Design Interviews // Meet the new Bristol Pound artists 8/9: Kiwani Dolean

This is a repost of my recent interview with the Bristol Pound.

We’re nearly at the end of our artist interview series, with the glittering launch of our new paper pounds this Thursday at Spike Island Cafe. There’s still time for you to reserve your free spot!

We hope you’ve enjoyed reading about all the winning artists so far. Now it’s time to meet Kiwani Dolean, whose piece featuring SS Great Britain was one of the winners in the maritime heritage category of our competition.

How would you describe yourself to a stranger?
I am a digital designer and illustrator who creates delightful experiences. I work for a tech startup helping shape how new generations interact with technology, and I am behind a series of creative projects that involve illustration, hand lettering and photography. My mission is to connect with all creatures by spreading ideas and creativity from a constant learning, grateful and blissful flux.

Why did you enter the competition to design a Bristol Pound?
My image represents the SS Great Britain in the Bristol marina, with some of the coloured houses of Bristol in the background. The ship is elevated in the sky by a delicate wave, almost floating, ready for new adventures.

The water of the marina is used as a medium to tell the story of the ship, with the aid of handwritten words. I made the sky pink/red, from the saying used by mariners “Red sky at night, sailor’s delight. Red sky in morning, sailor’s warning”. In my original idea I’d want the viewer to decide what that means for them: it could either be a morning with rain coming or it could be an evening with a sunny day ahead.

When I moved to Bristol I was really impressed by the SS Great Britain, so it was a choice connected with my first memories of the city and with the history related to it. It’s a digital illustration created with iPad Pro and Apple Pencil, in which I used watercolour and ink brushes.

Winning design by Kiwani Dolean

What artists inspire you?
Yes, absolutely! I am a big film lover and am inspired a lot by what I watch, especially by the aesthetic of films and by their meanings. Wes Anderson is one of my favourite directors, I find his use of colours and compositions remarkable. Music is another source of inspiration for me, I I am fond of live gigs and I listen to music all the time when I am illustrating or designing — an illustration could be inspired by some poignant lyrics or touching melody. Finally, I follow many brilliant artists on Instagram and find lots of inspiration on Pinterest; it’s great how social media has given us access to some incredible art out there.

How has Bristol inspired your work?
I moved to Bristol in August 2017 and I instantly fell in love with the city, its vibrant spirit, heartwarming community and all round vibe. Bristol inspires me every day with its beautiful sceneries (from the parks to the harbour), its great street art and graffiti, and all the creative things happening in every part of the city.

What are your artistic career highlights so far?
I’ve been working in design for the past 10 years and, while I always had some creative project going on, I’ve been quite private with artistic work that wasn’t strictly related to design. In terms of my design career, I’ve had the pleasure of working for several tech startups and I have done lots of branding work (something that I really enjoy). In the past few years my illustration + hand lettering works have been more prominent in my life and have been featured in several projects, so I’ve started sharing more of it. Hopefully there will be more highlights to come in the near future.

What are your plans for the future?
I am currently working on a few illustrated posters of Bristol, I am illustrating a children’s book and a couple of gothic short stories and I have a few design projects and collaborations going on. I am also participating in the 100 day project with an illustration and hand lettering project related to words and their meanings — that might become a book and a series of postcards. I am open to collaborations and new ideas: I love working on new innovative projects and Bristol seems to be a perfect place to do that!

Where can we find you online?

Twitter: kiwani_dolean
Instagram: kiwani
Facebook: kiwani.dolean
LinkedIn: kiwanidolean
Dribble: kiwani
Pinterest: kiwani

Thank you Kiwani!

Originally published at on July 2, 2018.

Digital Designer and Illustrator crafting usable and delightful experiences.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store