"Color Remains a Mystery to Me": An Interview with Andy Gilmore
For more than a year now, Ghostly has had the privilege of working with the incredibly gifted Andy Gilmore, whose color infused compositions are virtually unrivaled in the world of design.
Living in Rochester, New York (a 6 hour drive from NYC), Andy remained something of a mystery for our first several months working together. To provide a glimpse into his work for Ghostly International Editions, we decided to pin Andy down for a short Q & A.
(Adapted from an interview taken August, 2011)
Tell us about your first memory.
Drawing is at the center of a lot of my childhood memories, the most profound of which is watching my father draw. I remember being astonished in watching his lines take form into realistic depictions of horses
So you were into skateboarding, how did that affect you?
Yes, I starting skateboarding in 1987 or so, in the era of H-street. Skateboarding has introduced me to a lot of great and talented people that have guided me on my personal and professional path.
In 2002, an old friend from skateboarding offered me a job resizing print ads for C1rca footwear and Forum snowboards in Southern California. Fourstar was the beginning of working with the computer for me and I will always be indebted to the wildly talented creative staff that I learned so much from.
How do you feel about music, in regards to your artistic life?
Music is at the center of my artistic life. As a musician I have always been fascinated by the harmony and the physics of sound—in a sense defining music as waveforms, waveforms whose properties and proportions define our scales, from which we write our melodies, in which we weave our emotions and memories into songs.
In addition to music as an experience I have been very interested in the theories, methods and language of music—serialism, minimalism, spectralism, indeterminacy, improvisation, tonality/atonality, silence/noise, raga and rhythm—these have always informed the language that I applied to design and ultimately shaped my work.
Why is living upstate, away from a big city, key for you?
As it is above, so it is below. Circumstance is key and upstate happens to be one of them for me. Time and space can certainly be on your side in living in these parts.
Your design work is about color in many respects, what color triggers the most emotion in you?
Color remains a mystery to me. I can’t say that any specific color triggers any specific emotions. My interest in colors is based more in color interaction than specific colors. Yellow and black are especially important though.
How did you arrive at your signature style? Was there some kind of “Ah ha!” moment, or did it evolve over time?
It evolved, but there was certainly a time in which the “Ah ha!” moments began to occur at a higher and higher frequency.
There seems to be a great deal of science to your art, but you are a nature lover. How do the two relate, if at all?
I would have to say that the relationship between Science and Nature in my work is based in observation—observation of both internal and external worlds. The process in which I work is based in observation, measurement and experimentation. In a sense it is very similar to the Scientific Method.
Your computer-based work and your drawings are radically different, almost like they are the product of two different artists. How can you explain this?
My approach to drawing and computer-based work are very similar in that they are explorations and experiments in aesthetic intuition—an intuition involving the hands, the eyes, and the mind in observation of the conscious and unconscious, internal and external. Within this duality I have been most free to create.