Creative, Sweet

Blake Gordon X BurgerFuel

Posted by Creative, Sweet

Through our good friends at ilabb we met a young illustrator, he has now given up his role as their in-house designer to pursue the full time art hustle. We caught up with Blake Gordon to find out about his journey as an artist and how the post life of a day job is treating him. 

Haser: Thank you for joining us Blake, for those that are first time observers of your work, can you tell us who you are and where you’re from?

Blake: Heya, my names Blake. Im 26 years old, born in a little town called Kerikeri. Now living in Auckland. I currently work as a freelance illustrator and graphic designer.

The amount of people I meet from Kerikeri, you would think it’s a big city. So when did you start drawing, and what got you into it?

I moved to Auckland to study graphic design, with the dream of being a photographer. In my first year we dabbled in all things creative, here I found illustration which I later majored in. 

Photography became quite technical and expensive, where as with illustration, you could literally create with pen and paper. Music and tattoos were a major influence early on and definitely reflect my style now. 

I was going to say that you have a very tattoo inspired illustrative style, do you think you’ll ever pick up a tattoo machine?

I hope so! It’s always been in the back of my head. My friends are always telling me to get a machine and put something on them.

Awesome, I’lI make sure I get in line. I know you are quite a versatile artist when it comes to mediums, are you hoping to explore more or would you like to settle on something?

I am definitely open to all mediums/projects big and small. I really love taking on new projects and think its a huge part of progressing. I think this applies to most fields.

Very true, it’s quite a common practice for a lot of artists to be versatile now, especially with the outdoor mural craze. I also noticed you do a lot of digital artwork via iPad, if you had to choose, would you go digital or analogue?

I'm not sure if I could choose! My process for most of my work involves both digital and analogue. A general project begins with a sketch on my iPad and then finished on some type of canvas with either markers or paint. I have respect for both, but the main reason I love the iPad is that it has greatly reduced the amount of paper I’m going through. Which is then great for the planet!

Respect, I do enjoy looking at old drawings and rough sketches though, but what ever is best for Mother Earth. What artists are currently on your inspiration feed?

Oh so many but to name a few and in no particular order. Peep their instagrams, they are all super rad!

tonybluearms | inthedrink | graeme.allan | soggytoeszine | buttery_studio | vacationstudio | lukehday | bobxtate | dylan.j.matthews | joncontino | melissafindley

Awesome, there’s a few familiar names in there but will make sure to check out the rest.

I know a lot of creatives become inspired after travelling, have you managed to get many stamps in your passport or are you hoping to head abroad at some point?

I haven’t done the classic ‘OE’ type holiday but I try to get overseas once every few years. At the start of 2018 I travelled to Sumatra, specifically West Sumatra on a surf trip. We stayed on a super remote island, with only small fishing villages surrounding us. We surfed from 6am till 6pm for 10 days, such an incredible and inspiring experience. I have a little blog post on my website if anyone would like to read more about it.

But also, I am incredibly lucky to live in such a beautiful and safe country, I love exploring what we have to offer! I recently camped around the East Cape of the North Island, which I would highly recommend doing. New Zealand is great.

Wow, I don’t surf but that sounds like an epic trip. So in saying that, do you think things like surfing and outdoor adventures help fuel your inspiration, or do you try and keep your art and leisure separate.

I’d say somewhere in the middle, getting out and about is both super inspiring and is also a great way to get away from the rat race.

Totally, and where would you like to see yourself in the near and distant future?

Living by the beach, drawing all day and never seeing another winter again haha.

Don’t do what I did and move to London then, winter here is real.

How has life been since giving up your day job to pursue the full time art hustle?

It has definitely been the most challenging and rewarding two years of my life. Having the freedom to work when and where you want is a game changer. Going for a surf during the day then working on a project at night is pretty sick!

But stressing over invoices and taxes has been a learning curve for me.

It's a very admirable decision to make, nice work. You are quite young yourself, but would you have any advice for young illustrators?

Have fun! Don’t put too much pressure on yourself and don’t compare yourself to others and their success. Instead be inspired by them and use that to further you work.

Easier said than done. 

Last but not least, favourite burger from the Fuel?

Thats an easy one to answer, Combustion Tofu (life hack, you can get it in a large size)


Thanks a lot for your time Blake, if you would like to see more of Blake’s work you can visit his website or follow him on the grams @blake.gordon