In Coversation With… Dan Hillier

Dan Hiller

Just before Christmas, I interviewed one of my favourite artists, Dan Hillier

With influences sprouting from old anatomy books, Victorian gothic novels and a self confessed teenage enjoyment of death metal, Hillier creates ‘altered engravings’ of half humans magically twisting into tentacled and horned horrors. Hillier fuses his own ink drawings with found Victorian illustrations to create darkly humorous collages and scenes reminiscent of Victorian gothic imagery.

Hilliers acheivements include shows around London, being part of Soup at the Institute of Contemporary Arts, an exhibit at The Strychnin Gallery. Hillier has also been featured in the magazine Dazed and Confused. His fans include the illustrious Neil Gaiman and Candadian science fiction writer Corey Doctorow. I give you the Inside Life of Dan Hillier…

I collect… Victorian sourcebooks, music, books, wrinkles.

I cant live without… my beautiful blue velocipede.

My guilty pleasure is…
Guinness with Tia Maria, solo magic mushroom expeditions, Beyonce.  The first two are a great combination and if Beyonce turns up then all the better.

Our house is filled with… workshy ne’er-do-wells.

I treasure my…
freedom from having to work in a normal job, my friends, my family, my nimble digits.

Right now I can’t stop thinking about… what I’m going to paint on an 8ft wall at MuTate Britain’s upcoming shenanigans.

Currently I am reading… To a God Unknown by Mr John Steinbeck for the second time.  His writing lights me up.

My favourite item of clothing is… currently my new flat cap.

At the top of my furniture wish list is…
a new hammock for my upcoming holiday to the Andaman Islands for Christmas.  I CAN’T BLOODY WAIT.

The last thing that really inspired me was… Japan

My comfort food is… fried eggs on toast with plenty of butter, chocolate, spicy salmon noodle soup, Guinness.

On my desk are… bike lock, ruler, pens, CDs, plates, cups, glasses, passport, phone, ipod, confusing paperwork, crisps, spanners, receipts, bits of tape, Mac, ink, scalpel, 3 peso note, unopened post, wallet, sunlight, my hands.

This weekend I will… go on a long walk with a gang of friends on the South Downs followed by a slap up feed in a country pub on Saturday, work at the Sunday Upmarket on Sunday.

Tonight I must… attempt not to carouse.

I love what I do because… my time is all my own, I really, really, really like making pictures and being creative.

Author: Rohini Wahi

Rohini is a London based freelance journalist and trend forecaster for the design industries. She has worked for Elle Decoration, Living Etc, Houzz and Design Sponge amongst others.

She loves a period drama and keeps a tidy home. Launched in 2007 The Beat That My Heart Skipped focuses on home inspirations, design trends, lifestyle and food – coupled with an insight into Rohini’s work and home life – from key picks at trade shows to styled weekend soirees. To contact Rohini for queries, work for hire or just to say hi drop her a line at

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