A Fine Line: The Illustrations of Tim McDonagh
From a spare studio in his Brighton, England, flat, 27-year-old Tim McDonagh creates vibrant, imaginative editorial and advertising illustrations.
Although the rest of his home is decorated with art prints and the like, McDonagh keeps his studio bare so he can focus on his work. There’s a large desk, his two-PC setup, his pots of pens and brushes, a Moleskine notebook to sketch and scribble in, and a taxidermy magpie for company. “I like things very clean,” he says. “I’ve lived here for six years now but only moved into my new place under a year ago, so I still feel as though I’m setting up really.”
“Here” is Brighton, a progressive seaside town with a flamboyant creative streak, and it makes sense that McDonagh—whose showy but sophisticated sensibility has earned him a client roster that includes Wired, Field & Stream, New York Magazine, Nike, Penguin, and many others—has set up shop here.
Brighton is home to a diverse population, and these people are a source of inspiration for McDonagh. “I really love subcultures and the identity, brand, or look that some of them give to people,” he says. “I love a lot of pop culture stuff too...sci-fi, TV, old punk music, tattoos.” Even more than these, though, he is inspired by nature and wildlife. And the fun comes from combining these varied sources: “So a tattooed Darth Vader, sitting in a woodland, listening to The Ramones would be a good illustration, I reckon.”