ARTIST FOCUS: RON GUYATT
This week we get a chance to talk with Ron Guyatt, an illustrator and designer from Canada who is one of our favorite creative people on the Tumblrverse. You’ve most likely seen and marveled at his art before, now you can get to know the mind behind the fantastic design work.
Tell us about yourself. Where are you from? Where do you live now?
My name is Ron Guyatt. I’m a Graphic Designer / Illustrator originally from Peterborough ON Canada.
Currently I reside in Toronto with my Fiancée with whom some of you may know… the wonderful Indy Lytle.
What is your day job?
I am a full time freelance Graphic Designer & Illustrator.
Most of the time I am working on Illustrations for Games / Film Studios or working on Commissions and travelling across Canada to attend conventions.
I started working freelance in 2010…just over three and a half years now!
How long have you been designing/illustrating? What’s your “origin story”?
I have been drawing for as long as I can remember so yes I am self taught in that respect. Designing is something relatively new that I didn’t realize I was missing for the longest time.
I started my design career in 2007 alongside my now fiancée with the one year Design Foundation Program at George Brown College here in Toronto. After we both completed with Honours we decided to sally forth and pursue our Advanced Diploma’s in Graphic Design.
I’ve always naturally had an inclination to art but I think my parents gave me some of the initial seeds. My mother was always very hands on with helping me with creative projects early on and my father who is blind gave me a deep rooted appreciation for the visual world. After that they gave me the freedom to pursuit my own destiny.
What influences your art? Is there a particular person’s style that has influenced you?
I’ve been asked this many times and I always get taken back by the artist that says something or someone specific. For me it is the world around me … everything is an influence, everything has something to teach you.
I think this perspective has helped define my style as unique amongst others. This is not to say I haven’t been more heavily influenced by a few things. Growing up I loved Art, Geography & Math, it turns out that that is a great recipe for Design.
Today though I find joy in Propaganda Posters, Art Deco and Art Nouveau to name a few. Artists that I look towards would be Adam Hughes, Sean Gordon Murphy, Ashley Wood, Feng Zhu, Stanley Lau, Mike Mignola, Phil Noto, J Scott Campbell and of course Michelangelo (The Artist & The Turtle)
What medium do you typically use when creating your art?
Though I grew up in the 80’s and started with what I like to call Analogue Art, I have grown very accustomed to the Digital Realm. I frequent my Sketchbook, Copic Markers, Photoshop on my MacBook Pro and my Cintiq now as well!
What got you into creating video game artwork?
I started making gaming posters in 2009 as part of a semester long project in my Advanced Imaging class. Shortly into the new year (2010) while working on my final thesis project which involved the rebranding of the iconic Bloor Cinema here in Toronto, I was approached by Digital Devolver in the U.S. to create a series of posters for their latest installment of Serious Sam… this was officially my breaking into the industry point and the job that pushed me to make more! Of course that and needing to fill the countless hours watching my Fiancée play games :)
Tell us about your Space Travel Posters. Where did the idea come from for that? How badly do you want to visit the places you’re illustrating?
My Space Travel Posters have been a pet project for me that started almost two years ago. I was seeing a lot of travel posters on Tumblr and DeviantArt at the time and came to the conclusion that I hadn’t seen much for off world locations. I’ve always had a fascination for space and the universe and this was a great way to scratch that itch. I started by doing concepts that fell into the regular Travel Poster realm but it wasn’t what I really wanted. So I tried a more graphic approach… but there was very little preplanning. After posting online I got an amazing response and got featured shortly after on Io9.com amongst a handful of other sites. So I pushed forward… blindly. I quickly realized I needed to re-approach the project and decided to go big. So after months of contemplation and debate I relaunched the series at the start of July this year. I decided I would do one poster a week for 52 weeks, exploring the solar system as well as the world of Graphic Design.
So far the response has been amazing… I’ve been contacted by Space lovers, Art Lovers, Scientists & Educators around the world. I was also approached by Spacevidcast, a group dedicated to promoting space and space exploration to produce a short series of Space Themed Educational posters. As for visiting the places… I would love to see them all! If I get to see just one of the 52 in my life I would be thrilled!
What is the best art advice you have ever received?
Make art about the things that you love the most.
Odds are that there are many others that love it just as much.
It hasn’t failed me to date.
Tell us about your current projects. Any upcoming shows?
I’ve got some great projects in the works, most of which I can’t discuss at the moment. But I can say that I am working with Xbox Europe on something fun.
As for Galleries, nothing is set in stone at the moment but I did just get in touch with Bottleneck Gallery in New York about some upcoming shows. I should know more in the coming weeks.
Beyond that I still have two conventions left for the year here in Toronto and in Ottawa in early Dec.
Do you have a favorite video game series?
This is a tough question .. I loved Fallout and Bioshock but my all time fav is probably SimCity.
Are you playing any video games currently? Any upcoming titles that you are excited about?
Haha yes… SimCity 5 actually. I gave up some of the last Gigs of hard drive space on my laptop to play it. It really is a guilty pleasure.
As for Console games … I am playing GTA 5, Batman: Arkham City and waiting in line on the shelf are Metro: The Last Light, & Batman: Arkham Origins.
I am most looking forward to Watch Dogs and Thief. I’m interested in the new Assassins Creed… and of course someday Fallout 4 :)
If you could be any video game character who would it be and why?
They say if you ever have the option to be Batman then be Batman. So yes… Batman!
If you could be a dinosaur with any super power, which would you choose and why?
T-Rex… Stretchy Arms or Invisibility. Deadliest creature to ever live and nothing is out of reach. The true apex predator!
Want to keep up with what Ron is working on? You can follow him on Tumblr for all his latest art and updates. You can purchase his excellent artwork at his Etsy Shop. Also, be sure to follow him on Facebook and Twitter, and check out his Website and DeviantArt Gallery for a full collection of his work.