Join The Takeover with this episode of Good Folk with designer / illustrator / art director Brian Gossett from since78 to get a view in the mind of a guy who has been working for companies like Coca Cola, Nickelodeon, Russell Athletics, Nike and many more. You might have also seen his contributions to the PSSST Pass It On short films. Read on to get into the goodness!
-WHERE ARE YOU FROM?
I am originally from Houston, Texas. I now live in sunny Santa Monica in walking distance to most everything I need.
-WHAT DOES YOUR WORK CONSIST OF?
I try to get involved in a variety of projects. For the last 4 or 5 years it has been mostly commercial motion graphics. I also love illustration and typography as well. I like to cover as much ground as possible. I plan to do some analogue artwork soon as well. It will be refreshing to use only my hands again. I’d like to start getting my work in galleries this year.
-HOW DID YOU GET STARTED?
I went to the University of Houston and first majored in fine arts. I was introduced to graphic design by my friend Joel. I loved the concept of merging art and commerce so I dove right in and never looked back. After I graduated in 2000 it was a struggle. The dot com crash just happened and coupling that with being in a city that isn’t known for having an exciting arts scene I found myself frustrated. I spent some time at a print studio in Houston as well as freelancing for myself working with bars and restaurants doing logos, menus, and promotional material. I eventually got hired at a web studio in Los Angeles a few years back which was a stepping stone to getting into the motion graphics industry. I was staff senior designer/art director at Exopolis where I did some really fun work. Eventually in 2006, it was time to part with Exopolis to go freelance which is what I have been doing since.
-WHAT IS THE BEST THING ABOUT WHAT YOU DO?
The best thing I would say is to get paid to be creative. I get to constantly challenge myself to experiment and push new ideas and executions. I try to learn something new every day.
-WHAT IS THE WORST THING ABOUT WHAT YOU DO?
The worst thing is that there never seems to be enough time to make the work as good as I’d want it to be. There always seems to be a compromise in the final product due to the client’s needs and tastes as well.
-IF YOU WEREN’T DESIGNER/ILLUSTRATOR, WHAT WOULD YOU BE DOING?
If I wasn’t doing this I’d probably want to travel around the world with my wife. We’d leave no stone unturned.
-WHAT INSPIRES YOU?
First and foremost life inspires me. Getting off of the computer and spending time with my wife and our dogs. We like to go hiking or walking on the beach. Also, the people I work with inspire me. Whether they are directors, animators, 3D artists, editors, photographers, programmers, or whatever. They all seem to share a common drive in solving the problems of our project and doing great work. But it doesn’t stop with just the people I work with. Every person I meet has their own story. I find them all fascinating and I think they eventually influence me some way or another in the work I do. If I had to pick designers, I’d say the legends such as Saul Bass, Herb Lubalin, Paul Rand, Milton Glacer, Otl Aicher, Lou Dorfsman, and their peers.
-WHERE DOES CREATIVITY COME FROM?
Creativity is a culmination of many things. It is from what you take in from the world around you. It’s sparked by something beautiful you see or an amazing song you hear. Once it manifests inside your mind’s eye, the work will will naturally take form and find it’s way out onto whatever canvas you choose.
-WHOSE WORK DO YOU LOOK UP TO?
I look up to anyone who is taking the time to make something. I hold a lot of respect in the world of specialized craftsmen and people who perfect their craft. If I had to pick a specific contemporary artist or designer the easy choice for me would be Geoff McFetridge. Everything he does seems effortless and timeless. He will go down as one of the legends of our time. I am glad I got to meet him last year.
-WHAT DOES THE FUTURE LOOK LIKE FOR YOUR INDUSTRY?
The future is what we make of it. The commercial industry will always be there but it is up to us to reinvent it and take it to new levels.
-WHAT CAN WE EXPECT FROM YOU NEXT?
I just co-directed/art directed a spot for The Royal Bank of Canada with Mark Kudsi at Motion Theory. I designed a commercial for Target which features Prince. I am currently art directing a Black Eyed Peas video and I finished a fun poster with BBDO for the “Make It New” conference. I recently signed with the illustration rep agency Debut Art so I am eager to see what work they send my way.
-WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO OTHER PEOPLE IN YOUR FIELD ASPIRING TO GET TO WHERE YOU ARE TODAY?
I would say to never limit yourself and to never be satisfied with what you are doing. You have to continually want to improve and have new ambitions. The key to staying busy and successful is to challenge yourself and to never take the easy way out.
-ONE DEFINING MOMENT OF YOUR CAREER SO FAR.
Easily that would be my move from Texas to Los Angeles. There is just so much exciting stuff happening in NY and LA in our industry. It started off rocky out here but I kept pushing and it eventually paid off.
-WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW?
At this very moment I have been really into Miike Snow, M. Ward, School of Seven Bells, Ornella Vanoni, Donovan, Q-Tip, and Piero Umiliani.