Gordon Reid, aka Middle Boop, recently relaunched his website with some fantastic new work. He took some time out to have a chat with us about some of his work and about other projects he’s working on.
DM: So, new site. Looks great and is well stocked with tip top work. What are you trying to achieve with the new site?
Well basically, I wanted people to be able access my work more easily. I was using Indexhibit before and, although it is a great little package (especially when you’re starting out as, above all it’s free) I’ve been going a few years now and I felt it was about time for a bit of a facelift. First of all, I wanted people to have the option to see thumbnails of my work instantly when you get to the site as it allows people a bit more freedom to choose what they want to look at whereas with my last site it was just a list of names on the left had side of the screen so you had no idea what each piece looked like until you clicked on it and nowadays, people want things instantly so it wasn’t working. I also wanted to make it easier for users to connect with me on things like twitter, facebook and LinkedIn so I’ve included some cool buttons in the top right of the site. Above all I also wanted to make it a bit more clearer what Middle Boop as a brand can offer, so not just illustration but also design, branding, web, typography etc and with the filters on the right hand side it makes my body of work more digestible.
DM: What’s been your favourite piece or pieces to work on recently and why?
Recently I really enjoyed working on my six page illustration for .Net magazine. I’ve always wanted to do a large scale editorial illustration like that, the brief was really open which left a lot of room for creativity and I was pretty happy with the final outcome. I also really enjoyed my last Digital Arts tutorial as it meant I got to work with my favourite band Mogwai. The brief was to create a mock up single cover and so I spoke to a friend of mine who tour manages the band, they were up for me creating artwork based on one of their songs, so it all came together really nicely!
DM: What gets you out of bed to design each morning?
Generally the alarm….(Sorry) Design’s my life really, that and music is what makes me tick. People tell me I’m a self motivated person and I think you have to be in order to work in freelance, you have to have that drive to be constantly working on something and evolving your work to make it look the best it can. Even if it’s a quiet period in terms of paid work, there is always so much to be doing in terms of admin, promotion, the list is literally endless! So not only does it get me out of bed in the morning, it bloody keeps me awake at night too!
DM: Where do you get your inspiration from?
I’m inspired by so many things really, music, general life and books. For instance, I’m currently reading tellmewhy, which is a retrospective of Karlssonwilker’s first 24 months a design company, it’s really inspiring as it’s very honest in delving into some of the realities of design. Also, I have to say I can’t help but be drawn to a lot of retro 50’s and 60’s advertising. It has inspired and had influence on my work for as long as I remember.
DM: What marks your style out as being unique from other illustrators?
I would like to think my work is a modern spin on the old school disciplines of collage. Especially in the last year or two since I’ve been incorporating a lot more vector based shapes, colours and intricate detail on top of the basic collage, I think that’s where my work has really started to evolve into a more unique style.
DM: Outside of design and illustration, what are your interests?
Well I also run the Middle Boop Mag website which has been going for about six months and employs just over twenty writers dedicated to promoting the most amazing new music from around the world as well as the best design and illustration. This started out as a blog used to promote my own work and talk about a few cd’s I had bought but somewhere down the line it got quite popular, people other than my friends started reading it and I started to get sent stuff and sent to gigs and festivals. So as the workload got bigger and bigger, I took on a carefully selected bunch of talented writers who are just as passionate about music and we put together a proper website. It’s grown a great deal in a fairly short space of time and I certainly have my tireless deputy editor Freddy to thank for that.
I am also part of the Publishers Club collective which is made up of myself, Bec of Blanket Magazine, Dave of Ammo and Jules of New Sugar basically with the intention of organizing regular designer meet ups. I’d been talking to Jules about collaborating on something since we were both featured in an article in computer arts back in 2009 and this seemed like the perfect project to work together on. Since starting we’ve had a few more meet ups around the country and organized a big event in Manchester a few months ago. For the event we worked with Inkygoodness at a venue called Cord Bar, they had half of the space devoted to live drawing for their totems and we had the other half devoted to live screenprinting onto tees, prints and totes as well as selling our first Pub Club zine . It was a fantastic event and the venue was absolutely packed. We had a little break over the summer but we’ve got a few Pub Club based projects in discussion at the moment, including taking it overseas and also we will be headlining a design festival next year.
Make sure you check out www.middleboop.com to view Gordon’s work, and keep your eyes peeled for a little giveaway this week with Middle Boop.