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Peter Donnelly Illustrator and Art Director

October 17, 2014

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Peter Donnelly is an Irish illustrator and art director. His work displays a love for folk art and vintage print design. He works in a variety of media including screenprinting, drawing and digital. His background is in animation where he originally trained under 1950s UPA studio artist, Harry Hess, then he ran an art department for Don Bluth in 20th Century Fox and continued on for spells in Dreamworks, Hahn Film and various other companies in Europe.  Since returning to Dublin in 2000, Peter has gradually stepped away from film and thrown himself more into illustration. What a great landscape to behold below.

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Peter tells Yeller website  “I always try to introduce a narrative into my work and then leave the door open a little for the viewer. Sometimes it comes natural, while other times I have to work hard to find that right combination. I’ve always found illustrations that go beyond just an appealing looking image much more interesting. If my work can hold someone’s attention for more than a minute, then I feel I’ve achieved something in that piece “

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Peter’s distinct style attracts creative agencies and clients from Ireland and the UK through Europe and the United States. He has been awarded by The Creative Quarterly Journal of Art and Design, American Illustration, and the 3×3 Professional Illustration and Children’s Book showcases. You can buy a print from his Society 6 Site.

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Whether it’s food….

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or Music … (the food of love according to Shakespeare) … you can find it here.

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Here’s a little advertising work.

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I love the fact that Peter shows his doodles and sketchbook work on his blog. He says on Yeller ” I made a conscious decision about two years ago to introduce more hand craft into my illustration. There is a lot of good work out there but much of it looks the same to me and unfortunately it becomes boring. I experiment with linocut and study old printing techniques. I try to bring that into my work to give it an identity. Fifty percent of what I do is in the pencil work, it’s my favourite part of the job, it’s where the ideas get fleshed out and I find the solutions to my briefs. The other half is working digitally “

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On receiving a new brief he initially cleans up his desk, re-reads the brief a few times and then writes down a list of words that come to mind from the brief. He says ” If there’s time, I’ll give it some space then come back to it with a pencil and begin sketching ideas down. I still get a rush when I read a brief, partly fear, partly excitement ” (Yeller)Fishinkblog 8259 Peter Donnelly 9

Here’s he is working hard surrounded by his many sketchbooks of ideas.

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Peter has illustrated over thirty books for clients including, Little Red Riding Hood, Fras na nGaeilge, Leabhar Breac, Mentor Books and the Educational company of Ireland. You can see more of his individual projects over on his Pinterest site under the title of donoart.

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Here’s a commission for a children’s room.

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He has some great advice for new illustrators hoping to get into the industry. ” First of all you’ve got to LOVE it. If you do, it will show in your work. If you go in half way your work will look half baked. Work hard, its like every other thing in life in that you’ve got to nurture it. Have patience, it takes time to develop a style and a body of work. When you look at someones work that you admire, try and figure out what makes it successful and why it works. Adapt that information rather than copying the work straight off…otherwise you will only be a second rate them. Finally and most importantly don’t work for nothing, even if its only a small reward, you’ve got a duty to educate people that what you do is your job. People need to learn to respect that ” ( Yeller )

Superb work Peter, it certainly keeps me smiling anyway. Many thanks.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. October 23, 2014 7:49 pm

    This chap’s work manages to be nostalgic but also right up to date somehow! I really like the trees and the way he sees things! Another top blog mister!

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