth and our church have been very much ‘together’, even if that’s across zoom…!
I’ve also found a fresh appreciation for our surroundings in Cornwall. We previously travelled a lot with work and it’s been good to remind ourselves of why we choose to live in this beautiful part of the country.
What does living in step with nature and other people mean to you?
So many of our friendships and favourite moments are led by being outdoors and surrounded by nature. In Cornwall, we often find that we’re surrounded by people with the same appreciation of nature. When I’m going through a particularly intense period of work, I really crave being outdoors…going for a run with a friend or sea swimming with our neighbours makes all the difference
How has this perspective developed over time?
Izzy and I are always considering the balance between work-life and personal-life, which are both naturally entwined for us. We’re learning to balance deadline-heavy periods with making sure we prioritise getting out and doing a run with a friend each…and generally being outdoors and away from computer screens.
Can you share a practical way you are seeking to live more ethically and sustainably?
Falmouth has a real heart for sustainability as a town. We’ve recently become involved with the local food co-operative, where the food is all locally sourced from farms and small holdings. It’s lovely to see the community queuing up to pick up their fruit and veg.
What challenges do you face in living more ethically and sustainably on a day to day basis?
Changing the way that we buy food and plan our meals has become a big part of our routine more recently. The lockdowns have made us appreciate our local stores and small businesses. We want our community and the town to survive these times. We’re trying to support the smaller business and ensure the small choices we make on a day to day basis are local and sustainable.
To travel in, David wears the Corduroy Buttoned Overshirt in Forest Night from KCA over their Pineneedle Green Narrow Striped T-Shirt, complimented by their Wool Beanie in Dark Grey Melange and Classic Chino in Total Eclipse. Jollie's Royal Organic socks complete the look with style and a pop of colour.
What do clothes mean to you?
I’ve always loved clothes. I spend a lot of time drawing people and their outfits, and it’s always been something I’ve appreciated. I like striped t-shirts and colourful socks.
What do you think about the people who made your clothing?
I’m becoming increasingly aware of the cost of clothing and how cheap and available fast fashion is. Ultimately, how this effects the makers. I’m thankful for Brothers We Stand and other companies highlighting the realities of the clothing industry.
What do you think about the environmental impact of your clothing?
I generally love well-made clothing that can then be well-worn. Clothing that you can foresee wearing for years and decades, becoming better with age. I really dislike the idea of quick trends passing and the waste that’s created. So in my clothing, I’ll always opt for more timeless pieces.
In a world of instant gratification, how do you find lasting satisfaction?
The world of social media and screen-based activities is often filled with instant gratification…so I really prioritise being away from the screen when possible. Picking up a guitar, going on a walk, or just generally being more present.
Stylist: Izzy Doran
Photographer: Sam Glazebrook