Having scribed his name into the comic book scene with the pen name Frank Quitely, Vincent Deighan has established himself as a sought-after, award winning illustrator.
His most distinguished work has been created through his partnership with writing sensation Grant Morrison. The duo collaborated to reimagine Superman, Batman and X-men, mustering loyal fans world-wide. And although he is a celebrity superstar in Hollywood and within the comic book scene, he’s chosen to stick to his humble roots in Glasgow, working from his design studio there.
Through his latest artistic endeavour, he has blown away the conventional stereotype of hotel art. Deighan was commissioned to reimagine the white walls of Radisson RED, Glasgow, elevating our hotel’s artistic aura through his bespoke pieces.
We recently caught up with the comic book illustrator to discover what inspires him and where the best places are to hang out in Glasgow:
Can you tell us a bit about your background?
I was born in Glasgow and have lived and worked here all my life. I studied Drawing and Painting at Glasgow School of Art. As a freelance artist I painted commissioned portraits and murals for restaurants, designed T-shirts and posters for nightclubs, illustrated book jackets and magazines and CD covers, all sorts of stuff.
What made you specialize in comic books?
I ended up specialising in comics after getting involved with the underground Glasgow adult humour comic Electric Soup. Over the years I’ve drawn a lot titles and characters for Marvel and DC Comics, including the X-Men, Batman and Superman.
What inspires you and gets your creativity flowing?
I find inspiration everywhere! The whole world is inspiring, and everything in it. All types of people, all our different cultures, and art, film, music, fashion, history, science, TV, dreams – everything.
What’s your process when working on project?
I mostly work with a writer, and I always start by reading the script, doing tiny ‘thumbnail’ drawings to work out the storytelling, and then work the pages up to a good finish. It’s about setting the scene, arranging the flow, capturing the right body language and facial expressions, and adding relevant detail.
Can you tell us a bit more about your Murals at RED?
The work that I’ve done for Radisson Red Glasgow is a bit different to what I normally do in comics. The quality and style of the drawing is very similar, but the compositions are arranged specifically to decorate areas of walls within the hotel.
The themes of the Red hotels are Art, Fashion, and Music, and they certainly influence the drawings, but there are elements of humour in there too, and the mix of characters peopling the scenes range from glamorous to amusingly unglamorous.
The city influenced the artwork in both the architectural landmarks that are included, and in the people I’ve drawn, many of whom are drawn from our never-ending supply of Glaswegians and tourists.
Where are your favorite places to eat in Glasgow?
I like eating out in Glasgow and I’ve got a host of favourite places to do that, including The Ubiquitous Chip, Mother India’s cafe, The Spanish Butcher, A’Challtainn, Sarti’s, Brutti Compadres – there’s too many to list.
When you have friends in town, where do you take them?
When I’ve got guests to show around I take them to the Cathkin Braes for the view across the city, The Necropolis, Merchant City, The Burrell, GoMA, Kelvingrove Park and the Art Gallery and Museum, University of Glasgow, Ashton Lane, Finnieston – though not all in the one day!
What’s your life motto? (if you have one)
I don’t really have a life motto, but I try to be good to people, and I always give my work 100%.
Where can people see your work?
Most of my work is in comic books. All Star Superman, We3, and Jupiter’s Legacy would be a good place to start.