Artist Interview: Derek Anderson

by Derek Anderson
 On July 12, 2021

Tell us about yourself

Q What have been some of your favorite ADG projects?

A We create lots of fun and interesting designs here but my favorite ongoing project has been the National Parks poster series. I enjoy doing the research and reading about the history of the various locations around the states and I always seem to learn something new when taking on one of these poster designs. The USA is rich in natural wonders and I’m fascinated by seeing new points of interest and using my imagination to best showcase what each location has to offer.


I also enjoy coming up with new ideas for the Space Travel series. It’s interesting to review posters from the “space age” and see what artists thought the future would look like. We embrace these aesthetics and try to put a modern spin on the way we render the scenes.

Q When you are not doing illustration work for clients, what kind of creative projects do you enjoy doing on your own? Do you have some examples of cool personal projects?

A I’ve always been interested in nerdy stuff like fantasy and sci-fi, and in my free time I take what I’ve learned about illustration and design to create my own art. Outer space is such an abstract place, so it makes for great subject matter when creating art! I tend to sit by my computer late on the weekends creating whatever spawns in my head; often made-up movie and video game poster designs. The possibilities are endless so those themes seem to be an ongoing inspiration for me.


Q Who are some of your creative heroes? What inspires you about their work?

A I find people who inspire me from all sorts of different ventures.. from movie directors to professional skateboarders. All my heroes share similar qualities though; originality, discipline and style. Drew Struzan, “the movie poster guy”, was probably the first artist I took notice of as a child. The way Struzan builds his compositions and captures the mood of the film in one image has inspired me greatly when creating my own art.


Directors like David Lynch and Stanley Kubrick have such an original quality to their work, although they create different forms of art I find their story telling mesmerizing and you can never tell what will happen next, almost like a dream.

As for discipline, I look towards my favorite pastime, skateboarding. With an activity like skating you have to be pretty resilient and test the bounds of your patience when learning even the basics. All these things you learn will translate over to everything you do in life so the more patience and discipline you develop skating the easier learning new things in life can be.

Q What advice do you have for aspiring digital artists and designers?

A Make more stuff! It’s really that simple. At least that’s what works for me… everyone is different so you might be looking for a more precise answer… but I find it very comforting and enjoyable to just make things, whether that’s doodling or working on a big project. For most people, half the battle is starting. But if you force yourself to start, then the rest will come naturally. Don’t worry about making a masterpiece or trying to create a brand new style; just focus on getting something out, everything else will fall in place.


To see more of Derek’s work check out his portfolio here! 

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