Garrick Middleton, aka Krak Fox, has 29 years old, lives in Stoke-on-trent, UK and is a graphic designer. Garrick is a full-time creative designer for Grisdale Lesniak Swann and with his work for the agency last year he got two awards: the Cream Award and a Fresh Award for the Best Outdoor Poster, something he shared with his Art Director Mark Lesniak. Krak Fox (KF) is local boy who studied and worked at his city, and that is also a massive fan of the Stoke City FC.
"I'm Garrick Middleton, an ordinary Graphic Designer by day. BUT BY NIGHT, I AM: KRAK FOX!"
Besides that KF is very kind, humorous and talented. Here I will show some pieces of his work and also an interview so you can get further info about KF, his work and inspiration. I also would like to thank him for his time and sympathy on conceding us this interview. Enjoy!
When did you discover your artistic vein?
When I got too lazy to be a forensic scientist. Honestly. Dropped my biology course and took up design after 1 year into a 2 year course - making up for lost time by studying after school.
How did you start working with design and photo-manipulation?
Well, at college, I was struggling to get excited about drawing either old bits of wood in charcoal or fat naked old hags in pencil. You see, I worked in a video rental shop and was obsessed with movie posters - from the classic Star Wars poster to Saul Bass' The Man with the Golden Arm'. Soooo, I took an interest in photography and image manipulation with an aim to be a movie-poster-o-matic-designer. That was back in the Photoshop v5 days. Finding out about Photoshop changed my life – I owe my living to it.
How did you improve your work and technique?
I'd like to think I'm naturally gifted but, the truth is, every piece I do takes a great deal of effort. So I browse the relevant magazines (Advanced Photoshop, Creative Arts etc) and reverse engineer the work of my peers. I pick up new ideas and shake ‘em around in my head for a while and the result is an amalgamation of all the visual influence I've seen to date. But I ALWAYS aim to make each piece better than the last - and I won't publish it until it's at least AS good as my last pikatur. (Note: we know that ‘picture’ was wrongly spelled here, but this is because KF asked us to spell it this way because he likes it, lol).
What is your regular work flow when starting a new piece?
I have to start with the main stock-image. It's absolutely 100% worth taking the time and money to find THE image you're after as a starting point. If you start with quality you'll end with quality. I then add effects and textures - even song lyrics too. I make sure I add TOO many elements. Then - and here's my secret - I turn off all layers except the background and main subject. I then switch on each effect layer and reposition or delete anything I think isn't working. The final piece evolves out of this chaos. Never be afraid of going too far – you can always delete things – that’s better than never pushing things far enough.
What do you like most about your job? And what would you say you don't like about it?
I love the freedom of doing my own work (remember, I did these images in my spare time). But I don't like that I don't have more time to do them!!
What programs do you use to produce your art? What would you like to have in the perfect photo-manipulation software?
Mainly Photoshop CS4 and Illustrator. But I use InDesign all-day-everyday in my main job too. What would I like to see in future programs? Good question. CS4 has sooo many cool tricks but a much more sympathetic method of selecting hair would be top of my list.
What is your main inspiration source?
Got to be deviantART. Since joining up in Jan 09 I've gone from 'just-some-guy-who-knows-photoshop' to a bona-fide artist.…at least, I think I have.
What are your goals and future plans for your career?
Snowball. Simple as that. Build on what I've done and go on to bigger and better things.
Do you have any advice to the upcoming artists?
TUTORIALIZE!!! Like your life depends on it!! I’m always picking up and adapting new techniques in tutorials - and that's with 10 years experience behind me.
Once again I would like to thank you for this interview! The final words are with you...
UP THE POTTERS!!! lol sorry - I told you I was a Stoke City fan! On a serious note: Never be daunted by the path ahead. The fact that you choose to proceed is a victory in itself.