Inspiration

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CP Loves... Dan Hillier

Published

by Jessica Hazel

*The Sunday Upmarket in the Old Truman Brewery on Brick Lane is where a wealth of artists and designers test run their future careers. Some fail quickly and disastrously whilst others soon meet the right people who propel their products onward into shops and the internet.

It's a transient place where fleeting entrepreneurs stall out alongside market veterans who are fully content with market life as it is.
 

 

One of the most eye-catching stalls is the fantastical pen and ink dreamings of Dan Hillier, an artist who despite collaborating with Louis Vuitton in recent months, chooses to personally man his ever-growing stall in the Upmarket, selling his prints, t-shirts, Moleskine notebooks and tote bags to tourists and Londoners for surprisingly affordable prices.


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Dan makes his images using found Victoriana from old books and encyclopaedias which he scans into Photoshop and then adds some of his own ink drawing to.

These are known as his "altered engravings" in which women sprout octopus tentacles and lobster claws and men have antlers and oak trees growing from their heads, matching Victorian sensibilities with animal attributes.

He also has a series of blue paintings, done by hand using Daler-Rowney Calli Ink and some delicate scratching with a dip nib pen.

 

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Dan was raised in Oxford and studied Graphic Arts & Illustration at Ruskin University in Cambridge, a time which he describes as Erratic. Ill-attended. Steeped in non-artistic pursuits. Once graduated he spent several years travelling in India, Nepal, Thailand and Australia doing Henna tattoos and murals. He came to settle in London in 1999.

 

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Dan has been a full time artist since 2006 and has had solo and group shows in the Saatchi Gallery, Soup at the Institute of Contemporary Arts, the ICA and in other galleries across Paris, New York and Turin. He won the Other Art Fair artist prize last autumn. He has also been featured in Dazed and Confused and Pheobe Arts Journal. Neil Gaiman and Cory Doctorow are among many who praise his work. He sites Max Ernst, Anthony Gormley and Romio Shrestha as artists he is inspired by.



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Dan's drawings are never lacking in humour, wit, drama or fantasy. They look like diagrams from antique sketchbooks which reflect a world which exists only within his mind.


Visit Dan Hillier's website 

 


Jessica Hazel is a writer, blogger and director of Smoking Gun Vintage

 

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