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Top 25 Art Blog - Creative Tourist

Map My Heart: an interview with illustrator Dom and Ink

Fabulous contributing illustrator Dom and Ink has just published his first book, chock full of his wonderful narrative illustrations.

Written by Amelia Gregory

Map My Heart book cover by Dom&Ink

Dominic Evans, known as Dom and Ink, is a super talented illustrator who contributes brilliant fashion illustrations to Amelia’s Magazine. He’s also just secured his first book deal off the back of his brilliant zine, Batter My Heart, which I was lucky to receive a copy of some time ago. With an illustrative style that is perfectly suited to his idiosyncratic tales of love and heartbreak, this book would make the perfect Christmas gift for a single friend with a sense of humour. I caught up with Dom to find out more about the making of Map My Heart.

Author photo - Dom&Ink

What inspired you to start drawing about relationships and lurve?
I think I’m just really nosey. I really like to hear stories about how people meet, fall in love, break up, weird dates etc. They’ve always fascinated me. I just find relationships, dating and love really flipping interesting. I believe there is someone out there for everybody and for me, the whole point of this book is something people can pick up, have a laugh with and afterwards think, ‘You know what, stuff you Brett for leaving me for that stripper, I’m awesome!‘. I’ve said this to other people before but I really do think it’s down to my love of watching trashy American soaps when I was younger, ie, Sunset Beach. Maybe I just love drama and fierce shoulderpads!

Map My Heart 2 by Dom&Ink

Where do you draw your ideas from… had much experience yourself?
Being 27 and single I have had my fair share of dating disasters and extremely awkward experiences. In fact I’ve pretty much gone through every chapter of the book! When I put Map My Heart together I wanted to take ideas from everything, so some pages are inspired from conversations I’d overhear on the bus or in Tesco, others from friends. If I named them they may hunt me down, cut my quiff off and kill me.

Map My Heart by Dom and Ink 2013

Can you share any strange experiences that led to a page in the new book?
Hmmm. I’d say the spread called ‘How To Seduce‘ had an interesting starting point. The spread basically tells you how to ‘eyesex’ someone by looking from their lips to their eyes in a seductive manner. You then repeat these steps until they’re putty in your hands. The idea for the page came about when my best friend was teaching me about ‘eyesexing’ (something I had no idea even existed) and I literally didn’t have a clue what the hell she was on about. Next thing you know we were both sat in the pub practising ‘eyesexing’ on one another. Aside from terrifying the barmaid, I can easily say I’m an ‘eyesexing’ pro. Just call me casanova. So by the time it came around to putting Map My Heart together, I devoted a whole four pages to this amazing seductive exercise…

Map My Heart 5 by Dom&Ink

Why do you like to work in minimal colours?
Not gonna lie, I used to be colour crazy. Every illustration looked like a rainbow had been sick on it. Then I thought about just keeping my  work to just a few colours and nothing too rainbow-tastic. However with the book though, I wanted the reader to embrace using colour, there are a few flecks of red throughout the pages, but other than that I really want readers to feel inspired and colour in whatever the hell they want! It’s interesting because when readers tweet me pictures of spreads they’ve doodled in, some pages a reader will colour in just some text and then other readers go all out on colouring in patterns, hair and unicorns. Yep, there’s unicorns in the book. In fact, readers can tweet me their crayola creations @dom_and_ink 

Map My Heart by Dom and Ink 2013

May My Heart is a fancier book version of your original self published Batter My Heart magazine, how did it come about?
I’d just put together Batter My Heart on my illustration MA at the University of Brighton (Sequential Design/illustration) and in all honesty, up until the degree show I hadn’t really thought about publishing it. I’d done a few limited self published copies of the original and my tutors put forward the idea of getting it published! So I sat down and emailed spreads to some publishers. I mean it was no easy task, I think some people may think it’s quite easy but it’s actually rather hard. When I met with the team at Huck And Pucker, everything just clicked into place. They understood the book, the content, they laughed at my awful jokes and puns and I knew straight away they’d do a bang tidy job with it. So the book went from 60 pages to 144, and changed sizes to a smaller hand held size, we added more chapters and quotes to really beef out each chapter. I had so much unused material already I wanted to use, so some stuff that was discarded from ‘Batter’ made it into ‘Map My Heart’. I did have to get rid of my Cheryl Cole spread though…poor Chezza.

Map My Heart 6 by Dom&Ink

Where next for Dom and Ink?
I’m still getting my head around a book deal, I find it really surreal when I see a copy, I’m thinking ‘Did I do that?!‘. It’s just been confirmed that the book will be hitting the USA next year so that’s rather mindblowing! I’m also working on a poetry anthology called Hell Creek based around dinosaurs with poet J.T Welsch. It’s different to anything I’ve done before, but I’m really enjoying it. I can’t reveal too much as it’s kinda top secret. Other than that I’m working on promoting the book, various commissions and maybe working with Huck And Pucker on a few other things also….

Map My Heart 3 by Dom&Ink

Map My Heart is available from Huck and Pucker here.

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