Instagram: @casparwain Twitter: @caspar_wain Vimeo: www.vimeo.com/user22408418
1. What's your story? Where are you from?My name is Caspar Wain. I am an illustrator and animator currently working from Bristol, UK but Nottingham is my hometown. I’ve been around art for a long time, my parents were/are really into galleries and having art up on the walls at home, I don’t think I appreciated that as a kid but now I’m older I can see how that definitely will have played a part in what I do. I first started creating work because of graffiti, I had some older friends doing it and I really wanted to be involved, it was different to what any of my school friends were doing and I think that was appealing for me. My parents again were really supportive of me doing it, I used to have to wait till my dad finished work and he’d come with me to buy paint from Coverage as I was too young to be able to buy it. Coverage was the only place you could buy paint from (its now called Montana Shop Nottingham and has moved on a lot from its humble beginnings) it was also run by Dilk who is an incredible artist himself, he helped me out no end and used to take me painting on the weekend with a whole group of people, I have a lot of respect for him and what he does. I still don’t really know exactly why I stopped painting as much, I was coming to the end of school and going into college studying Art and Graphics, I started to realise that I just liked making work and it didn’t have to be graffiti. During college I made work in a range of different styles and experimented quite a lot, I always remember all my tutors not liking what I’d consider graphic art, instead they really pushed true to life styles, and although that wasn’t my thing it taught me a lot about drawing the human form etc. which I think still helps me today. University is where my work turned into what it is now, there were some incredibly talented illustrators on my course, and being around a completely new set of people felt like a creative fresh start. I made a bunch of different work, a few books, a lot of prints, and a couple of animated pieces, I think the final 6 months of the course I really started to find my groove, and I haven’t stopped making work since, I graduated in July 2016 and I’ve been doing a lot of animation work since with my mate Ryan Jackson who is also from my course, we live together and our styles and skills have developed similarly, it just makes sense that we make work together.
2. Tell us about your aesthetic.In all the styles I’ve ever worked in, bright colours and restricted palettes have always stuck around. I also started using bold halftones when screen printing, to give the illusion of a third or fourth colour. I created an animation for Anorak Magazine that I wanted to look quite psychedelic so I began to use other patterns too, and I built up a strong collection of different patterns that I could use to create new colours, add tone or define textures, there are no real rules I just play around with it until it looks good and makes sense.
3. What is your favourite medium and why?I work almost entirely digitally now, I like being able to change my mind, and I think clients do too, it can be difficult enough on the computer to make these changes let alone if all your work is handmade. I do really enjoy print though, I hope to have a screen-printing facility at some point so I can make prints and books, it’s a nice feeling to produce a stack of prints and I’ve missed that since leaving university.
4. What is your artistic process like?I do a lot of loose pencil sketches, pick one or two, and work them up into sketches that look fairly close to the final thing. Pick the winner, scan it in, and work it up in Photoshop and my tablet until I’m happy. If I’m animating, I use a combination of Photoshop and After Effects, I’m still trying to perfect this workflow and I learn something new on every project.
5. Who and/or what inspires your work?I’m inspired by a lot of illustrators; I really enjoy work by Chris Ware, Stefan Glerum, and Vincent Mahe to name just a few, I’m constantly finding new artists through Instagram and various blogs that inspire me too. Other than Illustrators, animation studios like Animade, Moth Collective and CRCR are making work that blows my mind, and I think people like that are the reason I wanted to make my own work move so much.
6. What role does art play in your life? How does it change the way you view the world?I draw and make work everyday, even if I’m not working on my own stuff, I’m making someone else’s work move. My girlfriend is a Graphic Designer and we live together, so we help each other out and talk about each other’s work a lot which can be really helpful. I’m not sure if I’m entirely aware of how art has changed my view on the world, but I am constantly trying to figure out how I’d turn what I’m looking at or doing into a drawing. I think the most mundane tasks can look visually interesting if they’re framed properly.
7. Where did you study?I studied Illustration at the University of the West of England in Bristol.
8. Where do you see yourself in five years? Working in an agency?Hopefully in 5 years times I will have built up enough of a reputation with clients that I will be able to be completely freelance. Also as I say I make a lot of animation work with my friend Ryan Jackson, and I think we’re going to start an animation studio of our own.
9. What about in ten?Still going, I’m really still figuring out what it is I want to do eventually, I don’t have any set in stone plans or goals. I only started learning how to animate less than a year ago and who knows how technology might affect the creative industry by then. So I’m keeping an open mind. I would really like to create the art for a game though; I think that would be incredible.
10. What do you hope to achieve with your art?I don’t think I have a motive just yet, right now it changes from project to project and is highly dependant on who I’m making work for. But I think I chose to be an illustrator because I like to tell stories. If those stories could make a difference in the world and help people that would be amazing.
11. Now, tell us a little more about you as a person: what is your favourite food?That’s a tough one, but I really like Mexican food, and I’ve been told I can cook a good chilli.
12. Favourite book?I’m quite ashamed to say that I don’t read anywhere near enough, I read a few ‘graphic novels’ by people like Chris Ware and Daniel Clowes. Other than that I really enjoyed One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest by Ken Kesey.
13. Favourite genre of music?Hip-Hop, my favourite artists at the moment are Anderson Paak and JonWayne.
14. What are your hobbies?I like to eat/cook good food, and I’m partial to a good beer. I listen to podcasts when I work, mainly Marc Maron’s WTF and I’ve recently discovered Animalators which has some great interviews with some of my favourite animators. I also watch a lot of films, The Watershed in Bristol is great for independent films. I waste a lot of time on TV series as well, my favourites being It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia and The Office (UK and US).
15. If you weren't an artist, what would you be?I’ve never really thought about that, I wanted to be a Graphic Designer when I was younger but I didn’t really know what Graphic Design was. I would probably have ended up doing something with computers though, like programming or web development.