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03 March 2014, writed by Yar

category: tshirt

Gavin McGregor: T-Shirt Designer - Graphic Designer - Illustrator Interview

Glasgow, Scotland -- 20 year old, Gavin McGregor was born in Aberdeen Scotland but recently moved into a small flat in Glasgow. He designs under the alias Gurven Designs.

Gavin was willing to share some insight into his design and life style, when we asked him some questions.

Here's what he had to say...

When did you start creating art?

That's a hard one, it’s a bit of a cliché but I was always doodling in the margins of my school work things like that. I took art in school every year but I was no good. We were doing fine art pieces and I was always doing these hard outlines, in hindsight it was more of a graphic style but I didn’t even know what that was. That was just how I did it.

Was there a point when you began to take art more seriously?

I started to take art more seriously in 5th year at school. They split the year into half fine art half design for the first time we could choose between graphic design, fashion design or architecture. I was doing a lot of skateboarding at the time and I realized that graphic designers were the guys who designed the decks and all the cool imagery I loved. I got to write my own brief so I spent half that year designing this skate deck.

If you go by one, where did your nickname, or “nome de plume” come from?

Haha when I was 14/15 I had this friend in school called Josh Begg, this guy thought it sounded like a pirate name “oooarr Josh Begg”. He took my name, made it “piratey” and came up with Gurven McKruger. I ended up making it my email address so when it came to signing up for online accounts I just made it my display name, then when I came to posting my design stuff online it became Gurven Designs.

How would you best describe your style?

Well, for t-shirts it's what I would want to wear. So it’s a culmination of all the t-shirts I like or bought over the years. A lot of what influences me is DIY, punk and skateboarding. My friends always tease me for having holes in all my clothes, shoes and because I fix them with tape or staples or whatever but that's what I like. I think that comes across in my work, a lot of it is dirty with lots of’s not perfect but I think it has more character that way.

At what age did you develop this style?

I'm not sure, I guess it's still developing.

Who or what are your artistic influences?

Right now I can't get enough of Craig Robson’s work, same goes for Kyle Crawford of Electric Zombie and Sam Kaufman of Lead & Light - those guys churn out so much really great work.

When did you start designing t-shirts?

My first paid job was almost 3 years ago, I did two t-shirts for this local band Dana Walker. It's funny because 3 years later the vocalist Curtis ended up in the same class at university as me and we work together on projects for his new band Winters.

Do you have any business experience?

I have some business experience. I took business management in school and I have started and been a part of several small business ventures since moving to Glasgow. Earlier this year my friend Sarah and I started a small t-shirt company called Time Won’t Wait which is a lot of fun. We have so many ideas I can't wait to see where we end up.

Have you ever been ripped off? If so, was it subtle or obvious?

Nothing major (I don’t think). In college I told my friend how I did one of my posters which he then went on to copy but what can you do?

Is there any particular design you are most proud of?

I’m really proud of the Devil t-shirt I did for Time Won’t Wait. It was the first design I did to get t-shirt of the day over at Mintees. A lot of really amazing designs and designers have been past winners so it meant a lot to be voted.

Do you have any formal training or schooling?

Yeah I studied HND Graphic Design at college and I'm just finishing off my degree which, fingers crossed I should have in November.

Do you have a preference for screen printing or DTG (Direct-To-Garment) printing?

Screen printing. If you get a good printer you can print anything that DTG can but it's much more long-lasting.

Mac vs. PC?

Well, I have a Mac but I worked fine on my old desktop PC. I do find Macs easier to work with but you pay for it.

Favorite clothing brand?

Probably Miles To Go or VNM, I have probably forgotten someone but those two consistently put out cool shit.

Do you engage in physical activity (work out, yoga, martial arts?)

I try to skate when its dry but I don’t get out as much as I would like.

Do you cook?

Yeah! A boy’s got to eat.

What languages do you speak?

Just English I'm afraid.

Do you play any instruments?

No I can't play an instrument to save my life.

Who are your favorite music artists?

I have some very talented friends in Glasgow and everyone should check out Winters, Dweller and Bear Arms! It's hard to narrow it down but I also listen to a lot of Keaton Henson, Kerouac, Bastions, The Chariot, Veils, Trashtalk, Fences, Listener, UnderØath, and more recently Mansions and Mothbites.

What is your preferred method of transportation (motorcycles, bicycle, car, walk) ?

I mostly walk everywhere, being a poor student, or get the train.

If you watch or listen to the news, from what source(s)?

I find it quite hard to keep up to date with the news, we don’t have a TV in the flat and I miss quite a lot.

Do you prefer smart-phones or not-so-smart phones?

I'm not into apps, iPhones, or any of that stuff. My phone has email so I can keep in touch with clients when I'm out but that's all I really need.

What is something that you hate or absolutely enrages you?

People who use “Shotgun” wrong. When people shout “I shotgun the couch” it doesn’t make sense, as far as I'm aware shotgun is shortened from “Calling Shotgun” being the front passenger seat in the car. Therefore surely you should “call the couch” or whatever… haha I find that annoying.

This interview took place 13/11/12.

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