Spotlight Artist: Darren Gate
Posted 5 years ago and submitted by the HAI team | Share link:

How many years have you been a freelance illustrator?
Around 3 years, give or take.

How did you get started in illustration?
I’ve always been a massive fan of comic books and children’s literature. As a kid I used to draw my own slug and snail based comic adventures, which actually got up to around 150 issues! Since then, none of my work has eclipsed this triumph…

What can your work be applied to commercially?
Recently most of my illustrations have been for educational books and magazines for children. As well as this, I have illustrated for children’s publishers, charities, festivals and event companies.

Where would you most like to see your illustrations being used?
Definitely children’s picture books. There’s something magical about storytelling when paired with beautiful illustrations. The best career moments I ever have are when I see a book I’ve illustrated in a bookshop!

What inspires you?
I’d probably have to say the world around me, I like to use a lot of real scenes in my illustrations. So if I’m drawing a scene along a rainy street I take a trip to a little town and wait for it to rain. It usually doesn’t take long for that to happen!

What are your favourite mediums or tools to use?
My go-to tools are indian ink for line work, Kuretake watercolours for colour and pastels for tone. I’m a creature of habit and tend to use these for every project.

What do you most enjoy drawing?
It’s got to be animals. I recently noticed that pretty much every drawing project I have contains at least a cat and usually a lot more than that! Especially with children’s books, animals can be so fun to draw.

What do you really dislike drawing?
Landscapes! There’s been a few projects in the past where I had to draw open vast nothingness. Once I get into it I’m okay, but it usually takes a while!

Apart from illustration, what other skills do you have?
I’m also a graphic designer, which comes in handy quite a bit for book layouts. I love writing and poetry, although I’m not sure if I’m that good at either of these!

If you could travel to any place, where would that be?
Oh, deep question. I’ve always wanted to travel deep into Madagascar! This is probably stemming from years of watching too many David Attenborough documentaries.

What’s your favourite sandwich filling?
Something like goats cheese, maybe hummus. Basically, the modern hip fillings.

Cats or dogs?
I’m torn by this question! Dogs because they make a best art studio companions!

If you were a superhero, what would your special power be?
Just the simple ability to fly would be fab. Pretty boring by superhero standards I know, but I’d make do with this.

Darren Gate
Children's Illustrator
Glasgow, United Kingdom
Tel: +44 07811033822

Hello there! My name is Darren and I am an illustrator of children's books, young fiction, magazines and educational materials. I have a range of experience working directly wit… Show more.

Message Darren
Profile updated 18th November, 2022
Member since 17th August, 2017
Kelpies Book Design and Illustration Prize 2016
Oxfam UK, Amnesty International, Floris Books, Black Wolf Books, BBC Bitesize, Book Lab US, Wild Harbour Books
Darren is an enthusiastic, committed illustrator who is a pleasure to work with. He listened closely to our brief and feedback, he was a good communicator and he created some great artwork for us. We'd be very happy to work with him again!
— Leah McDowell, Design and Production Manager, Floris Books
Kathryn Ross
Territory: International…