Cool People #2 – Garry Booth
Garry Booth caught the attention of Pads & Panels with a t-shirt design called Wii Exploded, a rendering of a dissected Nintendo Wii. We exchanged emails with Booth in April to get the low-down on his art and game-related designs.
Name: Garry Booth
Location: Long Beach, Calif.
Interview by: Bill Jones
What first got you interested in art? What influences your style?
My mother was a tole painter and pretty much fueled the fire for a lot of my childhood. I was drawing and painting at a very young age. I have an insane amount of influences, from music, to culture, to food, and everything else. Computer art has been a recent interest of mine, and I am embracing it as much as I can. I really love entangling it with my experiences with traditional media.
You have a number of designs on your site related to music, as well as totally original works. What can you tell readers about those interests?
My music library is unspeakable. Most of my friends hit me up when they are looking for something “new.” I listen to everything from ragtime to death metal. Recently, I saw a Leon Redbone concert, which was just awesome. I really like the new CD by the White Rabbits and anything by Tom Waits, SRV and Buck 65. If I am feeling tired, I usually listen to Norma Jean or something to wake me up.
One of your latest designs is an exploded Nintendo Wii. First of all, do you have an interest in the act of gaming, or just the artistic concept that spawned from the Wii? If the former, what are some of your favorite games?
I think I grew up in an era largely based around the development of video games. I can’t help but be a part of it. The Wii design was an awesome experience. I think the colors and everything really work as a shirt, and American Apparel is really making the best quality shirts on the market right now. Plus, with the quality soft hand ink we used, it’s really comfortable. My favorite game for the Wii is Tiger Woods [PGA Tour] golf. That game kills it!
How did you create the Wii design? Is it simply an imagining of the console’s innards, or did you take one apart to create the design? If so, were you able to put it back together, and does it still work?
Believe it or not, I took apart a unit myself to get a true sense of realism. Yup, that’s really what it looks like. Heh. The design was created meticulously over the course of about a week. Working mostly in the middle if the night, I sat at my computer with screws and electronics all over the place. It reminded me of the times when I would take apart the stereo when I was a kid because I thought I could “fix” it. I haven’t yet put the unit back together, but it was broken when I took it apart, so it would be pretty miraculous if it worked after I reassembled it. Hahaha.
Any plans to do any other game-related shirts?
Definitely, a similar Xbox 360 is now available at www.exploded360.com. That one is pretty awesome, and I think it maintains the excitement of the Wii design, if not more so. I have been batting around ideas to do some more old-school related stuff, but we will see…
Is art a profession for you, or a hobby? If the latter, what is your day job?
I am a full-time artist and designer as well as an art gallery owner. Check out Phone Booth Gallery. I also consider art my hobby, because I tend to not take on art-related gigs that I don’t think I will enjoy.
What’s next for Garry Booth?
I’m currently in a painted shoes exhibit at Art Whino Gallery on the East Coast called “Inked Souls.” I am working on a number of projects for a variety of freelance clients, and always working on my personal work. Right now I’m working on an exploded Macintosh M0001, the first Mac ever made. That one is gonna be super fresh.
Anything else readers should know?
“Art is Ideas.” -Doug Durrant
Cool People is a series dedicated to giving attention to some cool people who aren’t necessarily game developers, comic writers or artists, but have caught the attention of our crew by doing cool things related to those forms of media. Readers who think they or someone they know deserves to be featured in “Cool People” can send an email to padsandpanels[at]gmail[dot].com