Mad Skills Monday 008: Aimee McDowell and Diana David

Welcome to Mad Skills Monday, where we showcase top work from young creatives to bring some creative inspiration to beat the post-weekend blues. Today we present the eerie pen illustrations of Aimee McDowell and the vibrant animations of Diana David.

Aimee McDowell

Power tool: 0.2 pigment liner
Power song: Deftones – You’ve Seen The Butcher
Power snack: Wasabi peas

Aimee is the kind of student you envy at uni; the kind of student with the guts to do what she wants and turn every university brief into something that fits her niche, rather than doing what she thinks will please her tutors. She describes herself on her website as a “Graphic designer / Illustrator / Maker”, and it’s obvious to see why; she just can’t stop – when she’s not working on briefs at the University of Leeds, she’s relentlessly producing amazing work on the side that extends way beyond what would be classed as graphic design.

Lately, she has been focusing on developing her illustrative style and this week she emailed us with some amazing, ultra-detailed dot work illustrations inspired by her love of taxidermy, tattoos and the occult which, in my books, is probably the best combination of influences ever.




SnakeAimee undertook a year in industry last year, working with one69a in Salford, where she produced some illustrated screen prints and t-shirts which you can buy from her Etsy shop. I have the Crystal Bird t-shirt, and it really is as awesome as it looks.



She is also a member of Leeds-based Gold Hands Collective, and regularly updates her blog with progress on illustrations, prints and some really incredible jewellery made using taxidermy animal eyes and real butterfly wings. If she has found some secret contraption that gives her day more hours, I want a go.


Aimee is currently in her final year at uni, and I for one can’t wait to see what she produces for her final project. In the meantime, take a look at her portfolio here and follow her on Twitter here.

Diana David

Diana is a creative who has worked across 2D and 3D illustration and animation – and she also demonstrates some stop motion skills too. All of these styles are squeezed into her impressive showreel below. Her focus on 3D animation is best shown in her thesis animation project, ‘Perspectives’, an action film in which our protagonist tries to climb over a dangerous cliff, unaware of the further obstacles that await.


Character design for ‘Perspectives’


Clay modelling for ‘Perspectives’


I’ve got my eyes on you


Illustration featured in 3D Artist Magazine


Diana graduated BFA (hons) in Multimedia Art in the Faculty of Fine Arts of Lisbon, where she also spent a few months studying Animation at Southampton Solent University, and then graduated in MA 3D Computer Animation at Bournemouth University. She currently works in Portugal doing 3D animations for a TV advertising studio. You can check out more of her work at her website, Facebook and blog.

Want us to show off your mad skills? We’re always looking for young creatives, students and graduates to showcase for our Monday feature, so send us an email with some samples or a portfolio link with the subject line “Mad Skills Monday” to and we’ll check you out!

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