THE FUNKY FRESH ARTWORK OF L.A. ILLUSTRATOR, DARREN JAY DOWNING

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1. What were you like in High School ? 

Back in high school, I was always looking for something to draw during class, lunch and break times. I was just as focused then as I am now, to draw as much as I could. I carried around different sketchpads and tried to fill each before the end of the school year. It was pretty much a goal I had each year. 

" I carried around different sketchpads and tried to fill each before the end of the school year. "

 

2. How long have you lived in LA & what do you love most about living in LA ?

I grew up about 45 min outside Downtown LA, but I have always been in, out and around the city because I have family that stays in different parts. Plus, my dad used to take me and my brother to different museums and art shows when we were younger. Once I got older, I moved closer to Downtown to help further my art career. I love the Los Angeles nightlife! There's always something going on whether it is an art show, a music festival or just a straight up party, you'll never run out of stuff to do - the city is always alive!


 

3. How did you first get into illustration ? 

I have been drawing since I was 3 but I didn't start taking my art serious until after high school when I realized it was all I wanted to do and it was a talent I had been working on my whole life. I won first place in a contest back in 2011 for illustration, which kinda lit a fire under my ass to really push my work and see how far I could really push my work and myself.

 

" I won first place in a contest back in 2011 for illustration, which kinda lit a fire under my ass to really push my work and see how far I could really push my work and myself. "

 

4. How would you best describe your style of illustration ? 

The best way I can describe my style is creative. It's kinda hard for me to really compare myself to anything or anyone. I usually ask other people what they think of my style or what would they consider it. I just keep creating and thinking of different concepts to see how far I can stretch the boundaries of my work. If that makes any sense, lol.

 

5. Do you ever get blocked for ideas? How do you overcome that ?

I do get blocked from time to time but when I do, I always turn to my past sketch pads. It's like your roots as an artist and you can draw inspiration or new ideas from your own past work.

 

" I do get blocked from time to time but when I do, I always turn to my past sketch pads. It's like your roots as an artist..."

 

6. What is your ultimate goal as an illustrator ? 

I'm not gonna lie, I mean, I think every artist wants the same. I want to be known worldwide for my work and what I do. I work hard and I feel the more I work, and the more work I produce, the more different people will notice and take interest in what I do.

 

7. You did a collaboration with Coachella. Tell us a little more about that. 

Global Inheritance is a company that finds a number of artists to paint all the trashcans for Coachella each year. One year they hit me up to see if I wanted to paint a trashcan for the festival in exchange for a free ticket. So I was like hell yeah and ever since, I do a can for them each year and attend Coachella. It's been a great experience and privilege to participate.

 

8. What would be your dream project ? 

My dream project would be to paint murals all around the world like some artists are doing. I've helped on a few murals in Downtown LA. I've also done a few smaller murals indoor for private residences and companies, but I wanna be more in the streets. that's my real objective when it comes to projects. I love painting outside and really want to get my work up and outside more for everyone to see.

 

" I love painting outside and really want to get my work up and outside more for everyone to see. "

Darren Jay Downing
@365dart

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