Dermot Flynn is the artist and illustrator behind our beautiful festival posters.
Having now created the Earagail Arts Festival artwork for four years in a row (and five overall) we thought it was time to introduce him to you in more detail.
A ‘dyed-in-the-wool Northside Dubliner!’, Dermot has divided his time between his native city and London over the past few years.
Dermot studied for four years at the National College of Art & Design (NCAD) in Dublin, followed a Masters in Illustration at the University of Brighton.
He said: “It soon became apparent that I was an illustrator and artist, rather than a designer, and also that animation was the next logical step onward from illustration.
“I started experimenting with motion and animating images in my third year of college and did a real deep dive into it when I did my MA in Brighton.
“I then was lucky enough to hook a position as a designer at StudioAKA in Dublin which was like getting a ticket to an amusement park – I worked there three years and absolutely loved it before striking out on my own.”
Dermot has worked with world-renowned and noteworthy clients such as Vogue, Harpers Bazaar, Paramount, Disney, Penguin, Mary Portas, Adidas, Vodafone, The Irish Times, The Guardian, GQ, Little Brown, Trinity College Dublin and The New Yorker.
But closer to (our) home, Dermot has a regular client (and good friend of the festival) that he said is hands down one of this favourites. “Kinnegar Brewing; That’s hands down one of my favourites – always fun to do and also great to work with – nice people!
“I have worked with Libby (Carton) and Rick (LeVert) on and off for the past twenty years. My first job after graduating was in their design office!
“Other projects that I loved working on include illustrating poetry by the Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy, a series of windows and a children’s book for the Grand America Hotel in Salt Lake City, a series of books exploring coping with childhood loss and grief for the New York Life Foundation, and drawings in Marmite for a campaign for their new ‘Squeezy’ variety.”
Dermot has now done the festival artwork for the past four years (2018-2021), in addition to his first Earagail Arts commission in 2012.
He said: “Paul Brown (CEO & Artistic Director) always gives me a wide open brief and really allows me to explore and experiment.
“The pieces are always an opportunity to really push myself creatively and produce something that I can really be proud of. They are a wonderful opportunity to do something that completely free and untrammelled by commercial considerations.”
Lighthouses – symbols of light and hope – of which so many shine from the coastline of Donegal, provided the gateway to this year’s programme, both in the commissioned artwork by Dermot, and in the live dance and music performances, new commissions, self-guided film and audio installations in and around Fanad, Stroove and Tory Lighthouses.
Dermot said: “The starting point for it (the 2021 artwork) was lighthouses. Apart from thinking about traditional structures, such as Fanad Lighthouse, I also started thinking about airborne manmade structures such as balloons, kites and floating illuminations!
“I also tried to hark back to some of the earlier Earagail Arts posters. You might notice the mermaids from 2018 at the base of the image!”
2020 also saw the introduction of an animated version of Dermot’s artwork, thanks to Paul King Design, to complement the festival’s extensive online programming and presence.
Dermot said: “Paul is a delight to work with, endlessly calm, professional and so helpful, especially when it comes to working to crazy deadlines.
And he always over-delivers way beyond what you ask him! It’s always so exciting seeing something you have created being given further layers of depth, meaning and excitement through motion and animation.”