Owen Davey

 
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Owen Davey is an award-winning Illustrator from the UK. He has worked with clients including Google, Facebook, Sony, Lego and National Geographic.

He is also the lead illustrator on the multi-award winning app Two Dots and has produced many picture books over the years, most notably the non-fiction ‘About’ series with Flying Eye Books, which began with Mad About Monkeys in 2015. His numerous books have been published in every continent except Antartica.


What was your latest book discovery? What are your favorite books of all time?

My favourite books of all time are the Harry Potter series. I got into them around the time Chamber of Secrets came out and I grew up with them and the films. I regularly still listen to the audiobooks read by Stephen Fry. I'm actually half way through Deathly Hallows again at the moment. I'm a massive Potter nerd.

I also loved the Philip Pullman His Dark Materials books growing up and loved the new Book of Dust: La Belle Sauvage. My first daughter is actually named Lyra after the awesome hero from these books.

Most visited blogs, websites?

I'd like to come up with a cool answer to this but generally when I'm on the internet I'm looking at illustration, so I'll usually be found on Google Images or Pinterest, clicking on anything that catches my fancy and discovering more about an artist and their awesome work.

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What apps do you use the most and why?

I look through Instagram a lot, because I mostly only follow illustrators and I just love illustration. I also play a fair amount of Two Dots, because I've been addicted to the game since they sent me the game tester when I first started working with them 5 years ago. Other than that, it's usually Netflix or Now TV.

Whats currently on your playlist?

I like quite a mix of stuff but these are some of the tracks I'm in love with right now...
The Barrel by Aldous Harding
This Must Be the Place (Naive Melody) by Talking Heads
Beast of Burden by The Rolling Stones
Jessica WJ by Cayucas
Seabird by Alessi Brothers
Alaska by Maggie Rogers
Hallelujah, I Love Her So by Ray Charles
Motion Sickness by Phoebe Bridgers
The Weight by The Band
Curse of the Contemporary by LUMP

What records would you recommend to hear?

These are all awesome in my opinion. Many have probably been heard by most people but if not, give them a listen
Link Wray by Link Wray
D by White Denim
The Universe Smiles Upon You by Khruangbin
Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit by Courtney Barnett
Graceland by Paul Simon
Funeral by Arcade Fire
For Emma, Forever Ago by Bon Iver

We’ve just blitzed through both seasons of Fleabag and it’s one of the best shows I’ve seen in years! Hilarious and heartbreaking in equal measure.

Fresh movie finds? What films do you think everybody should watch?

Lars and the Real Girl - the synopsis of this movie looks pretty weird, but it's a really beautiful and strangely emotional movie
Chef - proper good feel good movie. Directed by the superb Jon Favreau, who also gifted us Iron Man (which changed superhero movies forever) and Elf (the best Christmas movie in my opinion)
A Very Long Engagement - The director, Jeunet is better known for Amelie (which I also love) but this one is great
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind - Such a genius when it comes to visualising dreams (see also Science of Sleep for this)
Shaun of the Dead and Scott Pilgrim vs. the World directed by Edgar Wright are so good for stylised cuts and nerdy in-jokes and foreshadowing and things. Always new stuff to spot on every rewatch
I know that Wes Anderson splits opinion but I love his visuals and his movies.
Christopher Nolan's blockbusters are awesome and clever (see both Memento and Inception)

Which artists working today do you admire most?

I love Keith Negley's work, especially his picture books. Jon Klassen, Rick Berkelmans (Hedof), Lauren Humphrey, Bjorn Rune Lie (pretty much anybody else who has done the Green Man Festival identity artwork), Rob Hodgson, Beatrice Alemagna

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What are some of your tv top tips right now?

Game of Thrones obviously. I'm enjoying Better Call Saul. Stranger Things is one of the best shows to come out in recent years. Fargo. True Detective (Seasons 1 and 3. 2 didn't work for me). Boardwalk Empire. The Wire!

We've just blitzed through both seasons of Fleabag and it's one of the best shows I've seen in years! Hilarious and heartbreaking in equal measure.

Who are you following?

I basically just follow illustrators

What tools do you use in your work?

I'm a Photoshop man. I use Illustrator to help me with some shapes but I've been using Photoshop for around 17 years, so it's like second nature to me. Then it's just a pencil and paper.

What magazines / newspapers do you read regularly?

I don't really anymore. I prefer to read books or do puzzle books with a mix of stuff like Sudoku, crosswords, obscure number puzzles and logic questions.

What are your favorite gadgets?

I've got a little collection of Bose stuff that I love. I've had my OE2 headphones for around 7 years now and they're still ace. I love good warm bass-y audio. There's a mechanical pencil I love (Pentel Graphgear 1000 Draughting Pencil, 0.5 mm) and have a couple of them that I use all the time. I also have the most beautiful Miles Henderson Smith nylon string acoustic guitar that was a gift from all my family for my 30th birthday. It's also pretty cool that after I got it, I found out that he's based in Falmouth (where I went to uni) and he set up there in 2009 (the year I graduated).