Who is Gavin Booyens, where are you based and what do you do?
I’m a graphic designer, illustrator and all-round geek, born in Cape Town, but currently based in the windiest city on the planet – Port Elizabeth.
You are a graphic designer, character designer and illustrator. Which defines you best?
I’d say illustration is what defines me best; it’s what I really connect with the most.
Where did you learn your illustration, or would you say it’s natural?
I think it’s been a natural, but sometimes slow progression. There’s always been a love and appreciation for drawing and art, and I’ve been drawing for as long as I can remember. That said, I don’t think it’s something one ever truly masters – there’s always more to learn, which can be frustrating at times, but it’s always worth the effort in the end. In terms of tuition, I studied Graphic Design and Illustration at NMMU for 4 years.
Tell us about the ‘Crazy Old Master’ project?
The “Crazy Old Master” was a personal project, done start-to-finish in Photoshop. In the past I’ve always worked heavily with lines – either inking by hand and scanning, or using vectors – so this project was my first official attempt at breaking out of that mold. I think there’s something more expressive and personal that comes across in painting, and it’s a medium I hope to push heavily in the future. This has been fuelled by hours of looking at work done by digital concept artists – I have an intense respect for those guys, they produce some depressingly good artwork in their field.
What are you currently working on?
At the moment I’m wrapping up a series of vector illustrations for a national print campaign, I can’t really say much more than that for now. It will go up on my page once it’s completed though. Apart from that, I’m working on some personal projects and experimenting.
What advice would you give to young South African creatives looking to do what you do?
It’s always good to be versatile and adaptable, to do this you need to put in the time to practice and experiment – otherwise you’ll be limited in what you have to offer. Never take criticism personally, always meet the deadline, and be prepared to work all hours. Endurance, integrity, and punctuality are qualities that will get you further than huge amounts of talent.
Also get active online, the web is loaded with tons of online communities and excellent resources – it’s a real waste to not explore them.
Where can our readers find your work?
Behance Portfolio: http://www.behance.net/darkline
Society 6: http://society6.com/darkline