Anthony Gargasz Interview

Lemonade Magazine: For those who aren’t aware of you or your art, could you introduce yourself?

Anthony Gargasz: Well my name is Anthony Gargasz, and I am a 19 year old digital artist & designer. I’ve been fascinated with digital creation for about 8 years now. It all began when I stumbled upon Photoshop on a friend’s computer, and from that day forward I became obsessed with what you could creative using your mind and a machine. My skill set is mainly self taught with about a month of college education that really filled in a lot of blanks on basics that I had never learned. I’m very passionate towards digital art & its progression. If it were socially acceptable I would marry my computer and call of its apps my children. My main source of inspiration is electronic music, ranging from minimal glitch tunes to heavy dubstep. It helps me translate ideas in my head to beautiful creations. As for my personality you could say I’m very outgoing, enthusiastic, and optimistic. Life is too short to be serious all of the time, so I like to focus on making others laugh, smile, and enjoy life.

LM: You have recently been a part of the Evoke III exhibition; tell us about the exhibition and how it went.

AG: Ahh good ol’ EvokeOne. For those who are unaware, EvokeOne is an online digital art & media collective founded in 2005 composed of a line-up of international artists from all walks of life who all share a burning passion for the arts. On November 12th we held our first live exhibition to celebrate the release of our latest pack Evoke III. James Merrill was the one who first hinted at having a live show about a year ago, and near the end of September of this year I touched base with him & we got the ball rolling! Together we selected a venue, promoted the event, gathered print files, and made it happen. The exhibition was one of the best nights of my life. It was fascinating to see people’s reactions to digital art, because that is not what you usually see displayed in an art gallery. The overall purpose for the event was for exposure, and to add more value to the release of Evoke III by showing artwork on tangible mediums with artists in attendance, as opposed to people being limited to seeing our work on their monitors and talking to us via chat applications. A few of our artists from the states attended the event including Parker Gibson, Parker Peterson, Josh Thomas, Ted Yavuzkurt, and Daniel Kong. Meeting artists I’ve known for years online was quite an experience as well, for even though I was meeting them for the first time nobody was a stranger. We had a constant flow of people browse our work throughout the night while enjoying the sounds of DJ Vibage, free stickers, brew, and arm wrestling. Throughout the entire event we also streamed everything live via a Google+ Hangout so that our artists overseas were not left out.

For pictures of the event check out the album on EvokeOne’s Google+ page https://plus.google.com/photos/101189992892743604876/albums/5675985314535173457

LM: That sounds like a really interesting concept for an exhibition, do you think that these sorts of exhibitions will become more popular over the coming years and how far can the boundaries be pushed?

AG: It indeed was an interesting experience, and yes I believe that over time it will become more common to see digital art displayed in galleries. Digital art galleries have immense potential to revolutionize galleries as we know them. Most great digital artists I know are self taught, and have learned almost everything they know from networking online, tutorials, and spending countless hours exploring programs. I’ve had a vision of digital art galleries hosting massive networking events, live tutorials, and live art creation therefore pushing the boundaries of galleries to not only displaying art but also being a resource for passionate artists and designers to develop their skills. I view digital art as new era of art that we are entering into, and it’s just a matter of time before it becomes just as popular in real life on tangible mediums as it is on the internet.

LM: How did you get in touch with the other artists involved in the Evoke exhibition?

AG: With the top secret backend members section of course! All communication and criticism amongst Evoke artists goes down there. We’re very fortunate to have such a great resource to develop our skills thanks to Matt Dobson!

LM: Tell us about your piece ‘Antics’ created for the Evoke III exhibition, what was the inspiration behind it?

AG: The inspiration for that piece actually came from a piece of pizza. I was just eating a slice at a cafe one day and since it was an abnormally large slice I started to spin it around a bit. I then held the pizza up and placed it at the bottom of my forearm and just loved the way the triangular pizza and arm looked together. Thinking about it now I can only imagine what the other people eating at the cafe were thinking, but I think the embarrassment was well worth the outcome!

Evoke poster

LM: If you had to choose your favourite piece from the show that wasn’t yours, which one would it be and why?

AG: That’s a tough one, but I’d say my favourite piece from the show that wasn’t mine would be Ricardo Juarez’s Kumiko Kisho. That piece is insane; I really love how complex it is yet how well he was able to keep it perfectly balanced. The colour scheme is amazing, the doodles make very interesting supporting details, and the main character looks like a raved out female with a Mickey Mouse hat to me. Overall it’s a very unique concept with perfect execution!

Evoke

LM: Let’s get back to your point about being inspired by music now. Using music as inspiration for artists is quite common, however the choice of music and the effect it has on the artist can vary so much. What is it about the music in particular that helps and do you have any go to musicians, as it were, when producing a piece of work?

AG: Music tends to be the mortar to my bricks, without it my pieces would fall apart during their creation. It helps me stay focused on a concept from the time I create a new file to when I’m adding the final touches. When it comes to go to musicians it all depends on what concept I’m trying to execute. For pieces that contain multiple bright colours, intricate details, or involve some sort of chaos I usually turn to dubstep and pump some Datsik, Borgore, or KOAN Sound into my brain. I usually only listen to more hardcore music when creating art, however when indulging in some design I aim for more ambient & minimal sounds such as some Aphex Twin, Cex, or Telefon Tel Aviv. When not making art & just searching for inspiration I’ll listen to anything. I really enjoy exploring different genres of music, and have always found something I like about them besides country. I can’t stand that garbage.

LM: The work that first grabbed our attention was your ‘Artjunks Wallpaper’ design, As we mentioned in our article released earlier in the year, we find that this style of work can be quite hit and miss due to the vast number of elements being used in one piece. How do you maintain such a strong sense of composition and symmetry without falling foul, as so many artists seem to do, of over composing the design?

AG: Having a strong composition with symmetry is a bit tricky. Typically when something is symmetrical it’s a mirror image either horizontally or vertically, but to me that was too boring. So to bend the rule a bit and get away with it, I made the major geometric elements symmetrical, not so major elements and colours slightly symmetrical, and details asymmetrical. I’d say the secret to it is making sure all the elements and colours are well balanced and the supporting details of the elements are unique in their own way. Going this route is a hit or miss as you mentioned, so it takes a lot of trial & error to get it right.

Anthony Gargasz

LM: Which piece of your work would you say defines your style?

AG: Hmm my favourite piece would be Antics. Before creating it I never really liked minimalism, but after creating something so simple that has such a great impact it really opened up my mind to new horizons and gave me a new understanding of the phrase “less is more”. It was also the first time I modelled an organic element in 3D which I’ve been trying to learn more about lately. Experimenting is always worth it!

LM: What is a day in the life of Anthony Gargasz like?

AG: Ahhhhh day in the life of me. Well, on weekdays I wake up every day anywhere from 7 – 8:30 AM, or at least try to, and begin by crawling to a pot of coffee. Mornings usually consist of checking email, touching base with clients, and wasting time on the internet a bit so I don’t while I’m working. I’ll then dive into a day of design and try and be as productive as possible by working on one task at a time, and taking 10 min breaks every 2 hours. I’ll do this until anywhere from 3 – 5 PM, when or if I have to go to my day job. I tend to schedule meetings on my days off, so I’m always up to something design-related. I’ll then work the day job until about 10 pm. Once I get home I shower up, get some food in my stomach if I haven’t already, and then usually work on some art until I go to bed around 1 AM.

LM: Which projects do you find the most rewarding? The ones that are fun, or the ones that have financial gain?

AG: The most rewarding projects are personal ones. They’re the true expression of your passion, free of restrictions, deadlines, and barriers. Creating art for fun helps me be more creative when it comes to doing commercial work. It’s like having a healthy balance of work and play.

LM: If you could create your own dream project, what would it be and why?

AG: My dream project would be to open up an art gallery that focuses on digital art. However, it wouldn’t be just another art gallery. It was also be a coffee shop and classroom. There would be a corner room full of desks, computers, and developing digital artists. Myself and other knowledgeable artists would provide workshops on software, the creative process, and even the history of digital art. I would love to do this to be a very unique resource to developing digital artists, and provide great coffee & art to those who already are! This is just one of many twinkles in my eye, like monetizing EvokeOne, designing children’s toys, and an art installation of a C4D model. If money wasn’t real I’d already be pursuing these things, but since it is very real I’m going to have to pick one & dedicate all of my focus towards its success.

LM: That’s an interesting concept for an Art Gallery, How do you think digital work should be displayed in a gallery context?

AG: I think that digital art should be displayed on canvas so that it will have added value and people will appreciate it as art and not just another desktop wallpaper or cheap poster.

LM: As digital work is so different to traditional forms of art in terms of the ability to really document the design process, do you think this opens up more opportunities to experiment with the concept of a “gallery”?

AG: Absolutely, this allows people to understand the method to all the madness. Seeing everything broken down into layers, and being able to use the same program features really helps the learning process as well. With traditional art you can’t hit cmd + z and go back to experiment some more or explain how you did something.

LM: We recently asked you to produce the cover art for Lemonade 02, How did you find that?

AG: When you first approached me to design the cover I was overwhelmed with joy! I often do poster layouts, but have never done a magazine cover so the opportunity to express my skills in a novice way to me was one I could not pass.

LM: In closing, do you have any words of wisdom for aspiring artists?

AG: Never give up. Being an artist is not an easy task, and odds are that even if you achieve success you won’t be rich. When you are an artist money isn’t what you should be chasing, nor fame, its simply expression.

Lemonade magazine cover vol. 2 by Anthony GargaszExhale by Anthony GargaszBottom Divider - Lemonade Magazine

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