With dynamic compositions and a clever use of figurative shapes, Cathal Duane’s illustrations construct beautiful narratives in images that constantly reinvent and surprise.
By using the source material as the foundation from which his illustrations develop, Cathal’s final designs continually appear fresh and well defined from one another while still having the distinguishable thread of his personal style running through.
His originality from piece to piece makes for a exceptionally energetic body of work with a level of potency that never seems to dip or waiver.
He talks to us about his setup, day-to-day life while working on commissions, and the thought process behind various stages he goes through in a project.
“I work from home. I have a little corner set up in the flat so I can work. It is 8 steps to the nearest kettle so it is ideal.”
“We recently moved place and I got a chance to buy new furniture. Ikea is a great place to achieve that ‘freelance illustrator working at home’ aesthetic.”
“I work digitally so I have my trusty Wacom and laptop at the ready.”
“When I begin work on a new piece I start with research of the topic and then work on very rough concepts on paper. Once I have a direction to go, I start sketching digitally. I find sketching in Photoshop lets me play around with colour schemes and combinations at an earlier stage.”
“I believe that personal projects are incredibly important to developing style, approach and process so I try to keep something on the go.”
“Outside of personal projects my favourite type of work is editorial illustration. I love creating companion pieces to a text, especially when the topic is new and interesting to me.”
All images © Cathal Duane