Artist / Designer Interview 2 – Oddhero
This months artist / designer interview is with Oddhero a duo who design and sell Prints and TShirts …
David Gray and Stewart Bremner are two of Oddhero’s founders.
Gray is based in New York City, Bremner in Edinburgh, Scotland.
How long have you been a graphic artist?
DG: Never have, I’m a magazine and newspaper designer who loves type.
SB: Hmm. Since before I knew I was one. But in the real world, for about eight years.
What inspires your work?
DG: Letters. Huge letters. And watching people go ‘wow’ when they first see a print. Hoping they say ‘wow’, come to think of it.
SB: Reid Miles, Saul Bass and Mike Mignola are just a few from the top of my head. There are so many things that inspire my work but they don’t necessarily influence it. Maybe it would be more accurate to write they inspire me to work. Often, even when I think I am being obviously inspired by a piece of work I’ve seen, it will come out with almost nothing to link it to the original work. Did I mention aeroplanes? And robots.
What media do you work in and why?
DG: All digital: I caught the tail end of typeset newspapers and realized how tough that was to experiment with design. Quark was the best invention in human history. Apart from fire. And the wheel. And antibiotics, toothpaste, steam power, the telephone, electricity and the rest.
SB: Mostly digital. I spend chunks of my week fiddling about in Illustrator. But I also like to weave in pencil and ink into the mix, whenever seems appropriate.
How would you describe your style of artwork?
DG: Opportunistic: taking the genius that great typographers create and making layouts out of it.
SB: Vaguely like someone else’s you’ve seen but you can’t quite work out where or when.
Do you do any initial sketching or planning before starting a new piece?
DG: All on the mac, hours and hours of happily re-arranging letters, and being thankful the volume that goes into the trash can is not real paper.
SB: Most of the time there is more initial sketching and revision of sketches and then revisions of ideas than would seem feasible..
Which artist most inspires you?
DG: I love Neville Brody and David Carson’s stuff they both did things that were and will continue to be incredibly innovative.
SB: Warhol probably the most, but not really in any way that you’d connect with my work.
How do you deal with the business inside of being an artist?
DG: They’re two sides of the same coin: as good as your work is, if you don’t run it as a successful business, no-one will ever see it, and it’ll just be a hobby. And don’t spend money you need back in a hurry.
SB: Deal? With business? Um, I do rather have a tendency to get lost in making the art and forget that it needs to be sold.
What words of advice would you give to any aspiring artists out there?
DG: Develop a thick skin. Or the illusion of one.
SB: Be true to yourself and find someone who can help you deal with the business side of being an artist.
Any forthcoming exhibitions/work that you may have?
DG: oddhero’s prints have had a great reception and we’d like to show some in London or New York, in the right space. In the meantime, we’re looking to the second batch of designs, and to launching our t-shirts in the US.
We’d love a challenging commission, too: we reckon we can print up to around 50 feet long: can you imagine a font print that big? And the tube it would mail in? It’d be like one of those lorries that deliver turbines for nuclear power stations.