Artist Update: Designer and Illustrator Dave Merrell Discusses The Evolution Of His Creative Practice

Dave Merrell Discusses The Evolution Of His Creative Practice

Never become complacent.

Dave Merrell is an illustrator based in Manchester, UK. His clients include Nike China, Manchester City FC, Liverpool FC, ESPN, Adidas and Bleacher Report to name a few. Dave is also an official Star Trek artist, whose work was featured in the global 50/50 exhibition celebrating 50 years of Star Trek. We featured Dave’s work in Pictoria Volume.1, and recently spoke to him about what he’s been up to since.

© Dave Merrell

© Dave Merrell

Who are you and what do you do? 

Dave Merrell, I'm an illustrator and designer

How would you describe your work? 

The best way to describe my style is to explain what I want to try and achieve by it.

I love detail, so I try to get a true a likeness as possible, but at the same time, don’t want to make them appear ultra-realistic.

I grew up reading comic books and still want to try and capture the elements of their playfulness within my work.

My first published work was very angular and fragmental, but as my time as a professional illustrator has progressed so has my style and has lost an element of the earlier work to allow for more unrestrictive elements to blossom.

I still try and include angular aspects to my work.

© Dave Merrell

© Dave Merrell

How do you go about creating your artwork? Do you prefer to work digitally or with traditional media? 

I'm now full-on digital but used to be traditional.

What are you working on at the moment? 

A private commission for a 'The Lost Boys' alternative movie poster.

Who or what are the top five inspirations for your work? 

Drew Struzan. Social Media. Alex Ross. Vintage books. Retro Pop Culture.

© Dave Merrell

© Dave Merrell

What's one resource every artist, illustrator or designer should know about? 

Behance. A free online portfolio site hosted by Adobe.

What is the most valuable lesson you've learned during your time working in the creative industries? 

Never become complacent.

© Dave Merrell

© Dave Merrell

What is the hardest challenge you have faced in your career, and how did you overcome it? 

Starting out. Developing a unique style. Worked hard, sacrificed playtime, created personal projects and used social media for my own exposure.

What are your professional goals for the next year? 

Exhibitions, online shop and animation.

© Dave Merrell

© Dave Merrell


Email Dave Merrell

Check out more of Dave Merrell’s work on his website

Follow Dave Merrell on Instagram and Behance