Scribble Artist Interview with Gary Swift!
Scribble Town (ST): Gary Swift is an artist that creates, as he says, “From Apps to Adshells I never know what I’ll be doing next!” Let’s see what Gary is up to these days.
Gary Swift (GS): I am based in Yorkshire, England from my studio, and with the aid of modern technology, I work with clients all over the world. The internet means timezones are not a concern. Over two decades of supplying illustration work I enjoy it as much today as I ever did.
ST: How did Gary Swift Studios come about? I can imagine the adventure has been an exciting one!
GS: I began when I left high school at the age of 16, I always wanted to be an illustrator, for as long as I could remember. I started advertising my work from day one, and luckily
things grew and grew, now I work for clients in all locations, from Brazil to Birmingham.
ST: When creating a logo for a company what is your creative process? How do you come up with or do research for a theme that so succinctly shows what this company or cartoon is about?
GS: I always begin by listening to the client and understanding their vision for their business, whether they are multi-nationals or start-ups, they are all vital in importance and would receive the same creative effort. I remember illustrating a young Tiger Woods’ childrens book some years ago. The process remains the same for all clients, but obviously some customers are easier to work with than others
ST: When and how did you get started animating and illustrating? Do you make other kinds of art too?
GS: As a teenager I drew all kinds of things, from realistic cars for Porsche to wildlife paintings, but when I set up the business officially, I concentrated on the style that I am now known for. Your style is your brand and crucial to the effectiveness of your company. It makes you stand out. Animation just came about as clients requested it, and software became more accessible to one-man studios like mine. Today clients are requesting apps and interactive platform games. What I realized very early a this style had so many uses.
ST: Where do you find yourself feeling really inspired to create? Your pictures make me smile! For example, I really like your picture Elephant Move (above) and A is for Alligator (below). How did those ideas come about?
GS: That’s very kind of you to say that. I have ideas coming out of my ears, and luckily they are still developing after over 20 years, when people ask “where do ideas come from?” to be honest I can’t answer accurately, as I pick up inspiration from things in daily life, TV and reading. Inspiration comes in many forms!
ST: What are your favorite tools or medium you like to create with?
GS: I draw everyday and love the sketch ideas with pencil, then pen the linework when I am happy, and more importantly when the client approves the work, I color the work digitally like 98% illustrators today.
ST: When you get an idea for an animation or an illustration in your head how do you develop it? Are there tips you can give us on how to make our ideas and images grow? And what about when you work with a client- how does the developing process differ?
GS: To develop an idea, you have to satisfy yourself first and not worry about others liking it until you fine tune the concept. Some ideas are better than others, but always carry out your concept to its completion, you never know one day you may re-visit the idea/artwork? When working with clients you are often trying to fulfill their imagination or answer their brief. All clients are different and have different requirements, the important thing is to deliver the solution they want and to deliver on time.
ST: Who are some artists and authors that you like? Why do you like them?
GS: I like too many artists to mention really, I am constantly seeing fresh images I love and new artists I admire. I do not really take note of too many authors if I am honest. I am a visual person and I am ‘drawn’ in by the illustration always. Eric Carle’s The Very Hungry Caterpillar book comes to mind of one of my very earliest memories of a children’s book.
ST: Thanks Gary for taking the time to be with us on Scribble Town! Scribblers, go check out more of Gary’s artwork at http://garyswift.com.