Rich Gemmell: Falls

Released Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Falls, by Rich Gemmell.
15% of the sale of this print goes to Transportation Alternatives.

Rich Gemmell lives in a small, sleepy village in the Cambridgeshire countryside. He has been working as a freelance illustrator for three years, and has exhibited his work around the UK. He also sells prints directly from his website. Rich comes from a fine art and printmaking background, and spent most of his early creative years in school art studios printing, drawing, and painting. Later, he dabbled in animation, and then spent five years studying graphic design and illustration.

About the print:
Falls was inspired by a recent trip around Scotland. There were white water rapids at the base of Ben Nevis and some kayakers were throwing themselves down the falls. It was very narrow and deep but extremely beautiful and picturesque. I developed this piece with Transportation Alternatives in mind, because I love the idea of this being someone's morning route to work.

This is a digital print on acid free, Neenah uncoated matte 100lb cover paper that is 80% recycled. It was digitally signed by the artist and was numbered by The Working Proof. The original artwork was made of a mixture of pencil line, ink washes, and digital elements.


What is your process?
An idea for a piece is usually born in one of my doodle-filled sketchbooks. I try to take a sketchbook or small journal everywhere I go so that I can doodle or write down an idea as soon as it hits. I then work up an image into a rough sketch and use tracing paper or vellum to work the sketch into more defined lines, after which I add ink and graphite. Finally, I scan it into my Mac where I add some colour and hand made textures and play with the composition until I'm happy with it.

What has inspired you recently?
I love seeing and traveling to new places. I recently toured Scotland with my girlfriend, and that was hugely inspirational. From these travels, I developed a series of six images based on the Scottish landscape. I have also recently travelled up the west coast of America and across France. Music also plays a huge part in my life. Songs - and films, books, wildlife, and different cultures - have inspired much of my artwork. Inspiration comes from all over the place.

Why did you choose to pair Transportation Alternatives with your prints?
Falls was made with Transportation Alternatives in mind - instead of traffic jams and exhaust fumes, the man is traveling to work down the river in an environmentally friendly kayak.

How have you seen art transform the world around you?
When I tell people about what I do, they rarely understand until they've seen my work, and then their reactions differ. Some are indifferent and some are genuinely interested to hear how you made it. It upsets me when someone asks why I don't have a real job or can't understand that you can actually make a living drawing pictures. Some see it as a lazy and selfish pursuit, but in truth, it's a hard living to make. You really have to work for it. Luckily, the Internet makes it easier than ever to get your work seen.

If you could pick one artist to mentor you, who would it be?
That's a tough question. I will say Hergé - his work always inspired me as a kid, and now as an adult I can really appreciate his strong and pioneering illustration style and his wonderful storytelling abilities.

Who are some artists you think people should know about?
I'm sure that a lot of people already know of these artists, but I will say: Jon Klassen, Josh Cochran, Jillian Tamaki, Lizzie Stewart, Carson Ellis, and Nigel Peake.

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