Here at The 5th Store, we’ve been avid Instagram followers of Simon Mcaleese aka @DeliberateIndifference for a while now. Simon is a freelance menswear illustrator who produces work for businesses and private commissions. His fun and colourful approach results in playful fashion illustrations featuring his favourite branded recommendations, seasonal outfits and cartoon-like drawings of his fellow insta creators. Aside from his drawings, Simon posts photos of himself wearing carefully curated outfits along with themed reels such as outfits based on flags or his favourite UK makers.
We caught up with Simon and asked him a few questions to get a personal insight into his passion.
"I’ve always put thought and effort into what I wear, perhaps increasingly so in recent years. I’m a very visual person and love art, film and clothing, and I guess each one influences the other."
When did you start your social media account and what was your motivation for getting started?
I wanted to get some inspiration for outfit ideas and started following people whose style I liked, and stores who sold brands that appeal to me (which is how I came across you guys!). After a few months I started tentatively posting what I was wearing, and that’s when I started forming connections with people. I think people like to see who is behind the account and the comments and baring your soul a little on there certainly does help foster those personal connections. As for the illustrations, I’ve always drawn but never shared what I did with anyone, until I started posting some of those on Instagram too. People seemed to like them and I enjoy doing them, so I stuck with it.
Talk us through the process of creating your illustrations.
I am starting to share more of this on my Instagram reels and it is probably easier to watch those than listen to me attempt to explain it!
Watch a work in progress reel here
It's clear that you’re passionate about your account and have a great connection with your followers. What influences your content?
I probably spend a more than healthy amount of time on there, I can’t deny it!
We’ve seen your Instagram following grow and grow over the last couple of years. Do you have any advice for other content creators wanting to expand their audience?
I don’t know if there is any set formula or key to growth. I try to be honest and authentic, and ultimately just be nice to people. I know the posts I’ve done that have gained me most followers are the outfit illustration ones as people seem to save those more than they do my photos, but then some of my photos have gained me loads of followers while some of my illustrations haven’t. It’s really unpredictable but I guess they don’t want us gaming the system so they keep changing the rules and algorithms to keep us all on our toes.
What is your favorite illustration on your feed and why?
That’s a really tough one! I really enjoyed doing the autumn outfit series lately, where I pick outfits and draw the individual pieces and a character wearing them. Those have done really well in terms of engagement and people seem to like them, which is amazing.
We loved your Insta Folk series. How did that come about?
I had a bit of free time last January and wanted to do something to give back to the Instagram accounts I follow, so decided to do some little cartoon style illustrations of anyone who wanted one. It was a fun way to do something nice for people and helped people find new accounts to follow in the process.
Can you tell us which content creators/illustrators' work you're appreciating at the moment?
@rains_studio is run by Rich Ainsworth and he produces some amazing logo work and is a wizard with type. It’s great to see his account gaining more traction lately as the guy is super talented. Locally, @yvetteearlillustration produces some cracking work based on local pubs and landmarks. Her attention to detail and her use of colour is fantastic. Highly recommend.
We can see from your feed that you love your brands. How did your interest in fashion develop?
I’ve always put thought and effort into what I wear, perhaps increasingly so in recent years. I’m a very visual person and love art, film and clothing, and I guess each one influences the other.
If you had to name one thing, what would be your most-loved item in your wardrobe right now?
My Battenwear Scout Anorak. It’s one of the more expensive items I’ve bought but it’s so well made, I love the burnt orange colour, and the oversized fit of it. Great from autumn right through until end of spring.
What is your favourite brand at The 5th Store and why?
I’m being greedy here and plumping for three – orSlow, Portuguese Flannel and Yogi. I’ve been lucky enough to own items from all three brands over the years and the quality of their products has always been superb.
orSlow have nailed classic, well-made pieces with their considered approach to manufacturing and attention to detail, Portuguese Flannel make some of the best shirts around (and they seem to fit me as if they were tailor made), and I own about five pairs of Yogi shoes. I love their slightly different silhouettes. They’re different enough to stand out without being outlandish, and feel like they’ll last forever.
Christmas is almost here! What items from The 5th Store would you put on your gift list this year?
With the temperatures plummeting in the last few days (we had our first frost up here in the north east this week) my thoughts are turning to big coats. I’ve been eyeing up the Eastlogue Down Parkas and Kestin Pathhead Puffers. The Jackman Waffle Knit caps look the business. I don’t know if Santa is reading this, but I’ve been a really good lad this year and also really like the orSlow regular fit US Army Fatigue pants!