Creative Conversations : Gary Alford, Painter


Creative Conversations is a new feature series focused on shining a light on creatives behind the radar. We aim to have 'creative conversations' with some of the most innovative creatives in the world today. Next up on the series is 35 year old Painter, Gary Alford from Shoreditch.


What inspired you most to become a painter and create artwork?

I have always enjoyed drawing and painting and I wanted to make this my way of life, of earning. Artwork, music and creative life and people are vital to me.

You've created artwork for legends such as Wu Tang Clan, How does that feel? Is there a lot of pressure? 

It's fantastic to be able to name some of the people I have worked with. An honor and something I should congratulate myself on. There is a lot of pressure from the clients side as they expect everything done extremely quickly but the main pressure is the one I put on myself. I want everything to look the best it possibly can. This was particularly the case when working on RZAs Bobby Digital Digi Snacks album artwork. I was unhappy with the outcome for a long time as I thought it could have been a lot better but as time has passed, I am happier with it. 

Who would you rank as the best person you've worked with in terms of creativity?

I have worked with so many inspirational artists it is difficult to say. The UK team of musicians and poets and creatives I have around me that I am lucky to call friends as well impress me daily: Triple Darkness, Flowtecs, The Life and Death, Giusi Tomasello, TCG, Sinister Stricken is crazy talented. For work flow and vision my man Ringz Ov Saturn who plays the role of music producer, editor, documentary and promo video maker just does my head in wondering how he fits it all into one life. Kudos ! 

Since your time creating, What is the best and worst thing you've come across?

The best thing is working with the people that inspired me in youth and present day. Making that connection. That includes Smif N Wessun's General Steele, RZA, Dom PaChino, Kinetic9 and many more. The worst thing has to be constantly coming across people who expect artwork to be free or next to nothing and unfortunately that's about 80% of the offers I get

Where or how do you find inspiration for your work, Is there a process you go through? 

Listening to music gets my mind ticking. The best way to get inspiration is to not wait until you receive a divine thought from the heavens, you could be waiting a while, but to just start the ball rolling and get working. Your first stubborn scratchings will lead to the inspiration flowing.

A lot of Designers, painters, illustrators, creators, don't get enough credit? do you agree and why?

I'm not sure if I do agree or don't. I guess it's down to each individual case as I can't determine an answer in a broad perspective. In my field of hand to canvas painting the artists name is always attached. People search out the art under a particular artists name. In street art the artists moniker is written in big letters on the piece or the work is instantly recognisable as THAT artists piece. Think the trademark characters of Stik's murals. Music producers are commonly named along with the vocal artist and promo directors are more commonly credited at the beginning of a video. Rightly so.

And finally, What advice do you have for the new generation of Creatives?  

Keep on, do lots. Keep an eye on but mainly ignore what your contemporaries are doing so as not to mold your path too much. Listen to advice for interest but follow what's in your heart more.

Follow Gary's future projects on Facebook and Instagram and be sure to keep up to date with paintings and artwork and to purchase Art via www.garyalfordart.com