Today we’d like to introduce you to David Gacey.
Every artist has a unique story. Can you briefly walk us through yours?
If I’m being honest, my story has two driving forces. If my artwork were the boat I had to travel in. Death would be the waters that push the boat I’ve experienced a lot of loss in my life, and my artwork was what helped me through a lot of tough times.
Please tell us about your art.
I call myself an illustrator, a cartoonist, a comic book artist. I guess those are all different ways of calling myself a storyteller. I love all aspects of the creating process when it comes to worlds, or stories, or character development. Comic books seem to be what I keep going back to for my storytelling outlet.
I tend to switch between traditional tools like pen, pencils, paints, etc., and digital programs like Manga Studio. It all really depends on what I’m seeking for the final result. I’ve seemed to turn towards my traditional tools for things like my sketchbook, concept art, and for projects that my tablet can’t handle at the current moment.
Why I create the art that I do is such a great question. What drives me these days have matured as I’ve grown older. Drawing is something I’ve always done. I think my young ambition is what drove me to create for a long time. At least through college. I always dreamed of my art carrying me to the ideal life of riches and fame. Now I find myself creating art as a means of therapy. I’ve got to tell stories. I have to get these creations out of my head. Art is something I don’t think I could quit if I tried (believe me I have.)
My inspirations are all over the place. I find myself these days, going back to what inspired me in the past. Shows, comics, music, and entertainment that was such an amazing fire for me in the past. I find myself delving back into all of that, to find that intense inspiration. Artistically, I look to a lot of art of books. Books like The Art of Big Hero 6 or The Book of Life are amazing sources of inspiration. I would say that James O’ Barr, the creator of The Crow was very influential on my art. The Crow itself was very cathartic for me, for a big part of my life. I also draw a lot of inspiration from horror and the macabre. I like both of those genres because you can tell any type of story. I’ve also grown up on Freddy Krueger since I was a child.
I’m still working on my message. I want people to be entertained. I want to take things that people would find dark or not funny, and put a spin on it so that people can find humor in the darkness. I’ve had a lot of things happen in my life where I should have been consumed by the darkness, but I found humor or some other way to look at it. My brother was murdered when I was thirteen. I watched my dad take his last physical breath as he passed from liver failure. I’ve been homeless three times in California. You don’t go through that many things, and not come out with a twisted sense of humor and different look at the world and life.
I had someone buy my book, Koffin Kids. His response to the book was the best thing I could have heard, and in a single moment made me realize the purpose of my art. His quote was along the lines of, “This is the book I wish I had when my best friend as a kid died.”. That is what I want from my art. To have my work create that feeling in people is all I want.
As an artist, how do you define success and what quality or characteristic do you feel is essential to success as an artist?
I used to think you were successful as an artist if you didn’t have to work a ‘real’ job along with your art job. I always thought if you had a bunch of money in the bank, and a bunch of credits, you were successful.
I honestly think the bar of success should be set by each person. Today, I look at what I’ve done and if I passed away tomorrow, I would be alright with my art career. I would consider myself a success in that sense. People should set the bar where they feel it should be. My idea of success is not that same as the next artist. I have a friend who would love nothing more than to be a sketch card artist. When that day comes, I would consider him successful.
Success by other people’s standards is a fail in my book. Sure you can go to bed with all kinds of achievements in the worlds eye, but not be satisfied as a creator, you could call that being successful. Or you can go to bed with a piece of mind about the work that put into the world and is able to sleep knowing you met your own goals. I’ll take the later.
I think work ethic and passion above everything will get you where you want. There are so many artists in the world, the thing that separates those who dream, and those who achieve, is the fact that they put in the work. You can be the next legend of your craft, only if you put in the work.
How or where can people see your work? How can people support your work?
My personal website has links to all of my social media, stores and such, www.mrgacey.com. I tend to mostly be active on Instagram (@whoisgacey) and Twitter (@mrgacey). I tried to be on every social media platform but always found myself going back to Instagram. Eventually, all of these are going to cycle into new platforms, so my personal website is always the best way to keep up with me.
- Website: www.mrgacey.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: whoisgacey
- Twitter: mrgacey