8 Questions: Designer Gary Pullin

8 Questions is our feature where we ask designers, artists and illustrators the same 8 getting-to-know-you questions (sort of like the web series 7 Minutes In Heaven but without the closet and awkward kissing). We’ve chosen questions we think will elicit informative, character revealing and insightful answers, allowing readers to learn from and get to know these lovely people a little better.

Gary Pullin (aka Ghoulish Gary) is busy man. By day he’s the Art Director for Rue Morgue and by night (I assume) he’s a vigilante saving the world with one fantastic piece of artwork after another. Recently, he designed the DVD cover for the Arrow Video UK release of Wes Craven’s “Deadly Blessing”, illustrated and designed the cover for the book “Encyclopedia Gothica” by Lisa Ladouceur, created a poster for a screening of Katherine Bigelow’s ’80s vampire classic, “Near Dark”, honored Bill Murray with an impressive “Scrooged” poster for the Gallery 1988 Art Tribute Show (we covered the show here), teamed up with Phantom City Creative for a “Last Man on Earth” poster and followed that up with another collaboration with them on a stunning Halloween-themed event poster for Fright Nights at TIFF hosted by Guillermo Del Toro. Yeah, busy.

Gary’s also launched a new website at www.GhoulishGary.com where you can find many more pieces of his work, buy prints, check out his blog, etc.

Without further ado: The questions followed by a small gallery of his work. Enjoy.

1. Describe yourself in 5 words or less.
Counter-culture and film junkie

2. How long have you been a designer / illustrator and what made you want to be one?
I have been working as a designer/illustrator for about 14 years. I realized in college that you could actually make a pretty good living as an artist and it was a real eye opening moment. I grew up surrounded by art, my Grandfather’s hobby was painting and it fascinated me. I immersed myself in movies, comics, and music. At some point, I figured out that I wanted to contribute creatively to the things I love.

3. What would you say are your biggest influences?
The TV show The Hilarious House of Frightenstien, horror movies, vintage monster magazines, a good ghost story, a well executed tattoo, sci-fi/horror scores and the sound of loud guitars.

4. What is your favorite thing about being a designer?
I love the process of seeing a concept come to life. Taking that initial idea, doodle or a sketch, and transforming it into a final printed piece that is a tangible creation of my imagination is very rewarding to me.

5. What’s the worst (non-design related) job you’ve ever had?
Working at McDonald’s. I don’t think I really need to elaborate on that.

6. Who are some of your favorite designers and why?
There are so many I admire, it’s hard to pick just a few. It’s like trying to pick a favorite song or movie but here’s a few that come to mind:

Ken Taylor – his line work is insane. I’m in awe of the way he draws hair and clouds.
Charles Burns – his bold use of light and shadow is just incredible. His lines are so precise it is sickening. Starkness never looked so good.
Basil Gogos – a master portrait artist, his use of bright colors and confident brush strokes bring a real sense of sympathy and humanity to his monsters.
Olly Moss – he is able to distill the essence of any subject with seemingly few lines. It takes a certain kind of genius to do that. He’s our generation’s Saul Bass.
Drew Struzan – just about everything he does is breathtaking. His art inspires a sense of awe and wonder that have often times, surpassed the movie he’s created the poster for.
Martin Ansin – much like Ken Taylor, his lines and compositions are incredibly dynamic.
And my friends Jason Edminston and Phantom City Creative are doing amazing things these days. We’re always bouncing ideas off each other and plotting ways to work together.

7. What are some of your favorite movie posters of all time?
Again, it’s like asking me to pick a favourite song but the first ones to come to mind are Struzan’s The Thing, The Changeling, Scanners, Fright Night, the original Halloween, Halloween II, and Jaws posters. I love Reynold Brown’s work from ’50s, like his House On Haunted Hill, The Creature From The Black Lagoon, and his Roger Corman posters. I’m a sucker for the typography on those old posters. Recently, Martin Ansin’s The Mummy and Olly Moss’s Star Wars trilogy posters from Mondo are stunning.

8. Any advice for designers out there?
Approach everything you do with passion and enthusiasm, learn from your peers and try and nail down your concepts as much as you can before jumping onto the computer. If you love what you do, it will show in your work. It’s a great industry to be in.


All Artwork © Gary Pullin and GhoulishGary.com

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