World Art Day: Meet our Graphic Designer Chris!15 Apr
Did you know that today is World Art Day? It also happens to be the birthday of world-renowned artist Leonardo da Vinci! The day was declared by the International Association of Art and celebrates art and creativity worldwide.
We thought, in celebration of the day, we would have a chat with our very own artist, Senior Graphic Designer Chris Gregory who studied Illustration and Graphic Design at university!
A lot of the artwork you see around our centres has been designed by Chris, from posters to our Entertainment What’s On Guides – even our illustrated Brio Bears!
Hi Chris! Tell us, how did you first get into Graphic Design? Has art always been one of your main interests?
Drawing and creating has always been one of my favourite things to do, even from a very early age. I always wanted to chase some sort of career in that field, but I mainly started out just drawing, illustrating and painting. As anyone will tell you that tries to crack the illustration world, it isn’t easy to make yourself known or stand out from the crowd. As luck would have it, I studied Illustration for children’s publishing, which involved editorial and layout production as well as all the fun stuff. This led me deeper into a digital publishing field and after a few years, I was changing direction and graduating with a Graphic Design degree. Working for a few agencies both as an employee and freelancer gave me the experience of working with a wide range of companies from theatres, to restaurants and pub chains. I find it really useful to have that illustration foundation underneath my graphic skills as it helps to add a little quirk to everything I do. For Brio, it means we get to have Brio bears jumping around our timetables and expanding our appeal.
You’ve been with us for almost four years! What have some of your favourite projects at Brio been?
Some of our summer/winter campaigns have been great fun to work on as we tend to be able to be a little more creative with those. I think the campaigns I have been most satisfied with however were our Brio promotions on buses and taxis. These really stood out and are by far the biggest graphics we have designed, possibly ever at Brio. We really pushed the boat out in terms of ideas, not being restricted by usual formats, and I believe these were a great original approach to promoting what we do. When you spotted one of them travelling about, it was a proud moment to see.
Do you do any other art or design outside of work?
I do a lot of artwork outside of work, mostly digitally but occasionally on canvas or even a mural here and there. I’ve had the opportunity to be involved in a few local art projects and events in the Chester area and a few years ago I even got to paint live at The Good Life festival in the middle of a DJ set which was unique to say the least. I also have worked on branding up a number of independent businesses and get regular projects through them, and also like to doodle and paint for my own pleasure.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
Well it helps to have a good imagination. I find inspiration from almost everything around me which crams your head a little bit. That’s why I need to always be creating something as I find art so therapeutic, especially after this last year or so. It often helps to make sense of your thoughts or things around you and grounds you a bit. I would say that if you ever feel strongly about something, or can picture things in your head but perhaps don’t know what to do with that mental image, try putting it down or paper, whether it looks good or not doesn’t matter ultimately as its more about the journey than the end point. Think about how art makes you feel AS your creating it, and let that be your inspiration.
Have you any favourite artists or art work?
Well most of my favourite artists have been book illustrators like Quentin Blake, Tony Ross and Maurice Sendak. I’m also a big fan of Hokusai prints, as some would say this was the starting point for a lot of modern Graphic Design and a lot of my work has always be indebted to Japanese aesthetics.
Thanks so much Chris, we love seeing all of your work around our centres – and outside them too! You can see more of Chris’ work on his Instagram.
If your business is in need of a marketing boost, Chris here can design fantastic adverts that we’ll display across our centres and will be seen by everyone who comes through our doors. Find out more by getting in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.