In a period where we’re all staying home to stay safe, we speak to our resident designers Maxine Gregson and Nancy Giordano about the wonderful art and illustration work that they do in their spare time.
Name: Maxine Gregson
Role: Design Director
What type of art do you make?
I create hand printed limited edition screen prints using a CMYK process.
What made you get into this, and when did you start?
I needed an outlet from my design work, and I was influenced by some of the artists down at ‘Printclub London’. They have a roster of artists that print at their workshops and they sell their art online. Some of the artists there really inspired me, not only through their work but also the fact that they come from a wide range of backgrounds and disciplines (many in fact are graphic designers). I attended one of their ‘Deluxe’ workshops 4 years ago and since then I’ve become a member and rostered artist and print there regularly.
How would you describe your work and what is your process?
I like to collect vintage photos and postcards, then I create photo collages which combine these elements with new imagery, often landscapes and architecture to create new realities. I work in Photoshop to create the artwork, then convert them to separate layers which I then hand print. I add grids and typography layers at the end, which include lyrics and extracts from books.
In the many steps throughout the process, what do you enjoy the most?
Even though my artwork is a combination of many images, the CMYK screen printing process allows them to ‘knit’ together. The moment the cyan layer is printed, which is the third layer, you really begin to see what it’s going to look like. It’s an exciting moment when this is revealed. They say that you get better as an artist once you know your craft, and this is really true.
What has been the highlights of your art career so far?
When I started selling my work and imagining it up on peoples’ walls. My work was also one of fifty selected for a print exhibition last year, and this year was shown at the Tate Modern as part of the surrealist artist Dora Maar’s open call, which showcased surreal photo collage work.
How does your art influence/benefit what you do for Stack?
Because my art is an ongoing process that exists in the background to my design work at Stack, I’m always thinking creatively. It has helped me explore visual and typographic treatments that wouldn’t have been in my sphere of reference before. It’s definitely made me a better designer.
Instagram – @Maxine_g_design
Name: Nancy Giordano
What type of illustrations do you create? I do digital illustrations using Procreate on my iPad Pro.
What made you get into this, and when did you start?
From a very young age, I loved to draw. This is why I went to art school where I studied different styles of drawing. I refined my digital skills while I was in University. I guess seeing other artists on social media made me think that I could do this too. I got really into it when I bought my first iPad, It was really easy for me carry it wherever I’d go and spend any spare time drawing.
How would you describe your work? What are the tools you use and what is your process?
My creative process starts defining a mood-board with images, illustrations and colours.
The actual development of the project takes place on paper with the first sketches, then I move to the digital stage. I use the iPad-Pro with the Apple pen, which is amazing to use when I’m outdoors. One of my favourite apps is Procreate – it offers a really good range of brushes, but you can also create your own. It also supports layers, which is very convenient when I want to export my illustrations and animate them on Adobe After Effects.
In the many steps throughout your creative process, what do you enjoy the most?
I enjoy the actual challenge of creating them. The challenge of coming up with new things to draw day after day triggers my creative flow. That’s why I mostly love collections and series as well as the process of animating my own drawings, even frame-by-frame if timeline permits.
What has been the highlights of your illustration career so far?
I still have a lot to learn and to do, but I recently started to sell my art on EastandPrints and it’s very satisfying seeing people’s reaction to my work.
Last December my work was also part of an exhibition held in Hong Kong, celebrating the best contemporary illustrations and typography from the UK and Hong Kong. The exhibition is still live online at collateart.com.
How does your illustration work influence/benefit what you do for Stack?
In Stack I’ve found enough freedom to experiment with different illustrations styles because our clients have such different requirements. The feedback I then also get from other amazing people then helps to take my work to the next level, too.
Instagram – @nancy_giord
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