Do you consider yourself to have a commercial style?

Well, my work seems to have taken two directions. On one end I find myself taking on assigned work for various publications, advertising/design agencies, etc. On the other end of things is my personal work, which is constantly evolving, but for the most part surreal in nature and more character driven. I would like to think of my style as a healthy mix of commercial and personal work that can be applied in a variety of settings.

In your current portfolio is there any work from Syracuse University, if not why not?

Nope… I phased that stuff out long ago. In fact, it’s funny, I was going back through the work I did just last year and was scratching my head wondering what the hell I was thinking! For me, it’s all part of the process though. I try to learn something new from each piece and carry this knowledge on to the next one. There is a great deal of personal competition in my work. In a sense, it’s what drives me… I always want to “out do” my last piece.

You were a bartender for 3 years; could you pull a mean pint?

Ha! Yeah, I poured quite a few pints in my day… don’t miss it all that much though. It’s more fun on the other side of the bar! However, it was a nice gig early on when I was trying to get my stuff out there, I got paid to socialize with patrons (picked up a few nice jobs that way), it helped pay the bills, plus it kept my art supplies well stocked… and on top of it all, it’s how I met my beautiful wife!

Who are your favourite artists/illustrators alive today?

Oh man, that’s a tough one… there are so many amazing artist’s out there these days. I’ll go ahead and ramble off a few of my faves in no particular order… Colin Johnson, Doug Boehm, Robert Hardgrave, Jeremy Pruitt, Aaron Nather, Jeremiah Ketner, Jason Proudler, Katy Horan, Chris Buzelli, Gina Triplett, Dennis Hayes, Mike Maxwell, Elsavet, Craig LaRotonda, Travis Louie, Neil Swaab, Julie West, Chris Ryniak, Martin Ontiveros, Amy Sol, Brendan Monroe, Mike Burnett, Dave Cooper, Amanda Vissell, Jordan Isip, Jamie Zollars, Sam Weber, Eric White, Mark Burkhardt, Mars-1, Scott Musgrove, Jeremy Fish, Chris Sickels, Daniel Chang, APAK, Naoto Hattori, Chris Reccardi, Ronald Kurniawan, Johnny Yanok, Nathan Spoor, Joe Vaux, Doze Green, Jeff Soto, Mark Ryden, Todd Schorr, Tim Biskup, Gary Taxali, Charles Glaubitz, the Clayton Brothers… and so many more. I have to say I really admire any artist who is constantly pushing the envelope, and putting himself or herself out there.

Which galleries have you shown at and which galleries would you like to show at?

The whole gallery scene is still pretty new to me… this summer I took part in a few group shows at M Modern Gallery, in Palm Springs, I’m part of a five- person show at DvA Gallery in Chicago, which opens in October, and I have a few other shows lined up here and there before the years end. As far as galleries I would like to show at go… I have a list of places I will be sending my stuff out to in the coming year. So, I guess we’ll have to wait and see!

Are you involved in any collaborative projects at the moment and is there anyone you would like to work with?

I think collaborations are great. This is an exciting time to be an artist, and to me there’s nothing better than seeing talented people join force… the result is usually pretty stunning. I’m currently working on a couple collabs with some friends of mine and hope to work on more in the future… stay tuned! Recently I took part in the Said And Done collaborative project, put together by Dustin Koop and John Antoski. Those guys have managed to compile a really nice list of artist’s for their project. I was certainly happy that they asked me to take part. Check it out at

What’s next in the pipeline for Dan May illustration?

Sky’s the limit! Sometimes I wonder how on earth I’m doing this for a living… then I remember to stop questioning things and just continue to go with the flow. At this point I have some projects, gallery shows, etc. lined up for the coming year. For the most part though, I just hope to continue evolving as an artist. Each day seems to bring about a slue of new opportunities and new ideas. My goal is to see just how far I can push things… bigger, better, more!


Big up to Apefluff for finding me intriguing enough to interview! A huge shout out to all my Flickr peeps, friends and family, and of course my beautiful and inspiring wife Kendal.

Cheese and Onion or Salt and Vinegar?

Cheese and Onion

X-men 2 or City Slickers?


You can see more of Dan May’s work at

Interview posted by theApe

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Darren Di Lieto

Darren Di Lieto is the founder and editor of The Little Chimp Society. He created the LCS in 2005 as an illustration news portal to promote the illustrators and artists who bring joy to our everyday lives. Since then the LCS has grown into a publisher, hosting provider and events organiser.

5 Responses

  1. farmerbob says:

    Dan does top notch work. He has a feather light touch and adds just enough spontaneity to keep it interesting. One of my favorites right now.

  2. Great Interview Dan, love your stuff!

  3. Liz May says:

    Awesome art Dan… you are always coming up with new and exciting ideas! You are so talented! Keep doing what you do best!!! Love you!

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