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Interview with David Shillinglaw

Interview with David Shillinglaw

David Shillinglaw


Q: Where are you currently located? Where is home for you?

I live and work in Margate. A seaside town a few hours east of London in the UK.

Q: Do you work from home, or do you have a separate studio?

I have a separate studio. But also work from home. depends on the size and type of work I am making. I do love being at the studio and find a different type of focus when i am on my own.


david shillinglaw margate studio


Q: Do you prefer to make work during the day or at night?

I prefer working at night, after I have eaten and done all the domestic duties and admin.

Q: What essential tools or materials do you need to make work?
can you give a little insight into your process of making work.

The essential tools are a sketchbook and pen, everything else evolves from that. The more materials and tools the better, I enjoy variety and being surprised, ideas arrive from finding something in the studio, whether it be a certain colour or a piece of paper. I often make work from gathering scraps and bi-products of previous work, I may start with an idea but i don’t know what the end result will looks like… there is a lot of recycling that happens, materials overlap and bleed from one piece to the next. Detritus and discarded materials are potentially the starting point of something new.

Q: When you are at work do you listen to music, radio, podcasts?… can you recommend some audio delights?

I jump from different stations, sometimes i need to hear a certain album, sometimes i want to hear something new. I listen to quite a few podcasts, here are a few of the choice cuts.

-Bob Dylans theme time radio. 101 hours of Bob Dylan playing records and talking. Each episode is a different theme.

-The Blind Boy podcast. A weekly podcast by Irish writer, musician and bag wearing absurdist.

Q: How would you describe what you make to someone who cannot see?

Heavily layered and in constant flux. Cosmic spaces realised graphically. A cocktail of serious and ridiculous, with a comedy chaser. I think my art sits somewhere between philosophy and a comedy.

Q: What’s your poison?

Coffee in the morning. Red wine at night.

Favourite food to eat / last meal if you were on death row.
Tacos, sweetcorn fritters, fried plantain and halloumi cheese. Guacamole and beer.

Q: How do you relax?

A walk on the beach or eating desert with my love.

Q: If you could own a piece of art by another artist, which piece would it be?

Something by Jean Dubuffet, possibly: La riante contrée, 1977.


Q: Name three people, dead or alive, you’d invite for dinner.

  • Oliver Sachs
  • Bob Dylan
  • Jean Dubuffet

Q: A book or movie that you recommend.

  • Book: Sombrero Fallout by Richard Brautigan.
  • Movie: I just re watched the documentary Jarvis Cocker’s journey into outsider art.

Q: Can you show us inside your sketchbook.


Q: Can you share an image of a favourite piece of work or project.

This is a painting I worked on for a long time, it measures 150cm x 150cm, paint and collage on canvas. I feel like this painting is something or somewhere I had been trying to get to for a long time. I feel like this piece continues to influence all the work I make since.



Q: What was the last thing that made you laugh out loud?

I watched the documentary about The Stooges last night, Gimme Danger directed by Jim Jarmusch. There is plenty of footage that made me laugh, Iggy Pop crowd surfing while throwing handfuls of peanut butter at the audience.

Q: What’s next? something you are planning or excited about.

I have an Exhibition planned at Jealous gallery in London. I am currently making new work for that.

Artist Bio

David Shillinglaw is a British painter and muralist, known for his works which explore human nature, success and failure, and language people use in the context of their experiences. Born in Saudi Arabia to British parents on December 12, 1982, David grew up in London. He was interested in art since childhood, as he used to doodle and draw his favourite cartoon characters all the time. Soon he realised that a career in art is the one he needs to pursue, and he started his education at Central Saint Martins in London, eventually graduating from it in 2002.