Artist, illustrator, and web designer John Garrett has certainly got a lot on his plate, but when SteampunkGoggles.com approached him about making some custom artwork the owner and operator of Hypertransitory.com enthusiastically answered the call!
Though this is Garrett’s first collaboration with SteampunkGoggles he is no stranger to the genre, and credits comic books for turning him on to the world of Steampunk. “Most of the Steampunk stuff I know and love comes from comics. At first it was just from following my favorite artists, but eventually I began to actively look for Steampunk (or Steampunk influenced) comics.”
Garrett was commissioned to create several original works of Steampunk art featuring goggles for a marketing campaign. With the style up to him, Garrett had to think carefully about his approach. “I couldn’t decide if I was going to make a comic or go the illustration route. Finally, I decided to do separate illustrations and came up with the first few just using my own imagination.”
To find inspiration he decided to go back to what had attracted him to Steampunk in the first place – Comics. “My number one Steampunk influence is an artist named Chris Bachalo, who actually drew a comic called Steampunk back in the early 2000’s. I didn’t know what Steampunk was before that, and I didn’t know that he was drawing in a Steampunk style. He always puts an incredible amount of detail in his work, and detail is something the whole Steampunk genre is known for.”
That detail was an exciting challenge for Garrett as he set about creating the pieces. “I’ll tell you, it wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be! There’s an incredible amount of detail in these goggles!” A pair of brass colored Steampunk goggles with studs in particular proved a challenge to capture. Through it all Garrett kept one thing in mind, “To me the important thing was that these goggles look COOL. That’s what I always thought when reading the comics or seeing the artwork and cosplay in the Steampunk genre. I wanted to make sure that I conveyed that in the work I created.” The final piece of the puzzle was choosing the right medium, “I used 3D techniques to create all of my Steampunk illustrations. I also hand-drawcomics and illustrations, so it’s kind of a toss-up which technique I’ll go for. This time I decided I could best capture the look and feel of the goggles with 3D artwork.”
The art went through a series of changes before being finalized, “Everyone in the campaign saw the first ones, some suggestions were made and I reworked a few things to better promote the site. Sometimes when I’m working on a piece just for myself, I might let some things go. I may say “that’s good enough”. The opposite is true when working on an image for a client. Sometimes no matter how much detail or work I put into it, it’s NEVER good enough for me, but eventually you have to stop somewhere…”
Whether working for himself or hard at work for a client Garrett is passionate about his art and in the end it’s a labor of love, “Setting up the scene and the materials, then setting the lighting, and finally doing the render (which can take hours) is a long process, but the results are something that I can really be proud of.”