Ep.72: Dave Malan on how to have a successful freelancing career with 4 kids

I’ve worked as a production artist, an illustrator, and a fine artist working on projects big and small with clients from around the globe, including Disney, Amazon, the U.S. Mint, and Harper Collins.

Throughout the professional development, my bread and butter have been a daily exploration of shapes and compositions in my sketchbook, primarily related to human faces. I’ve become so familiar with my mechanical pencil that a unique style has taken over. The drawings have a particular iconic look characterized by cross-hatching and limited lines, which detail accurate subjects while I play with proportions to emphasize personality.

Dave is currently running a Kickstarter campaign for his Book of Drawings where he compiled his best drawings into a high quality, hi-resolution art book that you can hold in your hands.

David Malan is a professional artist of over 15 years.

Get in touch with Dave


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Key Takeaways

“Big shapes and then the details! Focus on the fundamentals and you can take your art wherever you want to!”

  • Dave advises that if you want to study art, study illustration. Fine Art is too much out there in the clouds. Studying Illustration keeps you solidly grounded with fundamentals so you can grow from it in any side, even fine arts, if you want. There are so many applications if you understand the fundamentals
  • Working for studio had many advantages for Dave. He did quite a lot of freelance work on the side and build his clientele. He didn’t need the money so he put it in his pension fund and mortgage. By the time he left he had low debts which relieve the stress
  • Dave decides about Illustration jobs on the scale of how can I take this project and use it to my advantage. For example, kids at college pay a lot of money to please the teachers! Don’t do it!!! Think about how you can use the assignments to your advantage!
  • Dave is learning oil painting by copying great masters. They already answered all questions and you are just picking up the answers!

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Resources mentioned

Special thanks to Dave for joining me today. See you next time!

All artworks by Dave Malan, used with permission

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