Dominic Kesterton is the Edinburgh-based illustrator with a strong personal style. He is expertise in the style of simplicity. With the crisp outline shapes filled in with vivid block colors, his clients include The New York Times, Bloomberg, The New Yorker, ASOS, Converse, Lazy Oaf, Nobrow, Bleep, KesselsKramer, The Telegraph, Creative Edinburgh, Ladybeard Magazine, Double Dot Magazine, Novation, SintLucas, Neo.Life
Dominic recently helped JumpFromPaper customized two creative cartoon bags.
We had an interview with this talented artist. Let's check this interview out!!
How did you start this career after you graduated from Edinburgh College of Art?
I moved home for about 6 months after I graduated and just kept working on personal projects. I moved out when I got my first good commission and just went from there. I hadn’t really thought about what I should do or be when I graduated so I just kept drawing and slowly it has become my career.
How does your everyday experience inspire you in arts?
I’m not sure. I walk around and listen to music or have a shower, go to my studio or read a book. It's all pretty standard. It’s hard for me to see from my perspective what is inspiring me. Just everything I guess, I’m open to most things.
We found the black outline similarity between JumpFromPaper bag and your artwork. Could you tell us more about his collaboration? Where did you get the inspiration?
Yes, I love strong outlines. They are so satisfying. The black bag I painted has a bit of a narrative link between some of the panels, with the crying apple floating away on the lower section. The White bag is just about color and an arrangement of ambiguous things I guess. It was really nice to be painting for this collaboration because it takes away the safety net of using digital methods, so once I painted a mark on a bag I had to commit to it!
How did you find your drawing style along the way?
I think it’s just been a really long process of refinement for me, slowly figuring out how I want things to look. I think I want the way I use lines to look really considered but simple, that’s the goal so I’m always trying to move there. I don’t know.
We know that you make music, too! What kind of music? Would you combine your music and your painting together somewhere in the future?
I’ve been making all sorts of music for a long time. Some electronic stuff, some ambient stuff, some more poppy stuff. It's always a struggle for me to get to a point where I want to publish it because I can catch in an endless cycle of refining things. So I’m trying to force myself to finish some projects so that I can share them. I’ve just started putting out some things here if you want to listen www.julianmai.bandcamp.com
I guess there is definitely potential for painting and music to combine, music and visuals is such a classic combo.
What’s the most challenging collaboration you’ve ever encountered?
I got a job a few years ago that was to write like 50 peoples names out all grouped together on a poster. I don’t know why I got asked to do it, considering there is no lettering in my portfolio. That was just a bit of a mismatch really, but these days the jobs I get seem to generally be much more suited to my style.
We’ve noticed that you have a short comic book called Unmatter. Could you tell us more about it?Yes, so that’s one of the projects I did for myself when I first finished university. I wanted to self-publish something but I was feeling frustrated about this self-imposed pressure I felt of creating something succinct or with a longer narrative running through it as being the next step for me. So I decided to make this little collection of irreverent short comics and scenes, a more fragmented approach.
- Any exciting project coming up this year?
Just the usual, lots of drawing. Hopefully, I’ll update my shop with some new products, I’ve been meaning to for such a long time.
What is something that you want to try but never had a chance to do so?
3D rendering stuff. Huge shiny 3D sculptures.
When you do your work, is it more improvised or more planned out? Are there always story behind them?
I think it’s both. My sketchbook is full of repetition and more doodle like subconscious stuff but when I want to finish up a drawing I will sketch it out and refine it continuously until it feels right. Sometimes a story emerges between the images and sometimes it doesn’t, I don’t mind either way.
Wanna make yourself a unique cartoon bag just as Dominic?
Go check our Monochrome Graffiti Collection!