• Woodger-hero

    Dan Woodger: Jurassic Skate Park

Illustration

Introducing...The brawling fruit and skating dinosaurs of illustrator Dan Woodger

Posted by James Cartwright,

Freelance illustrator Dan Woodger graduated from the University of Brighton in 2011 and has since been working his bloody socks off building a career out of a surreal imagination and raw drawing capabilities. Signed to YCN almost immediately after leaving university, he’s now got an enviable client list for such a young creative and counts Google, Cadbury, The Times, ESPN, Vice, Anorak, The Church of London and BBH among his roster of employers. Not bad for a guy whose bed, fridge and desk all occupy the same space.

Keen to catch up with Dan before his rise to illustrative superstardom continues any further we stopped by to ask some mentally taxing, hard-hitting questions of the young creative…

  • Desk

    Dan Woodger’s Desk

  • Woodger-6

    Dan Woodger: Work in progress

Where do you work?

I work from my flat in Surbiton that I share with my girlfriend. It’s not a huge space but I’m championing the corner desk and I love it here. I’m one swift push of the wheely-chair away from the fridge and five or six steps from my bed. The morning commute’s a breeze.

How does your working day start? 

Cereal, juice, and Talk Sport. Maybe sketch a few characters then straight into the project I left the night before.

How do you work and how has that changed?

I feel as though I have one of the most disorganised and long-winded working methods there is, but it seems to work for me. I’ve never particularly liked sketchbooks; I guess I’ve always enjoyed the freedom of loose paper rather than the bind of a book (although this does make for a more chaotic filing system). I keep a huge ream of cheap A3 paper tucked under my desk which I’ll use to sketch the design or character onto. I then erase it just enough so that I can still see the rough outline, then redraw it with a cleaner line. When I feel the sketch looks right I’ll scan it into Photoshop, then use a Wacom tablet to trace my own drawing using the paint brush tool. I’m almost certain that there’s a quicker way of doing things but I guess if it ain’t broke don’t fix it.

The main change I’ve noticed has been my overall confidence in what I’m doing; I feel like I’m far less indecisive with colour and composition than I used to be and my line work is much tighter.

Where would we find you when you’re not at work? 

I feel extremely lucky that I get to draw for a living so I find it hard to know when to stop. If I’m not working on client work, I’ll usually be working on something for myself. 

However I do understand the importance of stepping away from the desk and I have other interests beyond illustration. I love sports, football and golf particularly but I like running too. So given a chance I’d be outside getting some sweet fresh air. 

Would you intern for yourself?

On the one hand no, I’d probably end up getting really pissed off with myself. I’m my own worst critic so the intern version of myself would probably keep telling me that I could be working harder or that I could be doing something better and then we’d either never leave our desks or end up in a fight. Plus my girlfriend has enough to deal with me being in the flat ALL the time I don’t think she could stomach another me being here too.

But if it meant I could double my work load or half my working hours then I guess that’d be really awesome. 

  • Woodger-1

    Dan Woodger: Fruit Punch

  • Woodger-4

    Dan Woodger: Time Out London

  • Woodger-2

    Dan Woodger: Time Out London

  • Woodger-3

    Dan Woodger: Time Out London

  • Woodger-5

    Dan Woodger: Readers Digest

  • Woodger-7

    Dan Woodger: Readers Digest

  • Woodger-8

    Dan Woodger: Readers Digest

  • Woodger-12

    Dan Woodger: Jurassic Skate Park

  • Woodger-11

    Dan Woodger: Inside Out Digital

  • Woodger-10

    Dan Woodger: Inside Out Digital

Jc

Posted by James Cartwright

James started out as an intern in 2011 and is now one of our two editors. He oversees Printed Pages magazine and content wise has a special interest in graphic design and illustration. He also runs our online shop Company of Parrots and is a regular on our Studio Audience podcast.

Most Recent: Illustration View Archive

  1. Anatortos-book-8-int_copy

    To celebrate the ten-year anniversary of French eco-building company Nobatek, London-based animator Ana Tortos designed and illustrated a book and made an animation, as well as a series of wood-panel illustrations for the interior of the Nobatek office. A huge undertaking, the project tells the story of the growth of the company through its various projects developing grass roofing, soundproof roads made of recycled tires and utilising the digestive system of earthworms to get rid of trash.

  2. Nick-vokey-coach-bird-int-list

    Oi graphic designers! What do you get up to in your spare time? Spot of kerning is it? Take the kids down to the font foundry and do a type casting workshop yeah? Well you’re really letting the side down. Nick Vokey’s a graphic designer who’s worked for The New Yorker and MIT Technology Review and in HIS spare time he makes comics about a medical doctor who coaches a local pee-wee football team and has been turned into a bird by a wizard. He’s a foul-mouthed bastard of a bird but incredibly funny indeed. Have a look at Nick’s comics and then reassess the way you use your weekends. You too could be making an hilarious bird-themed odyssey of graphic art. (This also applies to anyone who isn’t a graphic designer).

  3. Zoo_jennlivweb_copy

    Toronto-based illustrator and cartoonist Jenn Liv is a whizz with colour. With sustained attention to detail, she illustrates often quite stereotypical moments but always with a twist. There’s a great battle between two knights on a cliff edge at sunset, both just giving up; a romantic moment, flowers, a white dress, a gust of wind and the man just nonchalantly wandering off.

  4. Beyondthewildheart-int-list

    I think I might never have seen two illustrators as well paired as Faye Coral Johnson and Mike Redmond, the duo behind this charming new book Behind the Wild Heart. Faye’s work – sketchy, sweet and imperfect – seems to slot right in with Mike’s dynamic cartoony characters, and the two work together so often that it’s difficult to tell where one’s work ends and the other’s begins.

  5. Stevenchorney-int-main

    The reason design blogs and Pinterest are overcrowded with hand-painted signs, hand-made furniture and hand-printed textiles is because (you guessed it) it’s made by hand – and the joy of seeing craftsmanship is never, ever going away. The world is changing, and the more we demand, and the shorter our attention spans become, the less we’re spending time on getting things just right.

  6. 1_bratislav_milenkovic_wired_germany_copy_copy

    Belgrade-based illustrator Bratislav Milenkovic’s work is intricate and mechanical, with every detail forming the nuts and bolts of an elaborate piece of slapstick comedy. The characters, objects and abstract shapes play an equal role in Bratislav’s compositions. The lightly-airbrushed, knobbly kneed people (all with fantastic hair) are lost amongst the melee but only for the added impact of discoveries like: “oh! There’s a guy cranking an ice bucket over his own head” or “why is that guy exfoliating a Christmas tree?”

  7. Matamatyka-int-main

    LA artist Misia emailed in last week with a bunch of her drawings and paintings, and I was super impressed. She’s managed to mash up Nick Sharratt’s illustrations from Jacqueline Wilson books with The Babysitter’s Club, The Fresh Prince and a bunch of other pop culture references – all drawn in well-practiced monochromatic inks. Unique and skilful aesthetic aside, what I truly love about Misia’s drawings are the characters in them – GIRLS. Girls barefoot doing acrobatics in living rooms, girls lounging on beds listening to music, girls hanging out together doing nothing, girls wearing zigzag leggings and looking bored. These pictures remind me that I’m a girl, and being a girl is SO cool. They make me want to text every female I know and arrange some sort of day where we can watch TV for hours and eat peanut butter on crackers and cereal out the box. I hope it does the same for you.

  8. Jv-port-13-int_copy

    Having cut his teeth at Adult Swim, Joseph Veazey has since been art directing for label Azede Jean-Pierre and freelancing all over New York City. He also has a fine knack for making engaging and fun self-promotional printed matter and turning his sketchbooks into true works of art.

  9. Cameron-stewart-fight-club-2-int-list

    A comic-book sequel to Fight Club has been announced, telling the story of the original’s star Tyler Durden ten years on. Tyler, who was played by Brad Pitt in the David Fincher-directed 1999 film, will be shown to be dependent on prescription drugs, and living with his housewife spouse and a difficult young son.

  10. Timcolmant-list-gif

    Illustration portfolios don’t come much more joyful than this one by Tim Colmant, a Belgian illustrator with a knack for Memphis-inspired patterns, cheery colours and entertaining ideas. Looking around his diverse work feels like strolling into the fantasy land of Ettore Sottsass, decked out as it is in bright purple and yellow, swirling shapes and repetitive geometric patterns, and it’s more or less impossible to leave feeing anything less than happy. Feel free to try this out for yourselves.

  11. David-barnes-int-list

    “I like working at night when the world is quiet and all the residual energy is loose and flowing around in the atmosphere because most people are asleep and not gobbling it all up,” says David Barnes. “I’m not sure if that’s a real thing or not but thinking that way motivates me to stay up til 5am working distraction-free, feeding off the dreams of others.”

  12. Simon-roussin-film-projects-int-list

    In the three years since we last posted Simon Roussin’s work it appears the French cartoonist has become something of a cinephile. A huge amount of his illustrated output now comes in the form of homages to classics of the medium, including obsessive screen-printed books about the late, great Steve McQueen, Gerard Depardieu’s best bits and some of Clint Eastwood’s most brutal showdowns. Of course it goes without saying that his drawing goes from strength to strength. What’s wonderful about Simon’s film obsession is his ability to balance an addiction to the silver screen and a prolific illustration career, something my mum once told me was impossible.

  13. Mariohugo-recentlyrejected-int-list

    There was an interesting discussion on our podcast recently about why anyone would really want to watch the creative process taking place. Off the back of our visit to see what was essentially P J Harvey in a box, we’ve spent a lot of time chatting about how the creative process is slow and messy and frustrating, littered with wrong turns and dead-ends.