Q & A with Fintan Wall

This week we meet Dead Famous  creator Fintan Wall. Fintan is an illustrator living in Dublin. He also creates a range of funny mugs and delightful greeting cards. Check out his Dead Famous prints here

So what is working for yourself like?
I absolutely love it! The hours can be very long and you’re never really not working as there’s always emails to answer, or social media to update, but I love the freedom of it. 

Did you always want to be a designer?
Well, originally, I wanted to be an animator, but then I got really into the likes of Roy Lichtenstein and Andy Warhol, all the pop art stuff and that changed my direction from animation to graphic design, and I haven’t looked back since.

How long did it take to create your Dead Famous characters? 

The original one was actually a present for my boyfriend, and then in 2016, all these famous people passed away and I thought it might be nice to commemorate them in some way as part of a collection, and thus, Dead Famous was born. 

Were there many iterations before you got to the final designs?
Not a huge amount, once I’d settled on the basic character design, which was David Bowie, the rest came easy enough. I mean, all of the characters are icons so it was simple enough to create the rest of them.

There are lots of spinning plates, what do you find to be the most challenging part of being a designer & promoter/ seller of your products?
The book-keeping! Hands down! I don’t have any head for numbers so it’s always a chore that I dread. Has to be done though!


When you're not designing what do you like to do?
I love to have a wander around the city taking photos, or catching up with mates for a gig or a bite to eat. Can’t beat a few pints in a nice sunny beer garden either. 

Is there anything next in the pipeline?
I have a few things coming up, currently in the process of writing and illustrating a children’s book and I have a wedding gift themed idea that I’ve been meaning to do for ages. Watch this space! 

Who is your favourite designer/ influence? 
How long is a piece of string? There’s so many, Andy Warhol definitely, he really changed the idea of what art is or can be, I’m also a huge Oliver Jeffers fan too, he is frighteningly talented. His book, The Heart in the Bottle is a work of art.  Also, Instagram is a constant source of inspiration, there’s so many wonderful Irish designers and Illustrators on there, couldn’t recommend it highly enough. 

And finally, Barry's or Lyons?
Barry’s. Accept no substitute.

“It is not enough that we build products that function, that are understandable and usable, we also need to build products that bring joy and excitement, pleasure and fun, and, yes, beauty to people’s lives.”

Don Norman