Digital artist and University of Edinburgh Product Design student David Mahoney shares his work with us today. Concentrating on various types of design, David is able to express his creativity using various media and create some breathtaking “tradigital” artwork. With an aim to eventually work as a sport industrial designer, David is now focussing on completing his degree and building on an already-impressive portfolio.
“I’ve always had a strong interest and enthusiasm for creativity. My earliest memories of building and pulling things apart are playing with Lego, tinkering with electronics and drawing. I think for many people their creativity is lost at youth, for me I never grew out of it and instead my creative nature has always grown with me. I have always been interested in computer arts, that for a bunch of 1’s and 0’s to allow the communication of complex ideas for artists is incredible and something I always have found exciting.”
“I am currently at the University of Edinburgh studying Product Design, despite my background being more specialised in Product Design, my digital artwork is an opportunity to vent some creativity and work on more experimental projects. Many projects I may be working on don’t offer an opportunity to be very expressive, my digital artwork is a chance for me to do expressive work, allowing me to be more experimental, to try new materials and new tools. And I hope that my exploration into new media has given me more sureness in my Product Design work to be equally as intrepid and experimental.”
“I have had experience working for a range of different clients, small commission based work and authoring for various magazines, publications and websites. I have had the chance to produce work for Digital Arts Magazine, creating a Masterclass on ‘Tradigital’ techniques where my aim was to teach digital artists the importance of using traditional media in digital arts to create texture and quickly communicate ideas. I am also working with West Coast Activewear on a collection for 2013. In my Product Design work I have had experience working for a wide variety of clients such as Saucony, Franke and Lifesystems.”
“I work collaborate with my partner Bella Tokaeva, a photographer from Russia we have worked together on a collection called ‘The Sweetest Taboo’ in 2012 this series was an new experiment trying out Bella’s dark mysterious photographs. Her photography complements my style as she tends to work with high contrast and very rich dark tones primarily monochromatic.”
“My work style is called ‘Tradigital’ – it’s a combination of traditional media such as charcoal, watercolour and sepia pigments and digital applications and tools such as Wacom interfaces and Photoshop. I paint my work in a series of layers, much like a traditional painter however these layers are physical separate pieces of paper which are scanned and combined in Photoshop, each layer progressively building in detail and varying in medium.
My digital artwork has always been monochromatic, I often get asked by people why I choose paint in black and white. My reason is rather bizarre and even I don’t quite understand how this has progressed, but I find that colour can often be very suppressive, bright colours can tend to be distracting and often always dictate where the work should be displayed. As I primarily work for publications my work often is combined with other elements and I imagine that my work being monochromatic should hopefully be easier for the client to work with. But I have always enjoyed the depths of tone and rich pigments that monochromatic prints possess. I think the ideology of Dieter Ram’s best sums up this thought, “less but better”.
When it comes to inspiration unlike many people I don’t have one single favourite designer or artist, I tend to find my inspiration from a wide variety of sources, nature, fashion and many aspects of industrial design. I always seek simplicity and the innate ability to communicate complex ideas with very little effort. I would probably say that the work of Henry Moore is very influence to the way I work. Henry Moore has the ability to convey such emotion and complexity of the human form with very suggestive lines and shapes. Moore’s ability to do this so purely is something I am always humbled by as a designer and I strive to aim for this level of grace in both of my chosen disciplines.”
“It’s always hard to image where I’ll be in the future, but I certainly have goals and ambitions to aspire to. I am looking to complete my Degree in Product Design, with a year out in industry taking the time to gain experience in many aspects of design. During this time continuing to freelance my skills as a Digital Artist and continue to build my portfolio, eventually to work as a Sport Industrial Designer.”