How football artists took over the Premier League this season

How football artists took over the Premier League this season

They say that life imitates art, but this season it’s art that’s imitating football.

That’s because swathes of artists are making their mark by illustrating, in their own way, the world of Premier League narrative and intrigue.

Their work has been picked up by big publications and even bigger clubs this season, and you’ve probably seen it all over social media too – come and meet some of the people behind the pics.

Dave Flanagan

Talk us through some of the work you’ve done with football clubs this season – we’ve seen you’ve worked with some big teams!

“I’ve worked with a few clubs this season including Arsenal, Manchester City and Juventus. For Arsenal I create regular illustrations in a number of styles for their social media channels and I’ve done programme cover designs too. It’s been a great season.”

What’s it like working for some of those big clubs?

“It is really exciting because I’m a big football fan. The clubs are known all over the world and for them to want to work with me is a great feeling.

“I have to pinch myself when I look at my client list!”

What’s been good about this Premier League season for an artist on social media?

“The Premier League has some great players but I think this season we’ve had the best managers in the world all competing for points.

“I did a piece for the Premier League in an interview they did with me about the Manchester derby, and to have Pep Guardiola and Jose Mourinho pitting their wits against one another is pretty cool.

Last but not least, which piece of yours sums up something about the 2016/17 Premier League season?

Sergio Aguero, Paul Pogba, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Diego Costa
(Dave Flanagan)

This season has seen the arrival of some very characterful new stars to the Premier league and it has been great to see how they’ve mixed with the current players to create a great season of football.

Dan Leydon

How much is humour a part of your work and why is it useful for a football artist? Many of your illustrations prompt a laugh or two.

I try to inform all my work with wit – I’d rather raise a smile than a gut-bursting laugh. You can make someone laugh, it’s almost an involuntary thing, but a smile runs deeper. At the root of it I just want my work to be fun and rewarding.”

You’ve created quite a few gifs this season. What’s the aim?

“It’s just curiosity really, I see an interesting gif and then I wonder ‘how could I devise a football version of that?’.

“Sometimes I draw something and it just works with a moving element, and I wanted to develop a set of nicely finished gifs for football fans.”

Who’s the most artistic footballer in the Premier League this year?

“Diego Costa would be my pick. Artists are generally seen as following their own path with a disregard for societal pressures.

“The Premier League is a giant, uncaring money monster and I like how Costa pays it no regard. He might go to China, he might not. He scores, he annoys, he does his own thing.”

Last but not least, which piece of yours sums up something about the 2016/17 Premier League season?

Pep Guardiola
(Dan Leydon)

“Guardiola seems to detest the interview obligations and this type of friction is always hard to ignore. I strive to make pieces that capture the essence of something and looking back now, I’m quite happy with that. It shows his discomfort in the claustrophobic mix of pressure and all eyes being on him.”

Hannah Carroll

You’re a big Manchester United fan – do you get a lot of inspiration from them for your art?

“Yes, when I first started off with graphic design it made sense to start with the team I supported! I get a lot of inspiration from Old Trafford – the atmosphere and some of the amazing players we’ve had over the years.

“Someone once got my artwork signed by Wayne Rooney and another person got it signed by Dwight Yorke so that was pretty cool!”

Who’s the most artistic footballer in the Premier League this season?

Tottenham Hotspur's Dele Alli and Son Heung-min
(Adam Davy/PA)

“At the moment, probably Dele Alli. He’s a player I really enjoyed to watch. He has everything in his locker… skills, goals, trickery, you name it. He’s still very young too so it’s exciting to see how great he could become.”

What’s been good about this Premier League season for an artist on social media?

“I think so many teams have really improved their style of football and it’s been very entertaining. Chelsea, Manchester City, Liverpool and Spurs in periods have been very exciting to watch and it definitely inspires you when making designs, and gives you ideas for future work.”

Last but not least, which piece of yours sums up something about the 2016/17 Premier League season?

Zlatan Ibrahimovic
(Hannah Carroll Design)

“This goal that Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored against Swansea City was the Premier League’s 25,000th goal and Zlatan’s 400th goal of his club career.

“Many people doubted Zlatan when he arrived in England – being 34 and joining such a competitive league – but he proved everyone wrong.”

Dave Will

View this post on Instagram

🤔🤔🤔

A post shared by Dave Will Design (@davewi11) on

You’ve shared several creative projects on social media – how did those come about?

“I just thought a lot of people play five-a-side and Sunday league, and it’s quite a different world. There are so many bizarre things that are taken for the norm: strange shouts, the range of characters you come across – there were a lot of relatable moments I felt were quite fun.”

Which footballers seem the most artistic to you, and what makes a good subject for a piece of football art?

“There are quite a few creative types at Liverpool – when you see all the haircuts like Firmino, you can picture them all as art students.

“Some of them have quite recognisable features, those tattoos, and huge smiles – they’re always the characters that I find more interesting to illustrate.”

Have you ever had any player interaction with your art?

“I did a series a couple of years ago based on Liverpool’s Istanbul win, which was a little set of postcards that were based on each of the games they played to get to the Champions League final.

“Just randomly a couple of weeks ago Luis Garcia Instagrammed one of those images as it was the anniversary of his ghost goal. That was a bit surreal!”

Last but not least, which piece of yours sums up something about the 2016/17 Premier League season?

“Dele Alli epitomises the cheeky nutmeg, as he pushes the ball between his opponents’ legs with ease on a weekly basis – he’s a player who is just annoyingly good as he finds the game far too easy.”


More in this Section

Haringey boss pulled ‘frightened’ players off pitch amid alleged racist abuseHaringey boss pulled ‘frightened’ players off pitch amid alleged racist abuse

Guardiola praises makeshift City defence for clean sheet in 2-0 win at PalaceGuardiola praises makeshift City defence for clean sheet in 2-0 win at Palace

Ballintubber win fifth Mayo senior title with three late pointsBallintubber win fifth Mayo senior title with three late points

East Kerry gain revenge on Dingle with Clifford brothers on fireEast Kerry gain revenge on Dingle with Clifford brothers on fire


Lifestyle

These are the nail hues to choose this season, says Katie Wright.Perfectly polished: 5 autumn/winter nail trends you’ll actually want to wear

This early 19th-century table is one of a number of Irish lots at Sotheby’s Style, Furniture and Ceramics sale in New York on Thursday (October 24).Irish lots poised to add bite to Big Apple sale

Something for all at Hegarty’s auction in Bandon, says Des O’SullivanSomething for all at Hegarty’s auction in Bandon

Des O’Sullivan gives a preview of the Irish selection on offer at two sales in DublinPreview of the Irish selection on offer at two sales in Dublin

More From The Irish Examiner