Frankly, The Folksy Magazine

Meet the Maker… Gary Williams, Magik-City

by Emily. Average Reading Time: almost 4 minutes.


How long have you been selling on Folksy?

I’ve only just joined Folksy, I was previously selling on Etsy (still am) and thought I’d spread my wings and joined Folksy as I love the site, as I’m from Newcastle, I thought it was closer to home as opposed to Etsy which seems more American.

Tell us about your work? Well, I basically work as a freelance graphic designer and have been making my own way in the world now for a few years, I’ve never really been one to work for other people, so I’m always looking for ways to earn a living whilst doing something creative under my own conditions. Just recently I’ve turned my hand to designing wedding invitations.

What’s your favourite piece of work?   My favourite piece would have to be the wedding invitation that I did for my own wedding which was based around a vintage themed style.

When did it all begin for you? I started off by doing t shirt designs and printing them myself to sell on Ebay, I’ve progressed this over the years so I now have a few internet shops. As far as the wedding stationery goes, it all started about 6 months ago when I designed the invitations for my own wedding. I enjoyed doing this so much that I decided to create approx. 25 designs which had a retro / vintage look to them. I’d been looking at a lot of wedding sites for inspiration in the run up to our big day, and thought that I could offer something fresh on the design front that a certain cross section of people would be interested in. I also have a background in print so I knew I could offer the whole service of design and manufacturing.

Tell us about your work space?  I have a studio in a place called the Biscuit Tin, in Newcastle. It’s basically a big building that’s split into 40 studios for artists and creative people to do their thing. I would generally describe my own personal space as organised chaos.

How do you keep your work unique? Even though I take a lot of inspiration in, I try to put my own stamp on it through the process I go through, so hopefully by the end of the design stage I come up with something unique.

Describe your day as a maker? Are you organised/disciplined? On a normal day I jump between graphic design jobs, website work, printing t shirts, and when I get any gaps in between jobs I push on with doing my own thing, so I never sit around doing nothing. I’ve always been motivated to create, so discipline is not a problem, I always want to do more and generally keep a list of ideas that I work through when I get the opportunity.

What three tools could you not live without? My mac, Adobe Creative Suite, The kettle

What gets the creative juices flowing when creativity is stifled? Music. I can’t stand to work in silence. I particularly like listening to Gilles Peterson and Craig Charles Funk and Soul show, this helps me get into the right mood for tapping into the creative process. I’m also a magazine fiend so like to pop into W H Smith on a regular basis and flick through magazines, I always get a lot of ideas from doing this, although my magazine collection is out of control.

Are you inspired by any artists from the past or present? I currently like to keep a keen eye on what’s referred to as street art – my favourites, past and present include – Shephard Fairey, Faile, Conner Harrington, Hush, C215, Monsieur Qui, Prefab77 and Herakut. I also love the Russian Propaganda Posters of the early 20th century, and artists such as Barbara Kruger who deal in bold graphic imagery. The last art exhibition that I saw that really blew my mind was Gustav Klimt when I was in Venice on honeymoon.

Shephard Fairey

Monsieur Qui

How do you know when a piece is done? When I feel that the correct balance has been achieved.

What do you love most about being a maker? I like the feeling that I’ve created something from nothing which can then be appreciated and used by other people.

Where would you like to be in 5 years time? Somewhere in the Himalayas as part of my world tour.

What would you say to any makers starting out? Listen to you inner self and stay clear of negative influences. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes because that’s where you learn the most.

See more of Gary’s work here.