Daryl Rainbow

Posted by Kim Soep on

Kim recently interviewed visual artist Daryl Rainbow. Daryl studied illustration at Camberwell College of the Arts and now lives and works in Hackney, London. Alongside a career as an editorial illustrator for publications such as Pickles, These Football Times, and Wall Street International, Daryl creates and sells figurative works of art that look at the transience of youth culture and technology. Most recently, his work 'Graffiti on Upper Clapton Road,' was shortlisted for the Association of Illustrators Poster Prize for Illustration.

The interview went like this........

Kim: Daryl, you were born in the Philippines but grew up in London. Do you feel like your Filipino heritage has influenced your work in any way?

Daryl: I moved to London, with my family, when I was three. To be honest, I don’t really feel that much of my Filipino heritage has had any great influence on my identity. I suppose because I was brought up in London, I have embraced British/London culture more than my Filipino heritage. Which is a bit a shame. 

Kim: Your artworks are observational/visual-commentaries of memories of growing-up in London since the 1990's. Have you always drawn?

Daryl: Yeah, I always drew as a child. I mainly just drew dinosaurs and footballers growing-up, which is kind of all I just draw now. Then as a teenager I think I was more interested in portraiture, and tried to be a bit of a painter, but I never really had the patience for it.

Sterling Silencer

Kim: Your illustration is digitally drawn. At which point did you switch from paper to screen?

Daryl: I started working mainly digitally maybe only 2 years ago.

Kim: Despite your work being drawn digitally, to many viewers, it looks like its been painted and drawn by hand. Why is this?

Daryl: I think before I started drawing digitally, I always thought that everything looked better hand drawn/painted. I always liked the random textures and mistakes you get from a pencil or a brush. I think I converted to digital out of laziness to be honest. I don’t have to wait for anything to dry, or have to scan anything. I don’t have to spend money on art supplies. You can get a lot of those textures now digitally, and you also have greater control over everything. You can send your work out to clients easily via email, without losing any quality through having to take a photo or scan a hand done image. So yeah, just out of laziness and convenience really! But that rough, textured aesthetic is something I would want to achieve anyway. I don’t think I could ever go for a properly clean and clinical digital aesthetic. I don’t think it would fit my sort of work.

Kim: Graffiti on Upper Clapton Road is from a series called 'Existential Graffiti'. Can you talk more about where the idea came from?

Daryl: Graffiti on Upper Clapton Road came about from actual graffiti on Upper Clapton Road. It was a bit of graffiti that developed over a few weeks - starting off with someone writing “Dave woz ere,” to then someone else adding “Dave is shit in bed,” to then someone else, who I assume might be Dave, adding, “I’m lonely and I don’t know where my life is going.” Every time I walked past it and saw an evolution of the “street art project,” I’d almost fall on the floor laughing. I just hope Dave sorted himself out.

Kim: You draw a lot of satire for magazines and online publications. Do you feel your digital practice aids you in detaching yourself from the subject or discussion at hand, and in turn improve your vantage point to scrutinise and mock?

Daryl: I suppose I always feel more enthusiastic about an idea if there's some sort of joke behind it. It's just a voice for digesting an issue or topic that isn’t very nice. And I always feel, that by making light of a slightly serious topic, it’s just a way of acknowledging the issue without being too serious or giving an obvious opinion. I don’t really wanna give my opinions any importance. At the end of the day, all I hope to say is, "this is this, isn’t that kind of funny."

Kim: So how is 2019 looking? What are you up to?

Daryl: 2019 has been kinda busy so far. Mainly been focusing on editorials and commissions. Have a new animated video coming out for CAFIN soon. In the AOI Poster Prize exhibition next month at the London Transport Museum. And I’m also working on an illustrated book called Dinosaurs In The City, which I hope to get released this year. So if you know any publishers or anyone who could be interested, give me a shout!

'Graffiti on Upper Clapton Road' will be on show at the London Transport Museum from 8th February to the 14th July 2019. See more work by Daryl here.



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