David Doran Explores Aesthetic for Vogue
When David Doran was approached by Vogue to create a bespoke image for their latest piece about solo travel, it was a new client but it was also a thematic fit. David always brings his sketchbook with him wherever he goes. “Travel plays a large role in my work and is a theme that is constantly reoccurring,” says David. “I love to focus on different landscapes and always enjoy opportunities to illustrate different cultures.” Not only do those themes appear in his private work, he also draws deeply from the aesthetic tradition of the old ways of making postcards. This is on purpose.
The look is similar to old school printing because of the way he designs the images, but his process is obviously much different. He’s created a new way of building his imagery that makes for a wider range of creative agility, “It’s a bit similar to the screen-printing process where you have layers of color and then instead of printing at the last minute, instead I put the layers through the computer and draw everything together,” explains David. Each layer comes together into a final composition that acts like a screen print, and can be edited like a screen print, but shirks the unpredictability of that traditional process, and makes for a consistent and editable look that is so important to larger clients.
“I enjoy the tactile way of creating the layers by hand and taking influence from the past and traditional ways of working,” says David. “The old ways they printed books, using four colors and offset printing; it really does influence the way I think about making a picture. I think about it in terms of how many layers of color there will be and how the layers of color will overlap and create different tones and different textures.” As each subject enters his artistic periphery, he’s already breaking it down into its constituent parts, and assembling the final image through his unique process.
He’s been working this way since the beginning, but each client offers unique challenges that shape their final outcome. “Vogue is quite a chic client, and they influenced the way I approached the project,” says David. “To create elegant pictures where the compositions are simple there are areas of space in the picture and the colors are quite sophisticated.” Vogue’s aesthetic became David’s aesthetic, melding with his process to create a final image that was true to David’s process while feeling familiar to Vogue’s readers.