Artist Rory Dobner creates exquisite ink illustrations inspired by the objects he collects. He has worked in the UK, USA, Australia and Hong Kong, and has completed commissions for clients including Agent Provocateur, MTV, Disney and Nike. His distinctive homewares range is available in stores including Fortnum & Mason and Liberty.
With a new book coming out, The Ink House, we popped along to Rory's studio in London to find out more and also have a nose at his workspace.
Tell us more about The Ink House
The Ink House is my first book published by Laurence King Publishing and follows the story of an artist’s mansion, built on a magical pool of ink that inspires creativity in anyone who lives there. When the artist goes adventuring, animals great and small arrive for the Annual Ink House Extravaganza!
I've spent two years designing and drawing the illustrations through many a night shift by candle light, using a quill and ink pot to bring the characters to life, so I am very proud to be able to share them with everyone through the book.
What's your studio like in contrast?
My studio is in Hampstead, London – down a lantern-lit alleyway below street level and with a glass roof. I draw under the glow of the street light, surrounded by a menagerie of Taxidermy I have collected on my adventures to keep me company and also, I suppose a positive term would be, ‘piles of treasures’ that I have amassed en-route, which provide me with endless inspiration. Although I don’t have a basement of ink like The Ink House, I do have quite a few ink bottles to dip my quill in.
What do you love about your workspace the most?
It’s surrounded by alleyways in a very historic part of Hampstead that is caught in a Sherlock Holmes-esque time capsule, so I feel very much at home here and it’s where I enjoy drawing the most. Plus, as it’s joined to my home, I feel lucky to have the shortest commute to work ever.
What's the local scene like?
Lots of places to get my favourite hot chocolates and pan au chocolats to fuel the all-night drawing sessions, plus the Heath Ponds are on my doorstep and one of my favourite ways to relax.
Describe a typical day
I get up very early (despite working late as I’ve never been one for much sleep), so I wake up with the children and eat as much as possible before sitting down at my desk to start drawing. I invariably don’t get up again until my eyes start closing and the constant coffees have no more effect.
What's your work setup look like?
I work in a dedicated studio with a custom-made desk built into the wall and a tall stool and a drawing board with a glass ceiling, so it’s flooded by light.
How do you stay focused?
I absolutely love what I do so the question is more how do I stay focused on non-drawing activities!
The Ink House, by Rory Dobner, is published by Laurence King.