conceptual research

OWEN DAVEY

An incredible illustrator with an incredibly beautiful style, interview number two had to go to a long time artist I have admired so much, Owen Davey. although i didn’t get the responce that I had anticipated to hear but nontheless I got some good tips. 

What would you say your work process is like, from the start of being given the brief to the very end. is it one that includes drawing by hand or do you work straight on to the computer?

I usually draw by hand, scan it in and then work on top of it as a guide, using Photoshop. My process involves research, conceptual brainstorming, visual ideas, compositional thumbnails, proper sketches, scanning, photoshop outlining, colouring in, then maybe texture at the end.

You take a variety of different work, from small commissions to magazine articles and product designing, do you ever turn projects away? If so, what might make a project worth working on in your opinion.

Yes. Regularly. I obviously have the luxury to do that more now than I did early on in my career. A project either has to be exciting, inspiring, well paid, for a good cause, or lead to potential opportunities. If none of the above fit or if I don’t have the time to take it on, I’ll turn it down.

Your work has been used in south-east asian products and Cyrus magazine, other pieces taking influence in other cultures and races, What do you think about how the world is connected giving you a wider, diverse choice of briefs that you might have not had access to before?

Yeah it’s cool.

Illustration as a career has changed with the digital age, allowing illustrators to make their work more noticed on platforms like Instagram and Twitter. Do you feel like this has been a positive change or negative, and since your work is primarily digital would you say that the future of illustration is a computerized one?


It’s been super useful for me. I think the future of illustration is variety, just like it is now. There will be digital work and there will be traditional media, and that’s the way it should be.

You work with the illustration agency Folio, do you feel like it is a priority to get an agent if you are doing illustration? If so how long after university do you get one? And how did you manage to get in to an agency?


It’s a personal choice for each person. I connected with Folio very shortly after university and they have been wonderful, but many agencies aren’t worth it in my opinion. I got an agent by contacting several agencies and deciding which ones I liked the best after my visit

everyone I have ever slept with

In Everyone I Have Ever Slept With 1963-1995, Tracey Emin appliquéd the names of everyone she has shared a bed with onto the interior of a tent. The phrase ‘slept with’ has obvious sexual connotations but the inclusion of names of family members, female friends and numbered unborn foetuses, clarifies that the list is a literal documentation of the individuals she has slept with, though not necessarily in a sexual sense . Essentially, Emin has documented a series of personal interactions, exposing elements of a personal life which identified as significant. Emin says of the work:

“Some I’d had a shag with in bed or against a wall some I had just slept with, like my grandma. I used to lay in her bed and hold her hand. We used to listen to the radio together and nod off to sleep. You don’t do that with someone you don’t love and don’t care about”.

Due to the public persona that Emin presents, her reputation for having been sexually promiscuous (a ‘slag’ in her own words) often gains more press attention than the work she creates. She has been publicly open about a number of her personal experiences, including the considerable number of sexual partners she has had since becoming sexually active at 13. Perhaps it is the way in which she weaves together elements of this lascivious history, with her less publicised softer, more familial relationships with relatives and friends, which affords the viewer a broader, more rounded insight into the artist as a person. Her decision to record the people with whom she has shared an extremely intimate experience is what makes the work so arresting.