Interview with Illustrator Daryl Joyce
Your illustrations are brilliant, I love your website by the way, how did you get started in illustrations and what was your first design?
Daryl: Thank you very much. I was probably always destined to go into illustration, as my father was an illustrator/occasional editor for a magazine called Look and Learn in the 1960s. The magazine featured a huge number of artists including some very well known names: Frank Bellamy, Don Lawrence, Wilf Hardy, Angus McBride amongst many others, so exposure to such an array of very dynamic illustrative art had a big influence on me. Also at the time I loved stuff like Airfix and Aurora box art, and comics like Countdown that featured the art of Gerry Haylock and Harry Lindfield, and also reprinted Ron Embelton’s Gerry Anderson strips which had originally appeared in TV 21 comic. My exposure to art from as early as I can remember, as well as my genetic heritage, steered me towards illustration. It was the one thing – probably the only thing - that I ever really excelled at at school. I think my first design was a bug for Rentacure or something like that, when I was a teenager. Although come to think of it I did draw a story book of my own when I was about 13 which a local printer took on and it was sold in a local book shop.
When you create the designs that you have on your website and indeed on your Page, are they actually hand drawn or are they designed using the computer, and how long would a design such as Daryl Hannah or the 8th Doctor take to illustrate?
Daryl: That would depend on the era I made them, anything that predates 2000 is hand drawn, painted artwork. But much of the later stuff, although mostly painted in the traditional way might have been done as separate elements, scanned then composed in a graphic program. Some additional work on colours and gradients is likely too using that method. The two you mention are completely traditional and would have been painted over three or four evenings after a couple of days sketching.
You’ve illustrated for the Doctor Who story books, (both of which I have) there’s an illustration of David’s Doctor on page 73 of the 2009 storybook “Corner of the Eye” which I’ve seen him in pose before, as a photograph, it’s almost uncanny the likeness you have, how did you achieve that effect as it looks almost lifelike?
Daryl: My memory of that image is that I’d initially drawn the Doctor lounging on a sofa, but the editor didn’t like it and it was hurriedly reworked on the deadline day. Looking at it now, I’d say it was all traditionally painted, but there are some lighting effects on the face which I would have done on computer.
How did you get involved with Doctor Who?
Daryl: My earliest memory of television is Doctor Who (Yeti in the underground) so I’ve always had a deep affection for it. It has a magical sense of adventure about it, combined with just the right amount of menace and humour. I drifted away from it over the years but started to enjoy it again when the eras I had grown up with started to come out on video. Shortly afterwards Alister Pearson started to provide beautiful art covers for these releases and it rekindled my interest in illustration and Doctor Who. I started submitting artwork to the BBC and Marvel’s Doctor Who magazine in the 1990s. DWM became part of Panini’s portfolio shortly after and became a full colour magazine with in-depth article about the history of the programmes. The fact that the series hadn’t been on TV for a long time meant presenting a new take with familiar photos was – I suppose- becoming visually stale so the time to get some original art into the magazine was ripe. After regular contributions to DWM for a few years, an artist dropped out of the BBC Doctor Who ebook project and I took that on. Around the same time I did some work for Big Finish and Telos Publishing, so I got exposure via most of the Doctor Who concerns of the time. One job tended to open up opportunities for another.
What has been the most difficult illustration to do so far?
Daryl: The first new series Doctor Who annual I think in 2005. I was abroad for a few months when I was asked to do it and happily took on the job, but I hadn’t seen the new series. I also ended up having problems with the computer I was using out in Dubai, and had my passport stolen. It became a bit of a complicated situation and when I finally got back to the UK I only had a few days to complete all of the artwork. It worked out fine and I was fairly happy with what I’d done, but the annuals always seemed to have very tight deadlines – sometimes you’d know what the deadline date was but were still waiting for the finalised script before you could even start drawing roughs for consideration. That’s the nature of it though. I remember having to work through the nights and only catching a little bit of sleep in order to fit it all in. Some of the art work definitely suffered for it, on balance about half of the illustrations I did for the annuals I’m happy with, the others I’m less keen to look back at.
Have you always been interested in art, drawing and illustrations?
Daryl: Yes, it’s the only thing I feel I have any inherent skill for and it’s always been around me. Creativity is very important in my life.
Like anyone who is involved in the Arts, from creative writing to creative artwork how do you relax, switch off from the work or do you still find yourself doodling on your days off?
Daryl: I quite enjoy working my way through a classic TV series boxset on DVD. Music has been a fairly big part of my life for a long time too, and I love film so I’ve started writing an eclectic mix of soundtrack-ish music on my computer. For more spontaneous musical fun I play drums in a punk band. I also run a life drawing group and it’s relaxing to draw quickly without any plan.
Your artwork has featured all of the Doctors to date, will you be featuring illustrations for the 12th Doctor?
Daryl: I’m sure I will paint him, although nothing official has been asked of me for while. I really like the idea of an older Doctor though so even if nobody commissions me I’d be surprised if I didn’t tackle him once I see what sort of character he is and what sort of threats he’ll face. The same goes for John Hurt’s War Doctor as he clearly had a long life before he regenerated.
You have a website and you have a Facebook Page, are there any other sites where the fans can follow you?
Daryl: I put most of my stuff on DeviantART under the name Harnois75 – and under the same name for music on Youtube.
When I announced we were going to be interviewing you for the website fans recognised you from your 8th Doctor illustrations, is he one of your favourite Doctors, and how many illustrations have you covered for him? I like the one with the Autons.
Daryl: I believe that’s the only one I‘ve done of McGann’s Doctor. I think he was great in the role, although I’m sure he gets a better chance to shine in the audios. Unfortunately I’ve yet to hear any of them. A terrible admission as I think he was very well cast. It’s great that his Doctor featured in the little prequel to Day of the Doctor. Through that you got a sense of a whole era (or two) that had been missed by the television audience. I did have art featured throughout Panini’s 8th Doctor special, but they were to illustrate some of the ideas that were struck upon prior to the TV movie of 1996 so weren’t based on McGann.
Do you have any new projects that you’re working on at the moment that you can share with us?
Daryl: I’ve done a few blu ray covers this year and hopefully there will be a few more, limited edition blu rays of classic genre films. Nothing related to Doctor Who is planned at the moment.
What was the last book you read?
Daryl: Who Goes There by J. W. Campbell.
You cover mostly Doctor Who but would you or have your illustrated Torchwood characters before?
Daryl: I haven’t tackled any Torchwood characters as yet. I would if I was asked.
When you were 12 who was your Doctor and can you recall a favourite or scary moment from that era of the show that sticks in your mind?
Daryl: When I was 12 the Doctor would’ve been Tom Baker in Hinchcliffe’s gothic era. Lots of favourite scary moments from then and before, many of the tension building scenes that led up to the cliff-hanger endings remain imprinted on my mind, but the Peking Homunculus stalking Leela is one of the ones that’s most memorable.
With kind permission from Daryl Joyce