Combining graphical shapes, lines and intense colour, Gordon Reid has built an impressive illustration portfolio, who we’re delighted to interview within today’s ‘Creative Interview’ blog post.
Having worked for the likes of ‘Ryman’, ‘Nike’ all the way through to ‘Starbucks’ – Gordon has built up an illustration portfolio which is bursting full of great style, great clients, and great personality.
From 2009, Gordon has set up ‘Middle Boop‘, a creative agency which works on projects such as branding, infographics, editorial illustrations to web design, and when he’s away from design work, he’s talking about it within his very own magazine (Middle Boop Mag), where he talks about the current state of music and design.
(And we also have a few pieces from Gordon which aren’t even on his website yet – so it’s a good one!)
If you want to discover an artists inspirations, influences, and get the inside knowledge of someone within the creative industry, you’ve come to the right place! We’re looking forward to this one, and we welcome Gordon Reid!
Hi Gordon! Tell us a bit about yourself
Hi my name is Gordon Reid, I run Middle Boop which is an illustration, art direction and design agency.
I’ve been doing that for about five years now, and went straight into it basically after uni as I never really fancied the idea of going straight into an agency or office and working at the bottom, I always wanted as much full control from my work as I could so I did my own thing and started up the Middle Boop Mag music site which in hand gave me access to a lot of my first clients through record labels and bands etc.
From there I’ve been developing my style and working on it ever since. My work has gone from being collage for bands and editorials to detailed vector work which has in turn created a much more varied spectrum of work including some really exciting branding projects and advertising.
You have a very distinctive digital ‘style’ – can you explain the working process behind it?
Thanks, well it really changes from project to project, depending on what I’m asked to do but the standard process would be to talk to the clients and get as much out of them as possible.
I always find that asking as many questions as possible, really get people thinking about what they really want is a good foundation for a start.
After that I scamp things up, get some early ideas, do a lot of research into the particular brand or client and then get straight onto the mac….Where the magic happens.
What are your biggest influences or inspirations?
My influences have definitely changed over the years, definitely I’ve always been really influenced by some of the earlier practitioners, like the guys at Bauhaus and some of the post modern leaders and dada.
I was really into the fact that these guys were creating such varied and beautiful artwork and design the likes of which just hadn’t ever been seen before. I really bought into the idealisms that these guys stuck to so that got me through the early days.
Since then though, I get influence from so many different spots. Late 80’s advertising is a big one for me, some of the surrealist narratives that they could get away with and the colours and shapes used for the print advertising were often really killer.
I’ve taken a lot of influence from all of that stuff really.
Whats been your favourite illustration project?
I’ve been very fortunate to have worked on a number of really rewarding projects of late.
A lot of people have come to me to create an illustration that is then taken and used as the focal point for a re brand.
I love these projects as the clients have always been so great to work with and really up for creating great work. So Capp, which is on my site was a big one from last year, I took the illustration and then worked on everything to do with the brand, the website, marketing collateral. It was a real fun project.
How has typography influenced your illustration work?
Type has played an increasingly large role in my work. Good type is strangely something I wasn’t actually taught at uni so, as with most of the work I produce now, I taught myself.
For a lot of my more recent work it has become the starting point and I’ve worked illustration and design around it. Type has a huge impact on many of my pieces now and is usually the basic decider as to whether it works or not.
So the impact really is the viewers reaction as to whether my type works for the piece or not.
Do you have anything which you’re trying to learn at the moment?
I’m always learning and adapting. We’re in an ever changing market in design and it’s totally counter productive to sit on one particular style or trend because as soon as that dies out, your work won’t be in demand so with that in mind, I’m always looking to learn new tricks, techniques and always keep my eye on style.
At the moment, I’m definitely looking into 3D rendering. I started learning it at uni but there’s been a huge boom recently and I reckon that will be a really handy skill to have under my belt
Can you give any tips to inspiring illustrators?
I think Anthony Burrill summed it up perfectly when he printed ‘Work hard and be nice to people.’
It’s a really tough industry to break into, the first couple of years will be hard no matter what your style is. I would say, find your voice, work on a style unique and personal to you.
Create work that you want to create, that doesn’t cater for what you think other people will want and be very fucking persistent. Keep at it and something will stick.
Tell us something which we might not know about you.
I’m probably more well known to the general public as the guy who got his arm broken by an X Factor band.
Where can we get in contact with you?
Thanks Gordon for your fantastic Creative Interview answers, we learnt so much about your creative processes and what makes you tick as a creative, which we hope you like!
If you liked Gordon’s work, be sure to check out his portfolio or give him a quick email, he’ll love to hear from you!
Comments are more than welcome below!
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