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Lovelin & Grr Illustration  

For those who do not know about you, tell us who you are and what you do?

Hi there, my name is Gavin Rutherford, I’m a freelance illustrator, graphics & pattern designer based in the fantastic studios down in Edinburgh’s Coburg House. Fineliner in hand, my drawings combine intricate line-work and delicate details to produce unique pen illustrations of flowers, forests and curious critters. I’m a country boy at heart, having grown up on a farm in a wee Fife village called Star (Yes. It is a real place), so it’s really no surprise that nature would take such a prominent place in my art.

It might have started with a little doodle but when did you first discover that you had a talent for art?

I was going to try and make a conscious effort to not use any cliches but……..I can’t really remember a time when I wasn’t drawing. When I was little I was definitely more craft orientated, I didn’t really play with toys, but I loved to create, build and make things. I liked to draw dinosaurs. A lot. An awful lot. And that slowly developed into other non-dinosaur related drawings. And some of them turned out to be ok…... 20 years later and I’m still drawing….. and some of them are still turning out to be ok.

Can you give us an insight into your style an what pushed you in that direction?

My work is predominantly black and white, and typically makes use of fine lines and intricate pattern work. I’ve always had an almost obsessive compulsion to fill up blank spaces. it usually involved inadvertently covering my sketchbooks with absent minded doodles, nonsense ramblings and abstract patterns. During my time at university, I had a habit of overworking my ideas or drawings, but when I started to introduce these intricate little patterns and doodles to my designs, I realised I could take that bad habit and turn it into a strength. Overworking my illustrations has effectively become my style.

Illustration, Graphic design & Pattern design are all services that you provide but if you really had to stick to one for the rest of your career which you pick and why?

Definitely Illustration, If I had to. I basically enjoy creativity in any form, but drawing has always been the most relaxing and therapeutic for me. In truth though, I love variety. Working in these three areas means that I’m rarely bored. A lot of the skills needed are interchangeable but each discipline requires a slightly different approach, Graphic Design typically challenges the problem solver in me, whereas illustrating and pattern design allow me to be more abstract and experimental. I like having my creative cake and easting it too.

If you had to pick on from all of your past works which would you say was your favourite/most interesting piece?

I should probably warn you in advance, but here is cliche number two. My favourite project so far has probably been this one (ahem)….for a number of reasons. Firstly, researching and drawing otters is quite a nice way for me to spend my time, and it gave me an excellent excuse to go and see some at the local Zoo. Secondly, I think the message behind the drawing is hugely important. Most people come face to face with Mental Health at some point in their life, whether it be through a friend, a family member or themselves. To produce something that raises awareness of the support systems that exist out there means a lot to me

The absolutely adorable design you produced for our Samh campaign features two otters holding hands could you tell us a little more of you thinking behind the design?

For sufferers of Mental Illness, I know how important it is to simply be there to support someone. Words are not always needed, just your presence. I feel like this design illustrates that concept in a simple, yet effective way. Holding hands is the most instinctual way to show that you are there for someone, to show that you are with them. It conveys support in it’s most primitive form. Mental Illness isn’t always logical, and it can’t always be reasoned with using words, but simply being there for someone in need can mean more to that person than you could ever possibly know. I’ll admit it's a strange juxtaposition of cute imagery, with a very profound underlying message, but that was always the intention, it catches the audience off-guard.

(Design available from the 23rd of May till the 31st of May then gone forever.)

We like to end our interviews with a little bit of silliness so.... If you could be part of any tv show which would it be?

I instinctively want to say ‘Lost’ purely because (barring the last few seasons) it was one of my favourite shows, but I’m also completely aware that I would die almost immediately due to lack of food/closure of plot points. So in that case I’ll say Flight of The Conchords. It would allow me to live out two of my favourite dreams 1) Actually being able to sing/play any musical instrument 2) Actually being funny. 

Getting Social.