'Diana’ printed on Hahnemühle Photorag

'Diana’ printed on Hahnemühle Photorag

Interview with Becky Donnelly

Originally from Dublin, Becky Donnelly is a London based artist with a background in animation. However, deciding in favour of keeping traditional media at the core of her work has led her toward illustration, giving way to her wonderfully curious creations.

Becky is exhibiting at The Cluster Illustration Exhibition which celebrates emerging illustrators from different backgrounds with a diverse range of styles.

The exhibition runs from 27 Sept - 2nd Oct at The Old Truman Brewery.

Tell us about your upcoming exhibition as part of the Cluster Illustration Art Fair?

I was approached by Cluster a few weeks back about taking part in the exhibition, which is focused on providing a platform for emerging illustrators to showcase and sell their work. The exhibition is starting on Thursday 27th September at The Old Truman Brewery, and is open until Tuesday 2nd October. And yes, this is my first time exhibiting, so it’s safe to say I’m pretty nervous!

How are your illustrations created?

My work always begins with sketching on paper. Once I’m happy with a design I transfer it to watercolor paper and start painting, and subsequently I add line work with pen. I do the odd digital painting now and again, but I’m happier working with traditional media. Most of the time I only use Photoshop to clean up scans of my work.

How does your modelling tie in with your artwork?

I think a large part of any illustrator’s work is a response to the world around them, so being in the fashion industry has had an automatic influence on my mine. My illustrations are character based, and in some ways I find working as a model quite similar, as you are providing a visual extension of yourself.

Is there any underlying commentary to your drawings?

I think the central theme of my work is identity, more specifically, the contradictory nature of it. As a kid I was always drawn to monsters in stories; the fact that they are inherently flawed makes them more interesting and relatable as characters to me. So I guess with goofy creatures or sassy skeletons I’m trying to expand upon this. When a character is scary but funny, hideous but beautiful, or menacing but fragile, are they really a “monster” at all? Aren’t they just as human as us?

That being said, I’ve never felt a need for my work to be taken too seriously – sometimes I just feel like painting a one-eyed gremlin wearing harem pants and a party hat, and it’s really no more meaningful than that! 

Your work has been featured by major fashion designers, how did 

this come about?

The majority has happened through social media, which I still find pretty nuts. I’m immensely grateful for the response I’ve had from designers, it’s definitely not something I had expected. I’ve never really pictured myself as a fashion illustrator, despite my background, but I do enjoy putting a dark or humorous twist on the conventional ideas of fashion illustration. The fashion industry is controversial, and I guess my illustrations explore, even gently poke fun at, some of the stereotypes surrounding the topic.

Would you describe yourself as more of an independent artist?

So far I’ve worked independently, but the idea of collaboration has always appealed to me. I’m starting an MA in Illustration at Camberwell College of the Arts in October, so I’m hoping to have opportunities to work with other students on collaborative projects during my time there. 

What type of paper do you think works best with your printed artwork?

I’ve had a lot of difficulty in the past finding suitable papers for producing prints of watercolor work, but the Hahnemuhle Photorag paper I’ve used for my exhibition prints has been a dream. The slight grain and matt finish really replicate the watercolor paper I use for my paintings, so the prints have retained the integrity of the originals. Honestly, side by side it’s hard to tell them apart!

It seems that your lifestyle is very much your career too. How do you take time out?

Pretty normal stuff really – hanging out with friends, binge-watching TV shows, expanding my useless ornament collection. The usual.

Tell us about your other upcoming projects.

With my MA just around the corner I’ll be focusing on that for now, and I’m looking forward to the opportunities that will bring! 

More of Becky’s work on her website or Instagram

AuthorNazy Raouf
point101 hahnemuhle giclee print

Interview with Ryadraws

Ryadraws is a London based digital artist, currently exhibiting at Rivington Studios as part of The Anti Trump Art Show. 


Tell us about your upcoming exhibition as part of Creative Debuts Anti Trump art show

The exhibition will focus on our depictions of America’s celebrity in chief, Trump!  

There was an open call put out a couple of months ago, and I was one of the artists selected to exhibit on the 12th of July.


How strongly do you feel about social art as a young practicing artist?

Day by day we are continually being presented with distractions, and we forget what is going on around us. The issues that deserve our attention. Social art is a way for us to be informed by pretty pictures.


Where do you envision your work belonging? 

Magazines but mainly in galleries. We have gotten to a point where digital art is becoming more widely accepted and galleries treat digital art like you would any traditional painting.


How would you describe your techniques?

I replicate my traditional drawing process but in a digital space. Most of my work will start off with a pencil sketch on paper, and then I will scan the image in and render digitally.

I layer my images metaphorically, and bury meaning within to be discovered, and when possible add an Adrinka symbol if it matches the artwork.

The Adrinka’s are Ghanaian symbols of the Ashanti that represent thoughts and I use them in my work to further explain my ideas.  


Would you call yourself more of a traditional artist?

No, a lot of my work is digital, and there is no physical output until printed. Digital art has made my process more straightforward, I don’t have to think about being extra careful while drawing to make sure I don’t smudge the page etc.

Painting and sculptures are on my radar to explore, and I do write from time to time - I doubt I will ever share them though.


point101 hahnemuhle giclee print

What type of paper do you think works best with your printed artwork?

Hahnemuhle German Etching is literally the only thing I print on and gives me the desired visual. I can’t get enough of the grain and paper texture.


When you aren’t producing art, what do you like to do?

Sleeping, watching TV shows and I play games from time to time. I’m currently playing Zelda: Breathe of the wild. I set myself a project often just so I don’t get burnt out from drawing. At the moment, I’m teaching myself UI/UX and animation.

The usual stuff, reading and hanging out with friends.


Is there anything that particularly influences your projects or inspires you? 

Everything around me. Unfortunately, a lot of what fuels my practise tends to be the negatives. I’ll flip it and show my outlook on the topic.


Any more exciting projects on the horizon?

I will be illustrating a children’s book focusing on Ghanaian lore. Also on the horizon is a billboard illustration which will be a painting focusing on social commentary. I have a few ideas floating around on what I’m going to paint.



Ryadraws and The Anti Trump Art Show

The Anti Trump Art Show promotion with Ryadraws' artwork

The Anti Trump Art Show promotion with Ryadraws' artwork


"In response to Donald’s Trump’s planned visit to London on 13th July, Creative Debuts have joined forces with over 50 artists to show their collective disdain of the, ‘dangerous racism, sexism and narcissism that flow daily from the White House,’ through a unique art exhibition.
The exhibition celebrates a specially curated range of contemporary artwork including photography, sculpture, craft, fine art, and film whilst raising money for End Violence Against Women"-Creative Debuts 2018

See more of Ryadraws' work here.

Check out Creative Debuts.

point101 hahnemuhle giclee print

An interview with Daniel Roozendaal

We were very intrigued when we first printed Daniel's work at Point101 and, curious to learn how these artworks came to be, we contacted him to find out.

Daniel is represented by George Grace Represents, a digital illustration agency working with commercial artists who specialise in CGI, typography and animation.


How did you come to be represented by George Grace

DR:  A few months ago my work went alright, but was still looking for representation for quite a while. Next to my work within The Netherlands, I felt my illustrations and portraits could also work internationally, but I didn’t have the connections for that or know the right people. I then saw George Grace coming by on social media, and with the limited roster of artists and quality work, his agency appealed to me. I decided to send him an email, and I got a positive reply from George. From there on we started our collaboration.


What is your preferred medium?

DR: My preferred medium is pen, Adobe Illustrator and Adobe Photoshop. I actually wasn’t very fond of working digitally for a long time, but since a few years I’ve been experiencing the advantages of it, and I couldn’t do without it anymore. However, the last few months an urge for painting/drawing started growing, so I might pick that up again!


You have a very particular style, how did you develop this?

DR:  When I just finished art school in 2009 I had a very diverse style, actually, it couldn’t really be described as one style. I did everything from painting to drawing to collages etc. After a while I realised my work was too diverse for commercial use (this being the path I wanted to follow), potential clients wouldn’t really know what to expect if they would ask me for a job. So I consciously decided to take my work more in one particular direction. 

I liked the contrast of raw and blunt painted shapes, and delicate and realistic pencil drawings on top of that, so that’s what I did for a while. However, after some time I came to the conclusion that the realistic drawing was too time consuming; it didn’t work well in commercial jobs. I then started to look for simplification, dropping the realistic drawing and developing the work built up out of just the (organic) shapes. That’s when my work started to look like the way it looks now. From that point on I started fine-tuning this way of working. I started drawing shapes on printed photo images, scanning them and editing them digitally, creating layers of those shapes on top of each other. Later on I added more geometrical shapes, creating a contrast between organic and geometrical shapes.


Why do you choose the subjects that you do?

DR:  Subjects are mostly chosen due to a certain brief, but obviously I have a preference for portraits. I find the organic shapes that can be found in a human face very interesting, and I think my style works best when depicting those shapes.


When you aren’t producing art, what do you like to do?

DR: Kind of cliché, but just the usual. Hanging with friends, being bored, drinking a beer, waiting for public transport, going to a party, cleaning my house, watching pointless shows on television, being massaged, clipping my toe nails and eating tasteless food.


Find more of his work here

Follow him on Instagram.

Learn more about George Grace Represents.

AuthorNazy Raouf