Michael Driver

Michael Driver illustrated the cover of the sought after, now sold out, Issue 01 of Pit

Pit — Michael Driver

He’s been a big deal for a few years now, with clients like The Sunday Times, The Guardian, EasyJet, The Huffington Post, The Telegraph, Noble Rot and tonnes of others. Have a look at his work here: michaeldriver.co.uk

Tell us about yourself, how did you get to this point in your career?
Sure thing! I graduated three years ago from Kingston University and up until recently, I have worked predominantly as a full-time freelance illustrator. I’ve had a whirlwind start to my career and have been blessed work for the likes of Penguin, Deliveroo and The Guardian. It’s certainly not been the easiest few years; at one point this year I found myself working as a sales assistant at Marks & Spencer which was a pretty weird curve ball… however I now work in-house as an Illustrator at Culture Trip as well as freelancing! The new position is very like freelancing day-to-day, as I work on editorial briefs. I feel very lucky to be in the position I’m in working with the people I get to work with, and all of it contributes to developing my craft and honing my skills.

Where do you get your source material?
A large proportion of my source material unashamedly comes from the internet; time is forever pressing and I seem to always be rushing around to try and get jobs finished. I do every so often buy the odd reference book. I think it is still really important to grab source material from books rather than the internet but it’s just a case of making time during projects to use them.

What’s your favourite type of brief or subject area?
I really love working in editorial in general, I really like fast turnarounds (but not too fast) and the opportunity to flex my noggin. Regarding subject matters I prefer working on, I like to work on briefs that are quite light-hearted and allow me to have a lot of fun with the roughs; I seem to struggle a lot with politically geared work and more finance based articles because of my genuine lack of knowledge in those subjects.

What were your first thoughts when you started thinking about your Pit cover?
I think I worried a lot at first. It’s a pretty daunting task designing a magazine cover, in general – let alone the first issue! Designing around the large type on the front cover was one of my biggest concerns when considering compositions; it took a few more attempts than it usually does to land the final composition.

What’s your process once we decided on a rough?
Once roughs were done it was a case of working out the rest of the colours and then working everything up! In the end, we settled on a monochrome palette to help show off the really striking orange spot colour.

What did you think of the final printed cover?
I’m really happy with it, it’s one of my favourite pieces I worked on last year. I don’t like much of my work and even now I’m pretty happy with the image as a whole!

Interview by Holly Catford
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