Lockdown with Steve Gavan
Our latest Oops project saw us collaborating with Melbourne based artist Steve Gavan. Steve created a series of artworks inspired by life’s calamities and mishaps, featuring broken vases, slippery hazards, spilt milk and our favourite our inflight not so safe, safety card which see’s flight OOPS 04F (the world’s worst airline) accidentally set alight by a rogue smoker, thankfully no one was injured in the process. Recognising we are still living slightly weird COVID lives still, we chatted to Steve about lock down life, an insight into his creative process, happy mistakes and his best cringe moment.
So, weird year, huh? What’s your life in Melbourne looking like right now?
Things in Melbourne are pretty grim, we're in stage four lockdown right now which is a bit restrictive. Personally though, I can't complain too much, as I'm able to work from home comfortably and have plenty of projects to keep me busy.
Any key things that have helped keep you sane through lockdown? (music/tv shows/hobbies?)
Music has always been an important part of my life and having extra time to discover new artists has been great. I play in a few local bands as well, but unfortunately whilst we're in isolation everything's on hold. Luckily we're spoiled for choice with TV shows and movies, so there's always something good to watch.
How do you like to start the creative process & how did you begin to generate the ideas for our ‘Oops’ collection?
I usually start by looking at reference and sketching ideas using Procreate. For the 'Oops' collection, I wanted to capture clumsy moments that everyone can relate to having. I wanted to put a positive spin on things, and use simple ideas that might put a smile on your face.
"Positivity seems to be a theme I visit a lot in my personal projects. I want people to be able to smile when they look at my work, especially during these strange times when it's hard to be optimistic "
Has lockdown changed your day-to-day & creative process?
Being in lockdown means working with my one-year-old twin girls crashing around behind me. We live in a small two bedroom apartment and I work from the living room, so it's pretty cramped. Thank god for headphones! I manage to work around them as much as I can during the day, but usually get most of my work done at night once they're in bed.
If you weren’t a graphic designer & illustrator, what do you think you’d be doing?
I love food. I've always enjoyed cooking and eating. If it wasn't for the ridiculous hours and demanding lifestyle, I could picture being a chef.
Are there any key themes you like to explore time & time again in your own personal projects?
Positivity seems to be a theme I visit a lot in my personal projects. I want people to be able to smile when they look at my work, especially during these strange times when it's hard to be optimistic.
Where are your favourite places to go for inspiration?
Most of my inspiration comes from random things I find and everyday products. I often look to things like old signage, 70s cartoons and comics, fruit stickers and boxes, as well as apparel and posters.
So this collection (Oops) is all about accidents/mistakes, can you remember a time when something going wrong was actually the best thing that could have happened?
When I was a design student, I accidentally spilt my beer all over a creative director at a studio open night. I guess it left an impression, I ended up doing some work for them shortly after.
What’s your most cringeworthy Oops moment?
I've had too many cringeworthy moments to count! Multiple broken bones and embarrassing accidents, texting the wrong person, third wheeling dates, forgetting names. One that comes to mind is nearly breaking my nose by walking into a glass door at my brother in law's wedding. The loud bang stopped the party in its tracks, blood poured out of my nose and I had a scratched face and black eye in all the wedding photos. Pretty embarrassing.