Gavin Wynford | Interview | Drawing From Observation
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Interview: Gavin Wynford

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Getting to Know Gavin Wynford

1. Tell DFO a little bit more about yourself

I work as a Senior Animator at a video production company and do digital paintings in my free time.

My profession allows me to be creative in a different way than drawing and therefore influences my personal work. I have been drawing casually, since I was in primary school but seriously for about 3 years. I'm a huge gamer and use any opportunity I can to leave behind the real world and get lost in another which is also where I get a lot of my inspiration from.

Drawing seriously, for me, started when a friend recommended I enter a Pokémon mashup drawing competition on YouTube. Of course I did not win (not even close) but after submitting my drawing and feeling very proud of it, I realized how fun it was to produce and really inspired me to just keep drawing and better my skills.

I've only done personal projects mainly of fan art character portraits simply because I love to draw what inspires me most and gives me the most joy.

2. From an art perspective: What are your biggest weaknesses?

I think that my biggest weakness is getting ahead of myself by skipping over fundamentals of drawing and chasing the final result of work. Things like drawing a body without properly understanding the anatomy of muscles and drawing a face without understand how lighting affects form.

I realize, however, that the only way to help this is to draw a lot of faces until I become bored of them. Hopefully by then I would have learnt a thing or two meaning I'm making progress.... then draw even more faces.

3. Be bold – tell us: "Where do you see yourself in five years?"

In 5 years, I see myself freelancing as a concept artist for major overseas gaming studios, maybe even film studios, allowing me to work from anywhere in the world. Possibly even opening up my very own creative studio.

4. Out of thousands of artists in SA, why should people appreciate your art?

My art is not solely about what I am painting but how it is painted, the technique used, still being able to see brushstrokes and splotches of colour in a step towards abstraction and defining my own distinct art style.

This is what I am truly fascinated with. Replicating traditional techniques digitally in an effort to achieve a particular aesthetic that creates more of an engaging experience for the viewer that is fun for them to look at.

5. What do you like about being in the creative industry?/ What do you enjoy about using your creative talent?

The thing I enjoy most is the freedom to doing pretty much anything your imagination will allow. There are no rules and no limitations to what you can create and becomes your very own world to do what you like without anybody telling you otherwise.

That freedom of creative expression is what I find most enjoyable.

6. What do you consider to be your biggest creative achievement??

My biggest creative achievement would have to be coming runner up in a YouTube art competition (Draw with Jazza, a channel with over 4 million subscribers) twice.

This achievement was not solely about the prize but was the reason and motivation for getting back into digital painting and then being inspired to keep drawing which I believe is the even greater achievement.

7. Tell us about the last time a client, family or friend questioned your art or creativity. Elaborate on what happened.

I've learnt to take criticism very lightly as the artist ultimately has the decision to either accept or deny any form of critique. Feedback is still an opinion and if you let people’s opinions influence your work over what you want, it becomes their work instead of yours.

On the other end, I've also learnt that feedback is a massively important aspect of growth even though it can have an adverse effect which is why developing a thick skin definitely helps and understanding the difference between constructive criticism and unhelpful feedback.

8. When working on art "describe your definition of done."

The best definition I can give is something I learnt from an online tutor which is that if there are no more questions that need answering in a work or, simply put, you've learnt what you needed to from a work, you are done. Move on to the next one.

9. When creating, what kind of work environment do you like best?

My ideal working environment is a solitary one only because I am more productive that way with less distraction. I like having two screens in front of me, one for photoshop and the other for looking up references and there definitely has to be music playing in the background.

10. Define your creative/drawing style?

I would describe my art style as painterly (or at least is what I try to achieve) which was inspired by the incredible work of my favourite artist WLOP.

I mainly draw fan art in a realistic style but with dark fantasy twist that I think compliments my art style and distinguishes my work from other artists.

11. What can we expect from you in the near future?

I'll be at Comicon Artist Alley this year where I'll be selling all of my best works so really looking forward to that!

12. What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

I would say that the single most important thing for aspiring artists is practice. Practice not to make perfect but practice to make progress. It's a long journey and a slow process but creatively so rewarding if you can commit yourself to practice.