Dan Evans is one of the best people we've never actually met. He's a mysterious character at the end of an email address who has done all our awesome illustrations for Grime Week, as well as a bunch of other hip-hop illustrations for us over the years. He's super passionate about grime, so we chucked him a few questions about how the world's of illustration, design and 140 BPM can sometimes cross over.
Noisey: How long have you been doing illustration?
Dan: I’ve been drawing all my life. I started out copying Tintin and Spiderman comics. I’ve been a professional illustrator for over five years and have been making a living from it for about two. So far so good.
What do you love about Grime?
I love Grime because it sounds like London. The artists talk about places I know and use expressions and words that are part of my life growing up in London. I like the people that are a part of it – the artists, the producers, the supporters. I also listened to it a lot when I was at uni and it reminds me of that time in my life, which was a lot of fun.
Who’s your favourite Grime artist to draw?
Ghetts is pretty good to draw. He’s got a deep beard. And Tempa T’s hair as well. And D Double too. Basically the more unique the look, the more fun it is to draw.
What are the difficulties in drawing musicians?
One of the hardest things is trying to draw them in a way that hasn’t been seen before. It can be difficult to get a sense of the artist’s music and personality across in an illustration. For me, Grime is a lot of fun to listen to and I chose to colour my illustrations in a way that reflects that. Often in publicity shots and album artwork the Grime artists are made to look all shady and brooding, hats low and hoodies up, and I wanted to try and show a different side. Roll Deep and Dizzee have had some colorful album art and JME had some strong colours on Blam! but generally it’s all pretty dark. I wanted to illustrate the lighter side of Grime I guess! It’s my interpretation of the culture and the music.
What are your favourite 16 bars from any Grime song ever?
D Double E is the man. Anything he does, really. But go and watch this freestyle video on YouTube. The automobile based word play in it is beyond a joke. Plus, the delivery is too too good. When you can see the artists playing around with words and technique, having fun, that’s the best part of Grime.
Follow Dan on Twitter: @Dan_Draws