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Illustration students Jake Richardson and Jacob Tomlinson, from the University of Derby, recently created a mural for our brand new Derby store. The brief was to incorporate and pay homage to the industrial roots common of the both the city and Dr. Martens. We spoke to them to find out more about what inspired their piece and how they created it:

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Give us a bit of background about yourself:
Jake Richardson: I’m in my last year of university, studying a master’s degree in illustration. I like developing conceptual work by learning about new ideas; it helps me approach my editorial illustrations. Often the smallest details in the source material tend to be the most useful.
Jacob Tomlinson: Like Jake I’ve nearly finished my Illustration Masters at Derby. A lot of my work gets tied up with music and I end up working with cool bands and promoters. I like finding ways of putting more energy into my work like with characters and humour.


Where do you get your inspiration from?
Jake: My inspiration comes from building reference material such as photographs and ephemera that I utilise when developing illustrations. I also use traditional processes like screen-printing to add more depth, finding textures to use in my work when creating digitally.
Jacob: Silly faces, alternative comics, video games, the internet, sunlight and deadlines. I just fill up my sketchbook with drawings until I’ve figured things out.


Talk us through the work you’ll be creating for Dr. Martens?
Jake: My work is more formal and texture based which suited the industrial aspect of the image. I isolated various interesting objects from the machinery used to manufacture Dr. Martens, and from local engineering industry as found in Derby’s museums. I designed the objects as two layers then passed them on to Jacob. We decided to screen print the design onto plywood to carry on the industrial raw materials feel. It was also the perfect process to combine our work as a series of different coloured layers. My industrial objects are the orange and blue; Jacob’s characters are the dark brown line work.
Jacob: After researching Dr. Martens’ history and the history of Derby we found a common thread of a serious industrial heritage that has been built upon into creative modern development. We usually work independently but it made sense to collaborate for this brief. I work more playfully so it was my job to get across the life and creativity of the modern Dr. Martens wearer. I printed out sheets of Jake’s objects and drew all over them, finding the right personality for each object. When I got a good fit I drew them up properly.


What are the top three tracks you’re listening to right now?
Hozier – From Eden
The Streets – Has it come to this?
The Whispers – Keep on loving me
Deerhoof – Fresh Born
So Stressed – Burger Brother

What’s your favourite thing about the city you live in?
Jake: My favourite thing about Derby is its size. It’s big enough to explore but small enough to make your own mark. Also its location allows me to travel easily across the UK.
Jacob: Yeah it’s small enough to walk everywhere but big enough that you do get the odd cool music and gallery show. And then when nothings going on you’re in the dead centre of the country so trains are super quick.


And finally, what do you stand for?
Jake: The physical process.
Jacob: Enjoying what you do.

Head to the Derby store to see the mural yourself now.

Check out Jacob’s illustrations on his website, and Instagram.

Check out Jake’s illustrations on his website, and Instagram.