Award-winning Illustrator goes Global

Monday 12 February 2018
David Doran in his studio

Every artist has a dream. For actors, it's their name in lights on Broadway, for writers, it's topping the best-sellers list, for illustrators, it's featuring in The New Yorker.

Less than two years after graduating from Falmouth, this dream came true for David Doran. In fact, by the end of his third year, he had so many commissions from clients in London and America, drawing became his full-time job.

And with a client list that includes The New Yorker, The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Airbnb, The Sunday Times, Vogue and the BAFTAs, David's decision to be serious about being an illustrator means he gets to live his dream everyday.

"I'd always enjoyed drawing," he says. "I knew I wanted to do something creative and illustration is the perfect mix of fine art and design. It was the course itself, and the reputation it has for students going on to make a living from illustration, that drew me to Falmouth and it gave me great experience of exploring conceptual elements alongside learning how to work in the real world."

David is still based in Cornwall, continuing to be inspired by his surroundings, with agents in New York and London. His day-to-day is a mix of drawing, working on projects and talking to his clients about what they want.

"It's quite easy for people to fall into the trap of thinking it's almost impossible to make a living out of being an illustrator, and, as an illustrator starting off, you're filled with self-doubt. I remember venting this to an agent while doing an internship at the end of my first year.

"She told me every year a handful of people will go on to be successful illustrators and, if it's what I really want, to make sure I was one of those people, by working hard, putting all of my effort into it and knowing people do make a living from drawing pictures. It was a defining moment for me and I never looked back."

In 2016, David was commissioned to create the branding, posters and invitations for the BAFTAs, one of his highlights in his relatively short, but hugely successful career.

He adds: "It's totally possible to make a career out of illustration. There'll be a lot of late nights and hard work no one else will see or acknowledge but it's totally worth it. If you're passionate about drawing and making a go of it, then give it everything you've got."

Find out more about BA(Hons) Illustration