Gary Card x Made FW
Adding to our arsenal of visual collaborations happening this Made Fashion Week (ie. Kalen Hollomon and The Academy New York), Gary Card is illustrating some of his favorite looks from the runway, just for us. Bringing his distorted color scheme and comic book influenced style, the stage designer, sculptor, and illustrator is here to make pieces that are relatable, but also nothing short of crazy. In the past, he’s worked with major clients, sculpting for Hermés, designing a pop up shop for COS, creating toys for Nicola Formichetti, and forming characters out of boxes for a Loewe Christmas campaign. So, let’s just say this guy’s got serious credentials when it comes to giving fashion an otherworldly twist. Catching up before Gary’s fashion agenda gets a little too full, we got the low-down on the artist’s inner trekkie and his rediscovered romance with illustration.
When did you first become involved in the arts, and when did you make the move into fashion illustration?
I’ve been drawing all my life and I never stopped. In my teens it was almost a worrying compulsion, I was a horrible trekkie nerd that hid in my room drawing super hero costumes, dreaming of becoming a comic book illustrator. As my career as a set designer progressed, I found I was drawing less and less, as so much of what we design is on the computer. But I’ve recently rekindled my love for drawing and felt I needed to get back to my creative roots. At the moment I’m really excited about it and I’m finding every opportunity I can to draw and paint, in a way it feels like I’m starting out again.
You’ve used mix media techniques in your illustrations, like the one you made for the Dior Homme show that you dipped in a bath, and then Photoshopped after the ink spread. Can you tell us more about your techniques, and where the inspiration comes from? Or are you prone to accidental/coincidental artworks?
I think it’s important to give the subject what you feel it needs. With the recent ShowStudio project, I reacted to each collection differently, It’s instinctual, led by the interesting little accidents along the way. The exciting part for me is I’m still learning so it’s a technique that will hopefully develop and distort.
Fashion illustration often stems from the human figure and motion. What about the human body and it’s form that captivates you?
I think it’s how we learn about the world, by watching people—maybe that’s why we watch so much TV. Images of the human form are instantly accessible and relatable. That’s what I’m interested in making. I think things that you have an immediate emotional response to—don’t get me wrong, I don’t want anyone weeping at the sight of my work or anything… just a couple of appreciative tears is fine.
You also sculpt and do set design, which of these arts do you favor the most? And how do they all inform one another in your perspective?
I’m a brat. Whenever I work in one area for too long I start to yearn for the medium I’ve neglected, it’s hard to choose but I think I love making sculptures the most, I make sculptures out of tape. It’s therapeutic.
What has been some of your favorite creative projects you’ve worked on and why?
That’s a hard one. Some of the best projects I’ve worked on have had the most grueling process, so its hard looking at them fondly, maybe the cave of 4 thousand plasticine heads? It was made from about 5 tons of white plasticine and took a month to build.
What is the craziest thing you’ve created so far?
I think a lot of my stuff is considered ‘crazy.’ I made a 15-foot robot Christmas tree out of car parts a couple of years ago, that was great, it rotated and strobed, smoke and music came out of it, it had moving parts and throbbing lights, we threw everything at it. We had so much fun building it. Or, the Dover street market clown heads! Last year I sculpted 60 clown head busts out of masking tape, the heads toured every Dover street market store around the world. [Pharrell]( http://www.milkmade.com/articles?utf8=✓&search=pharrell) was a fan.
Are there any projects you dream of working on in the future? What are they?
My ambition for the future is to make and sell my own work. I love public art, and I’d love the opportunity to do that. I studied theatre design but haven’t worked on a production for years. I really want to work on a show again, a huge cartoon opera!
What designers are you looking forward to reinterpreting with this editorial collaboration with Milk Made and Made Fashion Week?
[KTZ]( http://www.milkmade.com/articles?utf8=✓&search=KTZ) and [Jeremy Scott]( http://www.milkmade.com/articles?utf8=✓&search=jeremy+scott) are always reliably fun, so they will be a joy to draw, [Bobby Abley]( http://www.milkmade.com/articles?utf8=✓&search=bobby+abley) and [Astrid Andersen]( http://www.milkmade.com/articles?utf8=✓&search=astrid+andersen) are cool. I like [Dion Lee]( http://www.milkmade.com/articles?utf8=✓&search=dion+lee) too.
When you look back at your work, what do you find yourself surprised at, or at least thinking about?
I rarely congratulate myself. When a big project finishes the overwhelming feeling is relief, then there are a few feelings of disappointment and frustration, things you missed, things you wished you could have afforded, flashes of hindsight genius, ‘ah man, wish we’d made it like that!’ I tend to fixate on the failures, but sometimes I have a positive moment and think ‘wow, how on earth did I pull that off?" Most of the time I console myself with ‘well at least no one died.’