Artist Spotlight: Charlie Davis

An interview with Charlie Davis, the illustrator whose bright, fun, and complex pieces lift our souls.


Charlie Davis’ illustrations are packed with color, texture, and joy. He’s a people watcher, pulling his imaginative ideas from the interactions he sees around him — his wanderings, his favorite artists, and just about everything else! Since Charlie’s pieces tell stories we love, we reached out to learn more about how he works and his unique vision.

Hi Charlie! Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your creative style?

Charlie Davis: I’m an illustrator and designer living and working in London. I would describe my style as largely whimsical and warm. I aim to achieve a strong sense of character in my illustrations through stylized figures, exaggerated forms, and plenty of textures!

Where do you find your inspiration?

CD: My inspiration comes from everywhere: observing interesting people out and about, exploring various weird and wonderful places, films, music, and the work of other artists. (And the occasional eureka moment from out of the blue.)

What kind of music do you like to listen to while working?

CD: I find myself playing music depending on the speed I need to work. If there’s a good amount of time before the deadline, it’s often a chilled out, relaxing sound. However, if it’s close to deadline, then it can get pretty fast and heavy!

What has been your biggest challenge as an artist?

CD: I feel the biggest challenge as an illustrator is to manage yourself and be your own critic. Often working alone, it is difficult to critique or assess your work in the early stages, and in that sense, you have to trust your eyes and your creative gut.

What do you like most about working with Adobe Stock?

CD: The great thing about Adobe Stock is the quality of the content and the seamless integration into other Adobe applications. It is great for me when I’m looking for textures and high-resolution content.

We’re talking this month on the blog about Silence and Solitude as an emerging visual trend. What are your thoughts about finding quiet in your life and your work?

CD: Silence and solitude are things that appear to be a luxury these days, and I do savor the quiet time when it occurs. I feel that visual silence is a very powerful tool in illustration and can dramatize a sense of vastness or emptiness. A subject set in a silent or empty space can have a far greater presence.

CD: I feel like one design trend to keep an eye out for is the continuation of 2017’s bold and immediately readable aesthetic across a lot of design, stripping back visual clutter and losing any elements that aren’t essential to the message. However this, I feel, opens up the need for personality and warmth from illustration, especially in a world where a lot of design is approaching things in a bold and minimalist way.

Which artists and designers do you think we should all be following?

CD: There are so many exciting people out there doing a great job of pushing illustration and design. I follow a lot of illustrators, and it’s difficult to name them all! But here are some to follow: Tatsuro Kiuchi, Tom Haugomat, Steve Simpson, Owen Davey, Malika Favre, Steve Scott, David Doran, Riccardo Guasco, and the list could go on…

A huge thanks to Charlie for taking the time to talk with us! He tells us that this year he’ll keep pushing his style with character and personality. We can’t wait to see what he does next! For more of Charlie’s work, check him out on Behance.