Michael Driver

July 28, 2015

We are proud to share with you the fantastic work of Mr Michael Driver in today’s designer interview. Michael is a recent graduate from Kingston University where he’s studied illustration for three years.

Already in his young career he boasts a prestigious list of clients including; The Washington Post, The Telegraph, The Wall Street Journal, Print Week and Kiblind Magazine.

Michael Driver portrait

What’s your story? Can you share a brief history of how you’ve got to where you are now?

I got into illustration through listening to a lot of metal bands when I was younger. I got really infatuated with ‘Emptees’ which was a website devoted to the designing of band merchandising. Some times I’d buy shirts because I liked the bands, other times I’d buy shirts because I liked the design and quite naturally I’d get into the band. It was all very obsessive and for a while I thought illustration was just doing merchandising. I stacked up a hell of a lot of t-shirts and my mum got pretty mad at me!

After my A-levels I started working full time as a chef. I worked for a good year or so until I started to feel incredibly unfulfilled. It was then I thought about enrolling on an art foundation course. After my foundation course I applied to a few universities and very happily left dreary Nottingham for Kingston. I studied illustration for three years there which was real fun. That’s sort of where I’m at now. I recently graduated and I’m currently working full time as a freelance illustrator.

The 'cocktail-themed' summer issue of Kiblind Magazine.

Design work for Kiblind Magazine for their ‘cocktail-themed’ summer issue.

What was the first piece of work you ever sold? What was it and who did you sell it to? How did you feel?

The first piece of work I ever sold was to Liam Henry over at No Culture Icons. I’d just passed through my first year and he got in contact and was interested in me doing a line of tote bags for the site. It was a very strange feeling to have someone so interested in my work early on but strangely reassuring. I charged pennies for the design but it still floats around and it’s nice to know a hundred odd people liked the design enough to want to buy one.

Half Man Half Burger

Half Man Half Burger

What has been the most important lesson you have learned along your design journey?
Always have a great idea. I’ve found quite recently when I’ve showed a lot of people my work that they always compliment me on my visual and sometimes my ideas are very much over looked. Most things I make exist for a reason and I think it important for it to do so, very rarely do I make work which doesn’t have some thought behind it. Ideas float the world, it’s why countries go to war and people buy Coca Cola. A great idea always trumps aesthetic. I’d like to think my work simply communicates the ideas I have.
The Washington Post - article about home security and the importance of a good neighbourhood watch scheme.

The Washington Post – design supports an article about home security and the importance of a good neighbourhood watch scheme.

What are you currently working on?
At the moment I’ve got a few things on the go. I’ve just started doing a book cover for the publisher Little Brown books, as well as that I’m doing some t-shirts for the illustrated mind and a fair bit of editorial work. I like to keep myself very busy, if I can.
What is the big dream for you as a designer?
I don’t really have a dream as such for my future. I’d like to happily plod along for a bit picking up work, maybe at some point move to New York for a while. There are a lot of clients I’d love to work for and a lot of projects I’d like to do. I’d like to not plan too far ahead just in case I jinx it.
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How would you describe yourself in 3 words
Creative, Hardworking, Pessimistic
The Washington Post front cover

The Washington Post front cover design

Can you share 3 random facts about yourself?
I have a scar on my face which is exactly the same as action mans, I love dogs, I secretly hate computers.
If you could have any super power what would it be and why?
Bending metal with my mind would be pretty fun. It would make doing three dimensional work very easy.

 

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Michael Driver portraitMichael is a freelance illustrator and recent graduate from Kingston University, where he studied Illustration and animation. He has worked for clients including The Washington Post, The Telegraph and The Wall Street Journal, his work is bold and graphic and often relies on his knowledge of traditional print to make images.

Visit Michael’s website and connect with him on:

Instagram @michaeldriver
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