Smokinggurb is a collage, graphic and multi-medium artist who in recent years has designed some of the most original album art we have seen for artists such as Joshua J & Smandem. Working as the apprentice of Segraphy, one of the most sought after designers and creatives in the Netherland, Smokinggurb is quickly becoming one of our most important creatives to watch in 2021. The crazy thing is, he is doing it all while still at school! Don’t miss out on the dope custom collage Smokinggurb created for the back cover of 2&6 Magazine Issue 1.
Where do you get your initial point of inspiration from? Do you like to have a clear cut idea of what the final piece is going to look like before you begin or is it a process of experimentation?
Really good question, my inspirations come from the music I listen to and the old posters I see from the 70s & 80s- i really like the old looks from the past and hate to see that everything is so different nowadays when it comes to advertisementS. About my work process, I usually don’t have a clear idea of what I want to make. Sometimes I have an idea WRITTEN down in my notes. And sometimes I just listen to some music and work from there. Maybe the song gives me a certain feeling and I try to recreate that feeling onto a canvas.
Finding resources and materials to make THE collages must be a constant pursuit for you- do you take graphics from a wide variety of places or do you have your key go-to places to find amazing graphics?
Definitely a wide variety of places. Sometimes I see something when I take a walk and I make a picture of it and use it later in a design. Other times I just browse old magazines I found in thrift stores. It really depends on what I want to make. Sometimes I can’t find anything that works so I have to draw it even though drawing is not my strongest SKILL at all. SoME good places for beginners would be Unsplash & Pexels. I think all the pictures there are copyright free and a great place to find amazing pictures.
This may be a slightly boring question but i think a lot of aspiring designers would love to know what software you use to create?
I use Adobe Photoshop and sometimes I use Glitchlab which is an app that can create some crazy visuals.
Where did your initial love of art AND specifically collages come from? Do you see patterns AND abstract shapes in places others don’t?
I think it started rather early on when I was younger. I loved to draw FROM my imagination but my drawing skills were really bad haha. I was never really good with explaining my thoughts so I used to draw things if I wanted to make something clear to others. The love for collages came from a friend @madebymotel on Instagram who used to make dreamlike collages. I loved it so much that I wanted to try it out for myself and ever since that day i’m still experimenting with collages.
You have an incredible work rate- sometimes producing finished work every single day. do you like to challenge yourself to create every day?&do you not have to deal with creative blocks or lack of ideas?
First of all thank you, it was a challenge for myself to create something every day but nowadays I just try to make something when I feel like it. I actually wanted to post daily in 2021 as a test for myself, but after the first day i already lost inspiration and motivation to do it.
So now I just post when I feel inspired because I learned that rest is even more impossible WHEN working hard. If I have a creative block I usually just don’t create. I will do something completely different, the last time I had a creative block I started watching movies and reading more about art styles and coloUrs. After that I get inspired automatically and that’s just the process for me. It might not help everyone but it’s a good idea to not only work hard but TO also enjoy your hobbies besideS art.
I am interested to know how other creative disciplines influence your work. How does music impact your creativity? Do you draw a lot of inspiration from album covers? what music do you personally listen to?
Music impacts my creativity because when I listen to music I start to visualiSe how it would look in my head. if that makes sense. Different music genres help me create different types of art. I also like to challenge myself to create an alternative cover for a song I really like, it is really interesting to try out what it would look like if I had the creative direction for my favoUrite album or single.
I usually listen to a lot of rap lately AND I AM really into the UK hip-hop scene like Clbrks, Conrad Mundy, & Kings Cvstle. But I also like to listen to some more experimental music like ARCADE FIRE’S soundtrack TO THE “HER” FILM BY SPIKE JONZE. Something about that soundtrack sparks so MANY ideas for new art.
If you had to pick 3 pieces of your work to go in a time capsule that best summarises you as an artist which would they be?
Wow this is a really good question, I would say :
1. ‘Last Night In Paradise’, due to the fact that piece was made when I was dealing with a break up that really changed me as a person.
2. ‘Different Dimension Travel’, due to the fact that that piece was my 2nd attempt at trying to make a collage and it really worked well.
3. ‘Note To Self 01’, it is a poster with a poem about how my life is due to the pandemic. It really made me think about all the little things we took for granted.