Interview: Illustrator Daryl Rainbow

Interview: Illustrator Daryl Rainbow

Very few illustrators capture the humour behind football and it’s culture as well as Daryl Rainbow. We chatted a bit with him this week to find out what he looks for in a project and how he uses his innate cynicism for good in his projects.

[B2B] Hi Daryl. Can we be so bold as to ask your age and of course, what football team you support?

[DR] I am 27 and live in Hackney, London. I am originally from the Philippines, born in Manilla. My family migrated to London when I was 3. Unfortunately I am a long suffering Arsenal fan. 

[B2B] How long have you been an illustrator for and where do you draw your inspiration from?

[DR] I’ve been illustrating since 2014, but only really somewhat professionally since 2017. My inspiration comes from my cynicism. I used to try and base my work on social issues like gentrification and social political things like that.

I still try and dabble, in topics like that every now and then. Now I just mainly draw men in shorts kicking a ball because there’s more work in that for me and I seem to have built a small audience based off of it. I suppose being an illustrator and trying to get work, I had to try and market myself in a certain way and the football stuff just came naturally as I’ve been a big fan all my life and I understand the culture to a degree.

But I find the football world hugely fascinating. There’s always so many great characters in it and so much constant drama all the time. And the important social issues always get brought up in football anyway in a very vulgar, simplified way. Everything is so reactive and passionate and so overly emotional, it almost mirrors the collective mentality everyone has at the moment.

[B2B] Do you have a stand-out favourite piece?

[DR] One of my favourite illustrations I did was the Ian Wright cover for Poison Lasagna zine, by the guys from Eighteen86. It’s a proper fanzine with really great fan content in there. I think in an age where football media is so clean cut and slick it’s refreshing to see such an honest fan built reaction to football.

[B2B] Have you seen any of your work explode on social media at all?

[DR] The silly football illustrations always seem to get a reaction across social media and get reused by various footballing sites/magazines. Like I did the Arsenal and Tottenham mascots having a fight for the North London Derby. And Mourinho reading “How To Lose Friends And Alienate People.” Maybe the more irreverent the more attention it gets.




[B2B] What have you got lined up next? Anything you can share with us?

[DR] I’ve been busy recently finishing off a big poster for a South Korean documentary film, about passionate fans from last years World Cup in Russia. Directed by a guy called “GOODNECK.” It’s a mad poster with loads of crazy fans and footballers from different nations. The film looks pretty mad as well to be honest. I’m also finishing off an animation right now for CAFIN clothing, about the environmental impact of cotton farming.

Alongside all of this, I’m also going to be releasing some illustrated panini style stickers for the Women’s World Cup coming up. I did a sticker set last year for the mens World Cup, basing it off old legends of the game, and going to recycle the same theme again. It’s been quite interesting researching the women’s game and finding out how it wasn’t a “professional” game for ages.

[B2B] If you could work with anyone on any project, what kind of work would it be?

[DR] A dream project, would be having like a David Squires comic gig in The Guardian. His cartoons are ridiculously funny.

[B2B] Let’s try and make this happen, Daryl!

You can view more of Daryl’s work here.

Imagery: Copyright Daryl Rainbow
Instagram: @daryl_rainbow




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