WMC artist focus Gee Hale
Our feature artist for this month is Gee Hale, who lives on the beautiful central coast of NSW.
Gee has been obsessed with creating art since his childhood, and spent his high school years drawing on pretty much every surface available including notebooks, textbooks and tables.
‘One day my Japanese language class teacher’s assistant, who was moving back to Japan, handed me an authentic manga comic book,’ recalls Gee. ‘Inside the first page it had a hand-written message encouraging me to keep drawing. I can’t thank her enough for the interest she showed in my passion. I wish my Japanese language skills had also improved too though!’
Gee is most at ease working in the digital medium, as he finds it allows him to adjust and refine his work in the most timely way.
Watch the full video for an insight into Gee’s work and techniques, and make sure to check out his Instagram page @geehale for updates on his work.
Music: Hide Your Lies Behind The Clouds by Breakmaster Cylinder
Inspiration from all angles
When it comes to artistic inspiration, Gee finds ideas can come from anywhere, including while on an adventures.
‘My inspiration could be from things I’ve seen online, like podcasts, animation or anime,’ he explains. ‘And sometimes it can come from everyday things that I experience.
My piece, ‘Loading please wait’ (shown below) came about as I was doing some snorkelling and taking note of how strange and beautiful the world can be. I sometimes see ‘images’ in shadows, rock formations, clouds, but they can be a bit bizarre and actually quite scary!’
Gee is very particular about understanding the key elements of a brief before getting started, and puts a lot of importance on good client communication.
‘Once I’ve read over the brief a few times to ensure I understand it, I will often supply the client with sketches to make sure we’re on the same page,’ says Gee. ‘However, sometimes when I’m creating storyboards that have tight deadlines, I go straight into the finals and tweak them digitally if I need to.’
Gee says that he finds inking and colouring to be the most relaxing part of the process because it allows him to get ‘in the zone’.
Favourite portfolio pieces
Gee says that this series of graphics for V’s limited edition Kaboom drink are some of his favourite commercial images to date.
‘I grew up reading and drawing comics and for this project I got to draw a gorilla, and my work was going to be printed on cans. What!!?’
‘I remember the deadline for this project was quite tight,’ recalls Gee, who was thrilled to be able to see his art on supermarket shelves and hold the cans in his hands. ‘But the client gave me a clear brief and a lot of creative freedom, so it all went very smoothly.’
See more graphics from this project via the V Kaboom portfolio page.
After hours at the museum
This illustration was commissioned by The Auckland Museum for one of their evening events.
‘I had a lot of fun with this one!’ he recalls. ‘I enjoy creating images around these sorts of themes where there’s a bit of romance involved.’
Gee’s final set of images come from a series of posters for an employee motivation campaign for Statistics New Zealand.
The brief was to create movie poster style artworks incorporating themes such as mystery, dance, sci-fi, adventure and comedy, layered with inspirational employee messaging.
‘I loved the creative freedom they gave me,’ says Gee. ‘Considering that it was a really tight deadline, it went amazingly smoothly.’
Passionate about the cool, the quirky and good causes
While Gee says that his favourite projects are the ones that give him a measure of creative freedom, he also enjoys working on jobs that are ‘cool and whacky’.
‘I really love drawing people, especially women, as well as creatures, robots and machines. I also love working on projects that have messages to inspire
people or that raise awareness of causes.’
See more of Gee’s work on his portfolio page https://watermarkcreative.co/gee-hale/ or via his Instagram account @geehale