Interview With Artist Colin “Gaunty” Gauntlett

Boring stuff first. Name, Age, Location and any general background info you would like to share!

My full name is Colin Gauntlett (hence the Gaunty if you hadn’t guessed), I’m quickly approaching 31 next month. I have recently moved to Bolivia with my wife due to her work. My dream was California for a long time but we are pretty happy here at least for the moment.

So when did you first get into art and what drew you to it?

I remember when I was about 5 or 6, I drew a dog and Dad liked it so much he got it burned into a wood panel to hang on the wall. I’ve always doodled but I really only got into 2D art about 3 or 4 years ago. I love 3D art but when you are always moving countries it’s not very practical. Hopefully I can do some this year if I finally get my dream house.

You have a very recognizable style to your art. How do you feel you developed your own “look” and what/who are your inspirations as an artist?

I think my overall style has changed quite a bit over the last few years but the bases have stayed the same such as the line work and the daft ideas but I think the work I do now reflects who I am a lot more than in the past.

Inspiration hits me all the time. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t inspired by a lot of people I have come to know through the website emptees just because I spend so much time there but I try to get inspiration for other artist outside of the industry. The sculptor Peter Randall-Page has always been a favorite of mine since university. Nature inspires me a lot which isn’t always evident in some of my work, trees especially; I can’t get enough of them.

If you could offer advice to clients that are trying to convey a design or an idea to an artist what you say?

A picture says 1000 words. Even if you can’t draw, sometimes a quick sketch on a napkin will help me more than 2 paragraphs of gobbledygook that I have to decode. So many clients expect me to be psychic and it’s so rarely the case. Also tell me which of my pieces you think best reflect how you would want the design to look.

Do you have a favorite design or project you have done?

I always get asked this and I always have a different answer. One of my most recent projects with the band Flogging Molly has to be one of my favorites just because I have always loved the band and I really got to do work that I enjoy doing. I really hope when other Irish punk bands see them I will get some more emails.

I heard that you have a new website in the works! What can we expect from the new re-design and when does it launch?

It’s going to be just your average word press portfolio with a couple of flashy bits that should be nice and simple for the client to use. I’m really pleased with it so far. My good friend Alan Bernard has done all the coding as the only internet coding I know is HTML and he has been really helpful. I recommend him.

I hope my blog will be quite interesting as being English and living in Bolivia I see some pretty crazy stuff here when I do get the balls to venture out into the ghetto. Also we hope to be building a house from scratch so that will be pretty interesting I think as the dollar goes a long way here so it will make for a good extended version of cribs.

Any big projects in the works you would like to share?

This year so far has mainly been repeat clients so nothing overly exciting although I always enjoy working with people like Ross from Eight-bit Zombie. I’m working on a van wrap right for another regular client now so eyes open for that one. Also I’ve been working on a load of personal stuff and a couple of collabs that might turn into big things so we shall see. I’ll tweet any big developments http://twitter.com/#!/designsbygaunty

What is your favorite medium to work with?

2D wise when I find the time which is rare, I love block printing. I’m well into puzzles and I find working in negative to produce a piece of art a great challenge. I also love the option that it can be used as a one of f piece or be printed over and over again and each one will be slightly different.

Where do you spend most of your time on the web?

At the moment I’m addicted to dribbble .There are some amazing artists on there and I’m thankful to Sockmonkee for the invite. I also spend quite a lot of time scoping out new surf spots around the world on sites like www.wannasurf.com. I love travelling and I am fortunate to have cheap flights from Bolivia so it makes a nice hub to visit South America.

If someone wanted to hire you for work, are you available and if so how would they contact you?

Smoke signals work well here because it’s fairly flat but if that fails email me at Colin(at)designsbygaunty(dot) com

Any last minute announcements or shout outs?

Thanks to yourself for the interview and a shout out to Rob Dobi for keeping the online t shirt community alive, see you all over at mintees soon.