Behind the Scenes with Illustrator Christopher Dunn

The In-House Design Annual of HOW magazine features a Photoshop and pen drawing, inspired by medical textbooks, from illustrator Christopher Dunn. Dunn took a minute to answer some questions about his career as an illustrator and his work on the HOW cover.

Dunn graduated from Bath Spa University four years ago with a degree in illustration. Since then, he’s being doing freelance editorial artwork for publications like HOW magazine and holding down a part-time job, not to mention gaining an ever growing list of clients. Those clients include Management Today, Financial Director, Admap and the BBC.

HOW Magazine In-House Designer Issue

HOW: What do you do to get inspired?
Dunn: Inspiration is everywhere, especially on the Internet. Apart from following blogs and browsing websites, I also listen to podcasts such as Sam Weber’s “Your Dreams My Nightmares,” and “Sidebar.” Added to that, I have an ever-growing library of art books and often try to visit exhibitions because you can learn a lot from seeing artwork in the flesh.

HOW: Do you work in any medium outside of watercolor?
Dunn: The HOW cover is a good example of a different medium; it is a mixture of pen and Photoshop. I also do work in pen & ink and the odd dry point etching. It has helped me to have a range of styles under my belt.

HOW: What are some notable projects you’ve worked on?
Dunn: Obviously HOW Magazine. I’ve also done work for BBC audio books, which people seem to be impressed with, probably because they’ve heard of the BBC. I hope to one day illustrate children’s books, maybe even write some of them as well. I also dabble in fine art and exhibited last year in the Sunday Times and Royal Watercolour Society, open competitions both in London.

HOW: What are some of your favorite projects you’ve worked on up to this point in your career?
Dunn: I really enjoyed working on a Secure Computing Magazine cover. The whole concept of a glitzy awards ceremony behind held at a London theatre and the great big flashing sign above the entrance was something I relished bringing to life, and it was my first magazine cover. Another project, which was a bit more local, was to produce cover artwork for a friend’s band “The Shudders.” The brief was surreal and dimensions extreme but the whole process was a joy and the lads loved it, which you can’t beat.

HOW: Who are some of your clients?
Dunn: UK based magazines such as Management Today, Financial Director and Admap have published my illustrations a few times. I’m also starting to sell originals in galleries.