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An interview with artist Jonathan MacDonald

Updated: May 5, 2020

Jonathan's intricately-penned illustrations depict a beautiful and chaotic world of colour and form. A short interview with Jonathan about his work and inspirations follow.

How did you start making your art?

*I began by doodling on scraps of paper; I suppose it was a form of mindfulness (before that became a thing).

What inspires your artworks?

*They are often imagined, but I am inspired by all sorts of patterns and forms from nature, along with architecture, mechanical parts, boats and maps.

What materials do you use?

*A4 drawings tend to be done with fine liners on Bristol Board style paper, coloured with marker pens.

Why did you choose these materials?

*I started with basic colour pens, and gradually found that Promarkers were my favourite to use. Smooth paper over 200gsm is best for doing detailed work.

What sizes are the pieces of art?

*Have worked on drawings from below A8 up to A2, and plan on bigger sizes when I have the space.

How long does it take to complete each drawing?

*A full A4 sheet with colour takes at least ten hours, up to over twenty.

What’s your studio like?

*Up until now, my workspace has been a lap tray and a corner of the living room!

How long have you been making work?

*After enjoying art through primary school, I got back in to drawing six years ago. I have attended a weekly painting group for over five years, and have recently joined a few new art groups.

How do you choose your colours?

*I don’t tend to plan the colours in advance and just add what seems to look right.

Who are your favourite artists?

*JMW Turner, Whistler, Joan Eardley, Norman Rockwell, Hieronymus Bosch, Carl Larsson, Barbara Hepworth, Yvette Tanguy and many others.

Do you listen to music while you work?

*Playing music is too distracting for me, so I usually have either daytime TV or the radio on in the background.

What books are you reading?

*I’ve collected a stack of books about the visual arts - the fewer words the better!


*Anything by Aardman Animations.

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