Puck Studio is an East London based print studio, created and run by David Gibbons and Robbie Wilkinson. Their work is absurd, bold, and a lot of fun. We saw their ballooned ‘Scrumping with Puck Studio’ exhibit at Pick Me Up and had to know more about them!
You had told us a little when we saw you at Pick Me Up, but could you tell us more about your work thesis.
Cripes! Well… Dave and I have both been illustrators working for about 7 years now (Babycrow and Robbie’s Brown Shoes), we have spent the last 1+ years working together on various shows and the like and realised that we love the entire process of creating work and curating a show. Every aspect from conception, to printing, to vinyl etc. The thesis we work by is to “enjoy our work”. I love being an illustrator and I love being a print maker, so its about showing this enjoyment through the way we work and the quality of print and vinyl we produce.
Basically…. at last years Pick Me Up we noticed that the whole event was too london based as I’m from Devon and Dave and I both studied at Bath Spa, we wanted to represent an area that we are both passionate about. Bristol has a great illustration scene, and Uni’s like Plymouth, Exeter and Falmouth have always produced top students and great creatives. We wanted to do something to show this off. One thing that we both remembered from growing up/studying in the South West is the logistical nightmare that a London show can be both for organising and also finacially. With us being in the position we were with Pick Me Up, we could now offer some amazing creatives the opportunity to be part of a great show and leave the printing and installing up to us. Plus we can show that you dont HAVE to live in London in order to make it happen for you as a professional creative.
Why did you two [Robbie and David] decide to make a store together? What is your creative dynamic?
We don’t really have a “store”. We’re an illustration and print studio, but we are opening an online shop and getting our printed works into stores around the country and various online webshops. We haven’t always been a creative team. We both went to Uni together, but didn’t meet until after we’d graduated through a mutual friend. From working in day jobs jobs and the like we decided to plan a show, and then decided to form a group to exhibit with. So Puck Collective formed, which along with us both features illustrators Kristina Grundberg, Patch Keyes and Samuel Esquire. After featuring in Pick Me Up 2011, Dave and I decided to form a studio and take our working dynamic further into a professional capacity. So we’ve been a team for about 1 and a half years. The dynamic is pretty natural. We play ideas off of one another, take point on different projects, generally making a fair work load and as much enjoyment as possible with the briefs given. We’re also both massively into comic books, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Rolos and Coffee. Which helps.
Do you have any artistic idols that have influenced you?
Yeh! I LOVE Jim Phillips, Chris Ware, Mike Mignola, Daniel Clowes, Shrigley, Quentin Blake, John Kricfalusi, Frank Miller, Genndy Tartakovsky, Tom Gauld.. The list is endless really. But there’s also friends who do amazing work and make you want to keep drawing and getting better and better, like Matthew the Horse, Dave and the rest of Puck Collective, Andrew Rae, Mr Bingo and Dan Frost. Oh and Batman.
What keeps you motivated and engaged on a daily basis?
Knowing how lucky we both are to be in this position. Also the want to constantly improve and refine our craft and ability as both illustrators and print makers. Its so important for me personally to never stop making and being excited about our work. Having a creative partner helps me focus as well, means I can’t stop what I’m doing and watch cartoons.
What projects are you currently working on?
That would be telling. But there are more shows in the works. We have another Puck Studio show planned for the end May (possibly) as well as 2 Puck Collective exhibitions planned for later this year. We have also decided to curate a couple of solo shows of our individual works, which should be pretty fun. There is also our own publication that we are prepping for release which I’m not aloud to discuss. This is all along side our editorial and commissioned illustration work, our print clients and producing vinyl for galleries and event spaces. So we’re pretty manic most days.
We would love to share Puck Studio’s exhibits and publications when they become less confidential!
Is there anything in particular that stands out about your creative process?
We are always listening to music. I personally really like film scores and usually try to amp up the studio atmosphere with a little Hans Zimmer. After that its generally pretty open. We jump from things like Fugazi to Pantera to Paul Simon to Justice to Battles. We have a studio Spotify list, but it gets quite mixed and odd. If we’re working late we like to listen to audio books and have started working our way through the entire works of HP Lovecraft. Which can influence our creative output at times. Our creative processes differ quite a lot, I’m quite frantic and Dave works very meticulously. It’s a manageable mix of ADHD and OCD.
Are there any stores or artists that you are really interested in at the moment?
We love Beach London, they’re our friends and do something really special down on Brick Lane. They’re interested in putting on original shows and working with good artists and creatives. We’ve also started working with the comic book illustrator Jock, who draws Batman: Detective Comics for DC. He was our first edition to sell out at Pick Me Up 2012 and since then we’ve started planning some really exciting projects with him for the end of this year. He’s also been nominated for comic book illustrator of the year at the Stan Lee awards 2012, which is ace! Other artists that are brilliant right now are Mr Hipp, Olly Moss, Jon Boam, Jonny Negron, Bjorn Rune Lie and Luke Pearson.
[To our readers: Check out those artists, seriously!]
Where do you plan to go from here?
We want to build on Puck Studio’s growing reputation as quality print makers and creatives. We’re going to curate more shows and make more work. Small press publishing is something I’m really interested in, so we may well look into that in the next year or so. We plan to go everywhere and anywhere we can!
What do you want people to take from Puck Studio?
A quality product made with care and attention from a studio that is approachable and interested in working with the artist/client rather than for. The fact that we care so much about what we produce. Each print we pull or line we draw is a representative of us as creatives and us as a studio, because of this we want them to be the best they can be. There is also an element of play about our work which I think is massively important.
Where else can people find your work?
Well there’s obviously puckstudio.co.uk, robbiesbrownshoes.com, and babycrow.co.uk. We both also write for the food review website thingsweveeaten.co.uk. I have some prints available on artistic.ly and the collective is at puckcollective.co.uk.
Which social media sites do you use most for your work?
Thanks for speaking to us about Puck Studio!