A SIT DOWN WITH DANIEL SAYWELL

Director of New Voice Project Lorenzo Conti meets York’s upcoming illustrator and drawer of all things heroic, Daniel Saywell.

What is your approach to drawing?

If I have an idea, or if I have something going around my head, I just draw it straight away.  I will draw it whatever it is, whether it’s good or not, because at least I’ll have my idea down. It’s a useful technique if I want to go through it again, or it may be something I need to check out, or that I can develop even further to create something exciting and new. Sometimes it’s successful, sometimes it’s not

What is first thing you think of when you come up with a character?

I think: “Has it already been done before? When I draw my superheroes, for example, it’s hard to come up with any, because sometimes these characters already exist, and you just don’t realize it. It’s very risky: you really have to look into all these characters and do research.

What is the easiest and most difficult part of your job?

The easiest part is getting started, finishing is the problem. I’m not the best with ink-color: I get quite scared of inking, because I feel as if my hands are going to shake. It’s okay, but I prefer to stick to pencils, because there I have more control.

If someone told you that what you do is childish, how would you reply ?

I won’t say anything, I don’t get offended, it’s just his opinion

Can an artist improve his art through his career?

I think so. One of my favourite artists, John Romita Jr, used to draw a lot like his dad, but then over time he got his own style, and now his art is completely different from when he started. I definitely think that your art changes constantly.

Do you feel it necessary to train for your job, or is it just something you need to have a gift for?

A bit of both. Art is never perfect, there are always faults in everyone’s drawings. You always need to practise and improve, and if you don’t improve there’s no change in it. You always want to get better. With your own art, you always feel: “is it good ? Can it be better?”

So you’re always doubtful

Yes

Why do you think superheroes have been so popular in the last few years?

I think because it’s not the real world, you can escape it. This helps me, especially when I’m sad, and that’s the reason why I’ve been doing comics since I was 5.

Where do you find the inspiration for your characters?

In John’s work, but also in Mark Millar. He has done some new and interesting characters, alongside great stories. And I’m just thinking that if he can do it, I can do the same. You need to look at the things you wouldn’t expect. He’s the artist I saw when I was 5, and I’ve always wanted to be like him.

Is York stimulating for your work?

Here in York, you don’t see a lot of comics. York needs to work on this, like in big cities. I do like York, but I’d like to be more where superheroes are, in American cities, for instance. In York you can do a lot of really old-type characters, or kind of time-travel stories, or change history pretending that the York’s walls were built to stop monsters. York is good when you have to create new characters: you can take inspiration from history.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years time?

Hopefully working at Marvel or DC comics. I’d like to stay in York at first, and as soon as I’ve actually done a lot of work for them, I could move closer to them. I’ve always dreamed of working for them in America.

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