WMC artist focus Daron Parton

In this month’s artist focus we’re digging deep into the files of illustrator Daron Parton.


Born in the port city of Aden in Yemen with parents hailing from Kent and Shropshire in the UK, Daron now resides in Hamilton, New Zealand. When his career advisor asked him what he’d like to do after school, his answer was ‘drive a tank’! After realising his passion for art, he changed track and decided to put his energy into creating mind blowing visuals. 


A professional illustrator for 20 years, Daron is very often inspired by those silly stories you come across that make you scratch your head and lift an eyebrow.


We caught up with Daron to find out more about what goes into that creative filing system in his head and had a little dig around his very colourful desk. Find out more in our short video:


Watermark Artist: Daron Parton from Watermark Creative on Vimeo.


Daron’s creative process

“When I’m looking for an idea, I tap into the filing system my head,” says Daron. “Something that I read, see or remember can switch on an idea, then I’m off collecting reference. Travelling always helps, when I can get out. I love being around creative people, they throw fuel on my metaphorical fire.”


Daron likes to work with tactile mediums, and admits that If it makes a mess, is expressive and can be unpredictable, he likes to use it.


“That can include anything from a paintbrush to ink or pastels. It took me a long and frustrating time to bring the digital and tactile together in a way that I could say was still me.”


If you’re briefing Daron on a project, don’t be surprised if he whips out a pencil and starts work immediately.


“When talking to a creative about a job I’m already scribbling ideas,” says Daron.  “I‘ll carry these ideas around with me, I like to then shut myself off in a quiet place to fully concentrate on all aspects of the concept all the time composing images with pencil and paper. When I’m happy with ideas I’ll scan them in and develop them up photoshop.”


Alligator in an anorak

This toothy fellow comes from Daron’s book Alligator in an Anorak. The book came about after the alligator made an appearance at the World Illustration Awards (AOI). The Editor at Penguin Random House Sydney saw him and wanted to know if Daron, and the alligator, would be interested in creating a book together.


Number 7

“I had enough of looking at a screen and I wanted to paint again,” commented Daron when asked about the inspiration for this image, which was a personal project. “This is a ‘me’ image. It’s self indulgent but is a nice bit of escapism. The theme looks at the colonisation of NZ. I hope people can see the hidden narrative elements in my painting.”



Introducing Mr Brown

Our final images from Daron Parton are from a project for the brand Fuel Espresso. These pieces of collateral were used to promote a series of fifteen origin coffee blends. Daron’s character Mr Brown is seen in situ in the country of origin of the coffee blends.



See more of Daron’s work on his Watermark Creative portfolio page or via his Instagram account @daronparton