The studio of Canadian illustrator and letterer Darren Booth contains a nicely curated collection of objects — vintage signs, old photographs, guitars, and, naturally, a variety of letters and favorite illustrations. Get a glimpse inside his workspace in our newest tour.
Give us a little information on your background. I’ve been a freelance illustrator and letterer since graduating from Sheridan College’s renowned Illustration program in 2001. Like most young illustrators starting out I needed a day job in order to make ends meet. So for a few years, I worked full-time as a wiretapper with one of Canada’s largest police forces and moonlighted as an illustrator. Talk about a contrast of worlds. Eventually the illustration gigs picked up enough that I could leave the day job and completely focus on my career.
Tell us about yourself and your work: what you’re passionate about, what inspires you, and where you’re going. For as long as I can remember, I’ve always been drawn to vintage things that have character, good design, and a story, whether it be a guitar, tools, products, or random found objects. I like keeping myself surrounded by those types of things because I find them inspiring and they’re kind of like a receipt for a good story. I guess that’s the artist in me coming out, as well as my upbringing. Coming from a family full of carpenters and woodworkers has heavily influenced the way I create; layering and meticulously working with my chosen materials. The deeper into the digital world we get, the more I desire to produce hand-crafted work. Lately, my focus has been on combining the illustrator side of me with the carpenter side of me, hoping that I can satisfy both of those needs while still making the kind of art that I enjoy making. I’m not sure where it will lead to, but that’s the direction I’m currently heading.
Tell us about your space. What’s your aesthetic? What do you like or dislike? What would you change if you could? For years my workspaces were always tucked away in a corner of my living room. So when I bought my house four years ago, it had an unfinished basement which I renovated in order to give myself a dedicated studio. I also built a larger work area for miscellaneous projects, as well as a workshop. My actual studio space is fairly basic but I love it because it’s comfortable enough to hold everything I need to create work and to relax when I need to. As much as I love having my studio in the house, it’s getting tougher and tougher as my young family grows.
You have an Aeron Chair in your space. What do you like about it? Why did you choose it? I love the Aeron. Without a doubt, it saved my back. The vintage wooden secretary’s chair that I used to use looked amazing, but it was causing damage to my back. A friend turned me onto the Aeron convincing me a good ergonomic chair was a wise investment; he couldn’t have been more right. I also use an Eames Molded Plastic Chair at my painting station.
Photos: Darren Booth; bottom photo – Todd Fraser