Brief Interview With Artist Gavin Hargest


Gavin Hargest, or better known as Gav likes to illustrate the dark side and macabre, the strange and the unusual… He can be found lurking the valleys of South Wales situated in the UK which some say he calls home.. Surprisingly his favorite colour is blue.
Adam Could you please give us a brief runddown of who you are?
Gav I’ve been professionally illustrating as a freelance artist for almost 3
years now, not long in the industry filled with godly talent, but I enjoy it, it’s something different and stops me doodling on anything flat I can find . . . .  In my old day jobs that’s all I would do lol.
Adam Have you had any formal training in the fine arts?*
Gav I have a degree in Illustration, a BA(Hons), although back in my Uni days I wanted to become a children’s book illustrator, working solely in bright colours with pencils . . . .  How things change, the moment I left Uni my style of art evolved, or perhaps a better word would be decayed into a dark and gritty representation of modern urban horrors, or just darker styled.  (I like how that long sentence sounds)
Adam What are your biggest artistic influences and inspirations? 
Gav I’m going to have to say I have 2 main influences, firstly the art direction behind the White Wolf books and games, and Tim Burton.  White Wolf has employed over the years an incredible amount of artists toillustrate their dark, game lines, some of the very best the RPG scene has seen.  Of course Tim Burton needs no introduction.
Adam Can you describe your creative process – how you come up with ideas for a new drawing and how you take those ideas and create a finished piece of art. 
Gav The digital medium has become the industry standard for many publications and artists alike, ranging from creating fully digital artwork rendered completely on the computer to just tweaking and correcting real medium art ready for print, I guess my work fits in-between both extremes, while I originally draw the base image in pencils and pen and ink, I later import into the computer to tweak, alter and paint over the original art.  My weapon of choice for such alterations is Adobe Photoshop.
So starting off, depending on a few rough sketches I draw in my main image in pencils, adding ink to darken up areas and add fine line work where needed.  I always like to have my line work present in the finished image, so I tend to make some areas more prominent with selective lines, scribbles even, painting under these markings in Photoshop at a later stage. With the base image in place, I’ll scan it into Photoshop to begin the tweaking, contrast adjustments and the like, to get the image nice and dark and ready for its paint over.  Photoshop is a marvellous program, that makes life much easier to experiment with different concets and ideas from the same image, you  can be bold and try out new things without having to worry about making mistakes, the ‘undo’ button is a life saver and probably one of the most important tools in the program.
I have a lot of markings and textures I use as a base overlay to add a bit of grit to the art, mostly made from random paint splat sessions I have from time to time, its fun but can get a bit messy lol.  I might just scan in some random doodle I’ve done that I may think would look cool on a drawing.  I use Photoshop more as a placement tool, bringing together my original drawing, markings, textures, once happy with the
arrangement I then paint over using various digital paint brushes . . . .  That’s about it really . . . .

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