Artist: Bruce Mackay

From Cape Town, Bruce is an artist with focus on hand-made illustrations, prints and type (though his portfolio shows colorful and digital commercial work too). Icons, pictograms and graphic design have their role in the process. Via dip pen/brushes and ink, or lino prints (in his own words, “I really don’t like digital prints”), Bruce’s artwork comes mostly in black and white, sometimes with red or blue details, and rich in lines and patterns. The themes include the maritime realm, with profuse ocean ripples, boats, whales and Neptune; skeletons; interlaced branches or anthropomorphic figures; birds; and snakes.

My name is Bruce Mackay.  I am 26 years old.

I work as an artist and freelance commercial illustrator/designer.

I think and work best early in the morning and in the evening and late at night. I try not to work in the afternoon unless I absolutely have to. My neighbours and housemates probably think I don’t do any work ever. I try not to multitask unless I have a client who I know takes a while with feedback. I try to focus on one thing until it’s complete.

I live in Cape Town, South Africa. I have a studio in Woodstock, but I’m hardly ever there. I mostly work from home because I work at night and in the morning and Woodstock isn’t safe at night.

I love it. I can be my own boss. I can work when and where I want to. I never get forced to take on jobs that I don’t want to do. Commercial jobs pay the bills but I get to make things for myself when I’m not busy on those jobs. I love the freedom and that I can make things with my hands.

I draw with a dip pen or a brush and ink and sometimes masking fluid. When I work I do some thumbnails and titles for work and then do some roughs of the drawing in pencil, going over the drawing several times on tracing paper until I’m happy with the layout and tension in the drawing. Then I lightly trace over all the shapes onto the final paper I’m using and start to work in ink. For commercial work I mostly work digitally. Sometimes I work by hand and then assemble and edit everything in Photoshop, usually with typography.

Find Bruce Mackay here:

Blog: lasttouchnix