Dylan Gibson Illustration
April 2, 2015 by Perthshire Creates
Pitlochry based Illustrator, Dylan Gibson’s work has been seen around the world from Italy to America. Dylan credits supportive education for his choice of creative career route and hopes that school leavers also follow their own creative ambitions.
Born in Northern Ireland in the late 70s, Dylan’s family moved to England when he was young; teachers recognised that he could draw and encouraged him to do this as a good way of fitting in and being accepted by the other school kids.
Moving back to Northern Ireland at a time when sectarianism prevailed, there was increased pressure at secondary school to be an adult. Being exposed to sectarian imagery which was used widely, Dylan began realising how important visuals were to society and could be used either negatively or in a positive way as a powerful tool for communication.
One of the only people from his school year who went to Art College, Dylan studied Illustration. He focused on world building – constructing imaginary worlds by illustrating architecture and characters; such as re-telling Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea with a unique steampunk style. When he graduated, Dylan was swiftly given a design job within an interior design firm specialising in bars, restaurants and clubs.
Working on large architectural projects for a couple of years and then also lecturing, Dylan gained invaluable experience of working in a creative environment, handling clients, deadlines and budgets.
Dylan then took the plunge into self-employment and has worked on a number of illustrative books, comics and has designed characters for a range of clients.
Highlights for Dylan included working with Piaggio Scooters in Italy, who own the Vespa brand. Dylan’s brief was to create illustrations depicting people on their scooters, which were then displayed on billboards throughout Italy.
Dylan has also worked on a project to raise awareness of HIV/Aids across in New York, where he turned scripts into comic stories which encouraged Latino and African American families to engage more with healthcare.
Knowing that sometimes heath promotion materials can be serious, dry and off-putting; Dylan opted to use interesting angles, perspectives and characters who people could relate to, to tell the story.
Dylan has also helped navigate thousands of people around the theme park, Thorpe Park, designing their resort maps year after year; he has also developed branded character designs for Tesco; and has designed informative posters for Transport For London.
Although Dylan’s designs can be seen all over; much of his work can be done remotely. Technology has been a real game changer and means he doesn’t need to be where his clients are.
He feels that Pitlochry is a handy location to be based, as it’s close to countryside, but well connected by rail to go wherever he needs. He would however love to see more cultural activities aimed at his age group; as currently he feels the majority of activity is focused towards an older population.
Creative education and opportunities for young people are clearly important for Dylan and he has run local workshops.
As Dylan says,
‘Art and design still aren’t seen as important as other school subjects, yet creativity sits across all subjects. It’s the most important skill to learn as everything you see has been designed and created. Creative thinkers make the best scientists, engineers and mathematicians.
I hope that as young people consider their future careers, that parents encourage them by realising that it is possible and very probable to make a living, a good living from your creative skills.’
Find out more about Dylan’s work: