Peter Donnelly Creates Lighthearted Landscapes

Irish illustrator Peter Donnelly could rest on his laurels if he so wished. With over twenty years of practice, he has developed a very recognizable style that had won him plenty of accolades. Aside from being an award-winning illustrator and a successful children’s book author, Donnelly has also worked extensively in advertising and branding, collaborating with brands like McDonald’s, Guinness, and Coke.

According to Donnelly, some of his most enjoyable and successful commissions have been a direct result of side projects. “Personal work is the key to growing as an illustrator,” he stresses in an interview with Inky Goodness. “The freedom to experiment outside of a brief… a chance to make mistakes and discover happy accidents. Keeping a sketchbook is a big part of that.”

His illustration style is inspired and influenced by mid-century design, folk art, and vintage print. “My style seems to be able to cross over and work for different clients,” he says. “There’s a good vibe element to my work which I suppose appeals to people so it helps to sell products.”

And when it comes to the creative process itself, he admits its more work than play. “I spend about 40% of my day at my drawing desk and the rest working digitally on a Mac,” he reckons. “It’s constantly back and forth which is nice and keeps my process interesting.”

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