On the spot: Daniel Battams

Written by Zuza Ciszewska on May 20, 2021

Living and working in London, Daniel Battams creates posters that represent the true spirit of Tokyo. He turns the city of light, billboards, and fun into playful designs inspired by the greatest masters of pop art. With bold splashes of color and minimalist composition, he creates a magical atmosphere of a night walk during which we really explore and feel the city.

What does your studio look like?

For the last year, it’s been a desk with an iMac in the corner of our lounge (which doubles as our home workout room). Soon though I should have my own home studio, with a nice view over south London.

How much do pop art pioneers influence your art?

Probably very much, although day-to-day I think I take more influence from things outside of the art world – music, films, TV, graffiti, architecture, fashion, memes, and things I see in the street.

Tokyo Taxi at Night
Tokyo Karaoke Bar at Night
Tokyo Billboards

What inspired your most popular Tokyo collection?

My first trip there in 2019. Having always lived in London, it felt like a parallel universe, even bigger and busier but also much friendlier and more colorful.

I tried to capture this fun, energy, and color in a set of illustrated prints, hand-drawn from photos I took there during the day and at night.

What else has an impact on your art? 

Generally, I intuitively follow my interests and make images I think are fun, look good and observe or comment on things I see happening in society.

What do you like to do when you are not creating? 

Listen to music, watch films, exercise, travel (where possible) and explore the city. All the usual things!

Tokyo Shibuya Crossing

With which artist (living or dead) would you like to grab a coffee (or a beer)? 

Banksy. I imagine that’d be hard though.

What do you consider your biggest success as an artist? 

Probably having a bit of work in Tate gallery in London many years ago, but to be honest, it feels good every time someone likes my work enough to buy a print.

When do you like the city better – day or night? 

Both in different ways, but I’m currently interested in depicting cities at night. Seeing Tokyo’s hyper bright lights against the night sky inspired the block-color style of my prints. I’m now using the same technique to create a series on London at Night, which will be an interesting way of contrasting the two cities (London will be much greyer!).

What are your plans for the future?

Create more art, more prints, and keep having fun.

Instagram: @danielbattams

Tokyo Shinjuku Lights
Tokyo Kiwi Crepes
Tokyo Akihabara

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