Beautiful Disaster, Super Freak
Could you tell us a bit about yourself?
My name is Dan Whitehouse and I’m an illustrator from Birmingham.
Headshot: Fraser McGee / @frasermcgeefoto
What, or who, influences your creative style and/or ethos?
Mickey Mouse and just cartoons in general are probably the biggest influence in my work. I used to copy characters I’d see on the telly when I was kid and the love just continued to grow, eventually leading to inventing my own characters.
My work lately also has this loose theme of daydreaming and the imagination. It’s pretty gloomy and industrial where I live so so I’ve been making a conscious decision to create these contrasting pieces of work that show some positivity and energy!
What is something that we wouldn’t know about you?
I’m a huge fan of music and have been playing music in bands most my life. I’ve began working on an album and recording demos in the same room I do all my illustrations in. It’s a super nice set-up having all this stuff to play around with. Also a pretty dangerous space for procrastination masters like myself.
Talk us through your design process, from the initial idea to finished piece.
Most of my projects or ideas nowadays begin on my iPad. I sketch everything out in Procreate then bring everything over to photoshop. It’s sounds pretty simple when I read it aloud but I definitely make things far more difficult than they need to be, haha.
What is your biggest art pet peeve, and why?
Not having a single god damn pencil sharpener in the house.
What are you most excited about at the moment?
I’m generally just excited for anything life is gonna throw my way over the next couple of years. I quit my job in advertising a few months ago to pursue being a full time illustrator and every day I’m presented with new surprises and challenges. I’ve also got a few crazy projects in the pipelines but I can’t talk about them yet. You’ll have to stay tuned to find out hehe.
Let’s talk more about A Decade of Change. What drew you to collaborate with us on this project?
I love daydreaming about the future. I kinda like not knowing what’s on the horizon because it just gives me a feeling of freedom to do or achieve whatever the hell I want. A Decade of Change has been awesome because it’s allowed me to explore this feeling in a visual format and had me questioning myself on the things I love and the things in life I want to explore more. Global warming is something that instantly came to mind. It’s clear that we all need to be doing more to preserve our beautiful planet, so I wanted to take the opportunity to learn more about this and hopefully encourage others to do the same.
What’s the message behind your piece in the collection, and what does it mean to you? What would you like to change over the new decade?
My piece is all about nature, discovery and destruction. I just wanted to visualise the excitement I get when I’m travelling and exploring new places. It’s something I wanna do much more of over the next couple of years. There’s so much beauty to discover but it’s crazy that we’re knowingly destroying it all. Co2 emissions, fracking and deforestation are a few of the major problems and I’ve tried to shine a light on this through the piece of work displayed. I know this illustration alone isn’t going to change a lot, but it’s definitely changed the my perception towards global warming and how I can do my bit.
Lastly, if you could have one superpower, what would it be?
I wish I had the power to slow down time. It’s the only thing that’s gonna help me hit the deadlines I have coming up (Crying face emoji x5).