Daniel Mackie: Animal Illustrations

First finding Daniel Mackie’s illustrations I immediately had mixed emotions when looking deeper Imageinto his work. The originality to use a narrative behind the animal’s that he is illustrating and manipulating this into their physical decorative figure intrigued me greatly. However, as an audience to these pieces of work most simply did not appeal to me at all. Mackie’s “beautiful” watercolours creations have gained an intensely positive audience range as his work can be found within many media such as postcards, books and basic illustrations. Personally I do not find a lot of Mackie’s work appealing they show a very unrealistic view of the animals in their true form. I do like how he uses the narrative within physical appearance as it creates the illusion that the narrative is part of the animal. Abandoning Photoshop for more traditional materials such as watercolour and pencil, Mackie prefers to use hand drawn designs as he found digital media constantly a struggle. I admire how this artist keeps to his own traditions and uses only hand drawn designs as I believe it expresses more skill than the digital era that art has been overshadowed by. Inspired by Japanese prints, Daniel Mackie’s illustrations can clearly be recognised with a specific Japanese style through the colours and pattern styles that he uses. Using a blend of “stylised imagery” and decorative patterns, I find Mackie’s illustrations aim more toward a feminine audience I believe as they are created with  beautiful colours and contain narratives within. These styles of illustrations would appeal to both children and adults I believe as children would enjoy looking at the patterns and colours that they consume as adults would find the narrative interesting to understand and admire. Mackie’s design process includes “a lot of thumb sketches” (small quick drawings in a size no bigger than Imagea thumb nail), a range of ideas and drafts that get sent between the artist himself and the client, leaving a large amount of time between various areas of the process so that he can keep a clear head Mackie uses the same process for every client in order to keep his artistic success going. This award winning illustrator creates his interesting designs of animals as “visual solutions to countless briefs”. Within each of his illustrations Mackie uses a narrative styled moral for instance within his “Badger” drawings he uses a “good badger/bad badger” style of approach, like good cop bad cop. Many of these narrative stories arose from the early nineteenth centuries and Mackie aims to illustrate these tales so that they can evolve into the modern era. Using Greek Goddess’, Fairytale’s, historic icons and events and  art deco styles of design, Daniel Mackie clearly communicates traditional mythology with modern designs and using traditional methods. I find these illustrations interesting in reference to their underlining messages and concepts however when viewing his drawings as part of his audience I find them less attractive than others. I admire illustrations for their skill and realism to them and I prefer black and grey tones however the overwhelming amounts of colour in Mackie’s work I believe is simply too much for the audience to undertake. I do understand how these styles of illustrations could be used and would gain a large appeal from the audience, however to me I simply do not find them as appealing as others. 

Inspiring his work, Mackie accounts anything from “other peoples’ work to nature” as he loves the “magic moment” when an idea or concept works on paper. Putting himself out of his comfort Imagezone has been an “inspirational” and successful project for Mackie to overcome. Transforming from a digital Photoshop user to a more traditional styled artist has seen this designer gain great success within these animal illustrations  that have been created after his media change. 


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