Ron guyatt

Education

Sheridan College - Art Fundamentals
George Brown College - Design Foundation
George Brown College - Graphic Design

tell me a little about yourself?

I am a designer, illustrator that resides in Toronto Canada. I live with my wife and business partner Indy, and our two cats Hex and Jinx. I enjoy riding my bicycle around our neighbourhood and exploring the local farmer's markets. I also enjoy keeping up with the latest science and space news.

tell us about your career path?

When I first went to art school I ended up being unsure as to where I should go career-wise, so I took a break. During this break I would come to meet my now wife Indy, we decided that we would study Graphic Design. While attending I had a class where I was inspired and my first poster was born, which would lead to my first big commission during my final year. Since that point, Indy and I have been running our business and growing it over the years.

what influences you?

When I was growing up I loved art, geography and math, which turned out to be a great recipe for Graphic Design. I was heavily inspired by the science fiction genre. I find having met a lot of great people in the arts has had an influence on me, being able to see other peoples workflow and talk shop. Most of my classical influences come from early 20th-century art styles, such as Art Deco, Propaganda Poster art, and Retro Futurism to name a few.

What does art mean to you?

To me, art is about conveying a message or story through visual means. This can be expressing a simple emotion or illustrating a complex story.

What drives your passion to create?

I love to create and share my perspective on a multitude of subjects.

How do you decide what to draw?

Basically, I end up getting inspired by something, so I end up thinking about the subject for a bit and if it sticks in my mind for a day or two then it’s probably something that I should be putting on paper.

what is your creative process?

It always starts with an idea, if it’s a subject that needs some research then I start there before sketching anything out. From the collected research I try to break it down into the most important common factors. With that information, I can get a handful of sketches drawn. I will then refine the sketch I like best, maybe do a colour test with markers to figure out everything before going digital. For digital, I usually work in Adobe Photoshop or occasionally illustrator. 

are you an artist or a designer?

I consider myself both. I have been drawing for as long as I can remember, but I am formally trained as a Graphic Designer. I think that having that designer perspective gave my work an edge, and an ability to better convey messages visually.

What's your fav piece from your own work?

Picking a single favourite piece is impossible for me, but some of my favourite things are being able to work on a piece where I learn something new, and that I can pass along that information and passion to other person are incredibly rewarding.

What do you do in your off time?

I will admit that I am a bit of a workaholic, but when I do have some downtime one of the first things I enjoy is watching movies with Indy. I like to go on bicycling adventures and seeing what new or weird places I can find. I do occasionally enjoy playing the odd video game, but wish there were more games where Indy and I could play together without owning two consoles. I really enjoy keeping up with a bunch of science magazines and blogs. Archery has become a new passion for me and I feel lucky to live somewhat close to an archery range, but one of my favourite pastimes which I, unfortunately, don’t get to do as often as I like is camping.

What's your favourite game?

Hard question, but some of my favourite franchises are Sim City, Fallout, and Overwatch.

any inspiring words for artists?

Being an independent artist is one of the most stressful and rewarding jobs I’ve ever had. You get to do something that you love, but one of the things that you don’t get told is that just being an artist isn’t enough. You also have to be a social media manager, secretary, promoter, you have to work with some of the numbers for your accountant and so many other things. Every part time job and every bit of education weirdly ends up preparing you for a lot of this, so much of those experiences become relevant for different reasons. Always be open to learning, every opportunity and life experience can bring new insight so don’t be afraid to fail once in a while.

career wise, what's your craziest dream?

I think I have been fortunate because I already feel like I am living my dream. I am an artist who has been lucky enough to work from home with Indy. Mostly I just want to continue growing our business, making more art and seeing where this can go.

Indy guyatt

Education

Sheridan College - Art Fundamentals
George Brown College - Design Foundation
George Brown College - Graphic Design

tell me a little about yourself?

I am an illustrator, designer that resides in Toronto, Canada. I am a lover of books and video games. I live with my husband and business partner Ron and our two cats Jinx and Hex.

tell us about your career path?

Well, mine has been an interesting one I think. When I was deciding what to do with my future I had a teacher that told me not to pursue art that there was no place for me there, I guess I proved her wrong? I ended up deciding to go into Illustration or animation but started my art school time in an Art Fundamentals course to get a better idea of which I wanted to pursue. In the end I didn’t go for either, instead, I met my now husband Ron and the two of us decided to go into Graphic Design. While we were in school Ron received his first big commission from a large company, this nearly turned our lived upside down. We went from students to a real art business in one day. Once we graduated, I went back to school to a program that focused on business for independent artists. Since all that we have just been making art, growing our business, attending conventions and having a good time.

what influences you?

When I was growing up I was very lucky to have an Aunt and Uncle who took me to many plays, musicals, galleries and museums, so my exposure to art was started fairly early. As a child, I was heavily influenced by anime and cartoons. I have a great group of friends around me that are all in the arts, and it’s really cool because we can all bounce ideas and thoughts off of each other to get a different perspective. I have been influenced by a lot of early 20th-century art styles such as Art Nouveau, Pin Up art and Art Deco.

What does art mean to you?

For me it's about emotion, conveying a feeling to the audience. Also telling a story is important to engage your audience.

What drives your passion to create?

I’d say that I like to try and create the type of art I like, a lot of times things that I can’t find elsewhere.

How do you decide what to draw?

This is a good question that even I have a hard time understanding. It seems to come down to me seeing something that inspires me and I just have such a vivid image in my head that I have to put on paper, or I just open to a blank page in my sketchbook and let my pencil take me to the answer.

what is you creative process?

Well, it starts with an idea, which could be inspired by something I saw, watched or any number of things. Depending on the complexity I will either write down some things to include in the image or I will jump right into very small rough sketches. From here I have to decide if I want to make my work traditionally or digitally. If it's traditional then I move in with Copic Markers and pencil crayons. If I go digital I use either Adobe Photoshop or illustrator or a little of both.

are you an artist or a designer?

I am definitely both, I think that marriage of skills as an illustrator and design is a powerful combo.

What's your fav piece from your own work?

This is a very hard question… Mostly because as an artist I feel that I am always chasing the next great piece. This makes it hard to have favourites that last long because I’m always looking towards my next work.

What do you do in your off time?

I am a bit of a dabbler so I have many hobbies, but I’ll name just a few of my favourite past times. I love gaming, I’ve been gaming since I was a child and I don’t think that is going to stop haha. Also, I am an avid reader and have amassed quite the collection of books over the years. I am also a fan of just curling up on my couch with Ron and the cats to watch movies. As for more active hobbies, I enjoy bicycling around the neighbourhood to explore and archery!

What's your favourite game?

As a long time gamer picking favourite games has always been difficult for me, mostly because my opinions change so much. I am a big fan of Fallout 3, The Legend of Zelda franchise has always been a favourite of mine, and Witcher: Wild Hunt. I’m sure these will change with time though haha, well… except for Zelda.

any inspiring words for artists?

That you can look at art like a gamer. When you play a game and you come to an enemy that is too strong you level grind until you can beat them. Art is like that, the more you draw the more you level up your skills and the better you will become!

career wise, what's your craziest dream?

I think in ways I am living my dream already and feel incredibly fortunate for it. My dream as an artist is to be able to create the art I want and make a living doing it, to be able to work with my incredible husband and have a lot of fun and adventure along the way.