We’re delighted to have Dapo Adeola as the fourth guest in ACHUKA’s new Meet An Illustrator feature. Did you miss the earlier ones? Don’t fret, they are being collected week by week on this page:
Dapo has campaigned on behalf of illustrators to ensure their work is properly acknowledged whenever titles in which they have been involved are mentioned in the media.
2021 is a big year for him. Coming from Puffin in the autumn, we have his illustrated version of Malorie Blackman’s We’re Going To Find The Monster (originally published as Marty Monster). Puffin is also publishing Dapo’s debut as an author: Hey, You! is described as a “lyrical, personal exploration of race”and will showcase artwork from 18 black illustrators.
Before that comes My Dad Is A Grizzly Bear, a picture book by Swapna Haddow from Macmillan:
More imminently comes Space Detectives the first in a new action-packed series by Mark Powers from Bloomsbury, fully illustrated inside and out by Dapo:
As a child, what were the first illustrations you remember being pleased with?
First drawings I remember being happy with as a child were from the sketches and doodles myself and my best friend used to do of our fave video game characters and levels in primary school. I think Mario and Sonic were my earliest memory of being inspired to draw.
Who/what inspired you when you were young?
The earliest inspirations I remember that can be attributed to particular artists were from Dr Seuss, Quentin Blake and Uderzo and Goscinny of Asterix fame.
Who inspires you today?
Today I’m inspired by sooooo many different artists and animators. Marc Boutavant, Shiyoon Kim, Matt Forsythe, Benji Davies, Christian Robinson are but a few names that come to mind. We live in a bit of a golden age of art right now.
Did you study art or illustration? If so, where?
I didn’t go to art school or study illustration or art beyond A level Art and design, which consisted mostly of theory and the the study of dead artists’ lives. I studied (and failed) graphic design and advertising at degree level – it’s where I learned how to dissect and build layers of storytelling in the images I make.
What is your favourite artist tool/product?
My favourite tool and medium is pen and ink. But I’ve been leaning into digital art more these days due to my work load and efficiency. I mostly use Procreate on my iPad as the workflow really suits the way I work.
Where do you buy your art supplies?
I mostly buy digital brushes from artists I follow online, and I buy my traditional medium supplies from the art megastore that’s literally on my High St.
What software/apps do you use?
I use Procreate mostly, but on occasion I use Photoshop for bigger jobs.
What was your first commission?
My first official commission was to do an illustration for “Touch” music magazine back in 2006. It was for an article that was written by a good friend of mine.
What are you working on at the moment?
I’m currently working on 5 books lol, as well as designing some characters for an animated project with Disney, my own line of greeting cards and my own personal book projects.
Twitter or Instagram? I like both apps – insta is great for sharing visuals and in depth posts about work and interviews etc. And Twitter is untouchable when it comes to spreading awareness about projects and news.
Coffee or tea? Coffee, even though it’s not good for me. I’m into caffeine-free herbal tea right now too.
Cat or dog? Not really a pet person but if I had to choose it’d be a cat.
Grape or grain? Grape.
Sunrise or sunset? Sunset.
What do you listen to when you are working? I listen to either podcasts, a playlist of songs I know by heart, interviews with artists I admire or want to learn more about or videos on human behaviour patterns that fascinate me.
Where can we follow you on social media?
@dapsdraws >on Twitter
@dapsdraws on Instagram