Meet the West Country graphic designer using visual symbols and 70s airbrushing to land a retro-futuristic punch, featured in our Summer 19 Omega Zine.
To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon Landing, we partnered with Swiss luxury watchmaker Omega – whose watches Armstrong and Aldrin wore during the Apollo 11 Moon Landing – for a dreamy music zine included within the Summer 19 issue, spotlighting four artists breaking new ground. Also featured was visionary artwork from 4 incredible illustrators.
The future is here, the future is… retro? West Country-hailed graphic designer and artist Patrick Savile has been making waves with his trippy 70s style compilations, featuring eclectic visual symbols and airbrushing. We sat down with him and chatted inspirations and more…
When did you first get interested in art and illustration?
My dad was a designer, so from a very young age I remember getting frustrated that I couldn’t draw as well as him. He had quite a few books that stoked my interest: Roger Dean, Rodney Matthews, out of context of what era/ who their work was for was entrancing as a youngster.
What was the first thing you drew?
I can’t recall, but I do remember drawing a tank in year one, in multi-colour felt tip, which kind of resembled a trainer in shape. It is almost mythical in my memory as I lost it shortly after I did it, but thought it was definitely the best thing I’d ever done, and probably remains so to this day.
Which artist influences you the most?
It fluctuates, at the moment I am reading a lot of interviews with Milton Glaser, as I really resonate with his outlook — he’s a graphic designer who likes to draw pictures, which is really how I look at what I do.
Where do you pull inspiration from?
Nature, biology, neolithic burial sites, old computer games, manga, science, geology, new computer games, modernism, pattern, Dutch still lifes, fashion, myths.
What subjects do you draw?
Whatever suits the project. But I like the ambiguous, I don’t really like to depict a subject, more create a feeling or atmosphere.
How would you describe your style?
All over the place. I have a few different aesthetics that I mix and match, and it really depends on the project how it comes out—if it’s a screen print, a certain flatness and linear nature suits. Sometimes it requires a full colour, airbrush-esque feeling, though it all comes from the same place.
I have never been interested in outputting one style for everything I do, I find it quite reductive for the project I’m working on to just do it in the same style as everything else I do, I think each piece of work needs to be thought of as it’s own thing. I also don’t really care for cohesion in the way I present myself—my Instagram is testament to that.
How has your style evolved from when you first started?
Completely. I used to draw characters and typography in pen and ink with gouache, but never felt it was anywhere near how I wanted it, and then came a paradigm shift to a much more digital aesthetic, influenced by the airbrush aesthetic that I realised I was always interested in, but maybe did have the self belief that I could do.
Tell us about your favourite piece that you’ve created.
I don’t have one, I only really like whatever I have just done, and then the distance between it and me allows me only to see the faults. I love all the stuff I have done for April Skateboards, as they all tested my technical ability to the max—I have a few more coming out with them in the future.
What are you working on now?
Some more skateboards, a couple of album campaigns with exciting people, some new tees coming out with various ppl, and some more stuff for NTS Radio, amongst other things.
What do you want people to take away from your art?
Whatever they want to. I think it’s so much better to not be told what something is about. You’re on your own.