When he’s not drumming in Ocasan, touring with the band or working on new material, Luke McDonnell fills any spare time engaging with another creative stream – his art, in the more literal sense.
“Whenever I get a moment away from the band I am generally working on art commissions,” Luke tells City Nights.
And his visionary flair is rather fabulous, reflected by his ‘in demand’ status.
Recent projects span everything from animation for a rehabilitation centre, to a hotel mural in the Channel Islands.
Anyone who has enjoyed a pint, or a gig, in The Craufurd Arms in the last wee while will have come face to face with his designs too.
Luke has rebranded the venue – from signage to posters and everything in-between.
As you might expect though, dealing in pub rebranding wasn’t his first dalliance with the creative side.
“Like most kids, I was drawing from a young age, “ he said.
“I don’t ever remember a poignant time where I suddenly took more interest, I’ve just always done it.
“When I was very young I remember owning a book called Fairies.
“Although the title implies I was perhaps more interested in tutus than tractors it was actually filled with endless creepy and imaginative sketches that I mused over for hours.
“My family helped me create a little gallery in my bedroom. When I produced enough work to warrant a display, I would dress up smart and invite them for a viewing.
“They would walk around like aristocracy commenting, critiquing and if they liked a piece, would buy it – probably for about £5.
“I remember thinking it was the greatest money making scheme of all time and I could be a millionaire!”
Much of his time is currently taken up with designs for The Craufurd Arms though, and plans for a new large scale initiative are afoot.
“The next big project involves anyone that has ever had anything to do with the pub,” he reveals.
“There are three very large panels that stretch across the length of the venue. Until now they have been left blank.
“Regulars, musicians, poets, photographers, artists, friends, family, anyone that has had something to do with the Craufurd in the past I want immortalised on the wall.
“The centre piece will be our trademark gold skull and from that will pour waves of faces, body parts, tattoos, beards and any interesing features, painted in black and white.
“I want everyone to bring something meaningful that helps summarise them as a person – a teddy bear, a guitar, skateboard, whatever.
“We will then take a high contrast picture of the individual and the rest is history – they will be a part of a Craufurd forever.”
It’s quite the undertaking, but Luke is itching to get started: “It will be a monumental task on my part and I’m looking forward to the challenge and urge everyone to come and take part.”
More details on the project are coming soon.
City Nights will tell you when, and you can keep up to speed directly through Facebook at lukemcdonnellart