BLUNT x Greg Straight | Limited Edition Collaboration
Meet iconic Kiwi artist Greg Straight. An illustrator, artist and graphic designer, Greg has created a beautiful hand drawn design inspired by the sea and reflective of what you might spot gazing into a serene rock pool.
We caught up with Greg to chat about the BLUNT x Greg Straight Limited Edition Collaboration and his creative process.
What inspires you as an artist?
The artwork I create often reflects my engagement with the landscapes of New Zealand — the bush, towns, beaches and mountains and it often taps into a collective nostalgia for summers spent at my aunty and uncles house in Papamoa, just over the road from the beach.
Nature is a huge inspiration to me too, native birds, fish and wildlife often feature in my art prints and illustrations. Also just general life living in this amazing country called Aotearoa.
My design sense is defined by my interest in simplicity, balance, colour and pattern. I like to generate distinctive pieces with geometric form, iconic imagery and vivid colour palettes.
What was your main source of inspiration behind this design?
Being an ocean lover and surfer my approach took inspiration from the sea. I wanted the artwork to be like looking into a rock pool, just like I did as a child and enjoyed doing with my children when they were little. Exploring the layers of seaweed, searching for movement, small fish, crabs and tiny shrimps all going about their daily business oblivious to what’s going on in the rest of the world. A pool that first appears to be very still and stagnant is actually brimming with life in it’s own micro-world.
How would you describe your style?
In keeping with my signature style, this design is bold, graphic and modern but with a softer, more organic & natural feel. No straight lines, just flowing shapes moving gently with the tide.
What are your primary tools when creating your works and what does your creative process look like?
I figured out early on in the process that my usual style of illustration with it’s hard edges and geometric shapes wasn’t going to suit an umbrella. Taking into account the practical logistics of each one of the panels being cut and sewed together the lines would never meet up correctly. So I approached the brief in a more organic way.
I started by visiting Charcoal Bay (my local beach) for inspiration and looked for shells, seaweed and different shapes in the sand and in the water. I also took a lot of photographs and brought them back to the studio where I began sketching with a pencil on paper. I then worked them up with paint and black pens.
These were then scanned and placed into illustrator where I arranged them in different compositions until the balance felt right. It wanted my BLUNT umbrella design to be visually interesting but not look cluttered or overcrowded. It was also important that the design worked well from all sides, so I allowed some of the shapes to bleed off at the edges.
Next I looked at colour and again my inspiration came from the ocean so I focused on different shades of blue. It needed a highlight, so I added a summery lemon yellow for contrast.
What has been your favourite part of collaborating with BLUNT?
Being able to explore my own ideas and create something original without the restrictions of a tight brief. The team at BLUNT were really easy going and the whole project ran very smoothly.
It was also a real buzz seeing my design come to life as a finished product and not just an image on my computer screen.
How would you describe the feeling of using your BLUNT on a rainy day?
It’s pretty awesome! I feel like my umbrella brings a little colour to a grey, rainy day and it’s cool to use something that showcases my artwork in a new way. It’s like a super practical piece of limited edition artwork!