Musing with Thomas Danthony, the illustrator of enthralling images
You won’t forget Thomas Danthony’s artwork once you see it. The gently sombre yet elegantly sleek mood is unmistakable. Some of his most recent work can be found on his own website thomasdanthony.com, and daily updates on his Twitter, Instagram, and Behance.
Thomas has this marvelous use of light and shadow to set a distinctive tone for every illustration. Details are very subtle and often expressed through gradient shading. What you initially perceive as a normal, calm scene entails much more details upon a closer look. The experience of observation turns into a truly nice surf upon endless waves of delicious gradients blending so well together.
Thomas’ choice of colours are muted and often appear to be monochrome. They hold every detail together by constant and fine contrasts between light and dark surfaces in the same way light and shadow work in real space. That makes every artwork feel so natural and so gorgeous. We love it much. And we’re so glad to have an opportunity to have Thomas sharing his background and insights in illustration, as well as advice for aspiring illustrators out there. Enjoy!
Hi Thomas, please tell us something about who you are and what you’re passionate about.
My name is Thomas Danthony. I am illustrator, designer and artist. I am from Montpellier, a city by the mediterranean sea in the south France and I have now been living in London for the last few years. Apart from creating pictures, I love climbing and spending time in the wild.
What first pushed you to be an illustrator? And what are some of the most important things you learned while doing so?
I’ve been drawing since I was a kid. After product design studies, I slowly realized that illustration was actually a possibility. And at the same time, people started to show interest in my work and I got my first commission. There are a lot of important lessons that I have learnt as an illustrator. It’s not just simply drawing, it’s how to run a business, from managing my clients, dealing with timelines and then of course constantly evolving my drawing. There is always something new and interesting to deal with, so you never get bored.
Your work has a beautiful combination of soft gradients and bold colours. Where do you find inspiration for this aesthetic? And how has it shaped your working process?
I find inspiration everywhere, from my everyday life, travels, photography, cinema, paintings… My working process is built around the finish I want with my pictures. But I also try to experiment as much as I can, to avoid being trapped in my own style / process. I work mainly with digital on commissions, but I also like to do screen prints and paintings. This actually helps me stay fresh with my digital work.
Are there any new themes of motifs you want to incorporate into your work, but haven’t had the chance yet?
I would definitely like to experiment more with textile design, pattern and installations. Packaging and objects are also something I am interested in.
Do you have any recent or upcoming projects that you’re particularly excited about?
I am working on a solo show but I am still in the process of finding the right place at the moment. It would be mainly paintings, so I am excited about getting my hands dirty and being able to spend less time in front of the screen!
Last but not least, could you share some advice to aspiring illustrators?
I think the key is to find your own voice and to draw things that make you happy. Some illustrators will naturally have a style easy to market and others not. This doesn’t mean one is better than the other. Keep your own touch, as long as you like what and how you draw, post it online and eventually someone will spot it!
Thank you Thomas!
Scroll down to see some beautiful recent projects by Thomas Danthony.Ad for Road Safety Scotland – Summer drink campaign Cover for Science magazine (US) Identity, art direction and illustrations commissioned by Arte for Le Printemps du Polar. A month of homages to film noir with classic movies. Illustration commissioned by The Atlantic for a collaboration with Netflix and House of Cards. Commissioned promo illustration for Medium’s new website. Illustration for the cover of Shop magazine, London luxury edition, Spring / Summer 2015. The Brutalism project is a collaboration with Black Dragon press about Brutalism architecture in London. Greetings from Los Angeles is a series of illustrated memories printed on postcards. Illustration commissioned by The Quarterly magazine about London Design Museum. A series of famous New York City Skyscrapers – commissioned by Architect Magazine. Illustration commissioned by BBC Focus magazine for an article about Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).