1. Ola! Could you kindly introduce yourself and tell us where your from?
Hello! My name is Gavin Strange and I’m originally from Leicester, in the midlands but I now call Bristol home, and I wouldn’t wanna be anywhere else!
2. How did you come up with the name Jam Factory? 
Haha, well, I desperately wanted a ‘cool’ alter ego when I was first starting out, trying to do my own thing in my own time. I racked and racked my brains but couldn’t think of anything. My boss at the time suggested I register a domain name to start playing online, putting my work online so I just randomly searched for “Jam… Factory” - the domain name was available and that was that!
3. What kind of creative endeavours did you get up to whilst in Leicester? 
A bit of everything! mostly web design and graphic design but also filming & editing skate videos, learning how to paint and experiment with photography. I liked to dabble in a bit of everything, whatever I could get my hands on!




4. Where did you learn your skills as a graphic/ web designer? 
I studied Graphic Design at my local college back home in Leicester but then I joined a small design agency soon after (I didnt go to Uni) where I was taught the ways of being a Web designer. In my own time I practised photography, video editing, painting and everything in between. I just kept on learning as much as I can in my own time and that’s pretty much what I’ve been doing ever since!
5. When did you first get into making stuff? 
I’ve always doodled but have always been rubbish at making stuff with my hands. I started trying to figure out how to paint when I was about 18 and am still figuring it out now. I can’t paint in the traditional sense, I just draw monsters and creatures really, nothing special. I’m incredibly impatient and if it doesn’t start looking how I imagine, I get frustrated pretty quickly! It’s only in these last few years, living with artist Richt, that I’ve learnt alot about techniques and got a bit better.

6. How did you land the job as senior designer at Aardman?
Luck! I was freelance for 4 years, working under the alias of JamFactory. I worked in Leicester and then moved to Bristol, where I signed up to the local media network “Bristol Media”. I’m glad I did, as 4 weeks later I had an email drop in my inbox with the subject “Hello from Aardman!” - I was offered some freelance work on a project for Channel4, which lasted 6 months. Just as the project was coming to an end the position of Senior Designer came up and I got the job. That was nearly 3 years ago now and I’ve never looked back, it’s a dream job!
7. What’s an average day at Aardman like? 
Start the day with a tea. Check my schedule for what I’m doing for the day. Have a chat with the producer and then get on with it. Fire up Photoshop, illustrator & Spotify, pop my headphones on and I’m away! Stop regularly to have tea and a natter about something silly. Basically, I colour in all day long and drink lots of tea and listen to lot of music to help me do it!
8. What’s your favourite type of tea?
Clipper Organic Fair Trade tea. Not only is it good for you, its good for the earth and the packaging is beautiful!
9. What interests you in fixed gear bikes, is it the simplicity? 
Yeap, the sheer simplicity of the machine and the aesthetic. I love that there are absolutely no unnecessary parts on it, no clunky extra clips or bits or anything like that, just pure streamlined componants. I also love the freedom you have to really make it your own too, there’s an infinite number of ways you can stylise your ride and I love that!
10. What kind of stuff goes on in Bristol for the fixed gear scene?
The Bristol scene is really healthy, full of a huge variety of people of all ages, backgrounds and interests, all coming together just because they love riding. No bullshit, no cliques, just people with a common interest!

11. When did you get involved in skateboarding? 
I was a late starter with skating, I didnt start until I was about 18 which is the reason I never progressed to be any good! I still loved it though but got too attached and would get really frustrated when I couldnt learn a trick. I lost count of the number of boards I snapped because I got mad with myself! I skated until I was about 25 then got into riding my bike, which felt more rewarding and had the dual purpose of being transport (you can’t really skate up the hills of Bristol!)
12. Who is Shirley Creamhorn? 
She’s a vinyl toy of mine, a partnership with Columbian sculptor Alex Avelino who brought my sketch to life! The name actually comes from a good friend of mine back in Leicester, who I worked with when I was a wee 17 year old as a junior designer. Not sure how but my friend Andy gave me the alter ego of ‘Shirley Creamhorn’ and it’s stuck, so I decided to use that name and bring Shirley to life!
13. How did you get involved with Crazylabel? 
I just happened to send them an email! A friend online recommended I contact them, as they thought my monsters would be up their alley - so I gave it a shot and just dropped them an email, saying I love what they do and I’d love to perhaps make a toy. They got back to me the same day, said they liked my stuff and lets do it, lets make a toy. I couldnt believe it happened so quick - it was definitely right place, right time!




14. What have you enjoyed about working on Droplets?
Everything! Being involved with so many talented and creative people for the launch of the 2nd series was fantastic. I was overwhelmed by the sheer kindness of so many folk who helped me out in so many ways for the big launch, that was really humbling.
15. What are the plans for Boikzmoind? 
To get it finished!! I’m recording interviews at the moment with riders from the scene of all different backgrounds, which will provide the backbone of the film, being the narrative that takes you through. I’m hoping to get it finished by Spring/Summer next year and released online for free as well as producing a lovely digital hardcopy complete with photobook!




16. What makes Bristol a good place to take photographs? 
It’s just such a beautiful City! From the Georgian architecture to Isambard Kingdom Brunel’s Suspension Bridge and SS Great Britain, there’s all sorts of things to take photographs of and always something new to find!
17. What’s your favourite lens to shoot with? 
Hmmmm, either my 50mm f1.8 prime lens which gives a lovely short depth of field that makes everything very filmic, or my Sigma Fisheye which gives everything a distinctive look. They have their different uses though too, fisheye is great for parties and things like that, where you can get lots of people in and capture the spirit of the night whereas the 1.8 lens is a lot more ‘serious’
18. How has having your own website benefited your freelance work? 
Just simply being able to get my work out there, available for all to see. I’ve had my site online (I just checked this) for nearly 10 years now (9 years 9 months!) and its enabled me to keep up as the internet world emerged and get my stuff out there!
19. Who are some of your favourite artists? 
The list seems to change almost daily but my current favourites: McBess, Dieter Rams, Mark Ryden, Another Example, Mike Giant, Matthew Lyons, JP Vine to name but a few!




20. You’ve done talks at Apple stores, tell us how this came about? 
A good friend of mine, Jon McGovern, works at the Apple Store in Birmingham and one day he called me up and suggested I do a talk about my work. I was honoured, I’d done some small scale talks but jumped at the chance and absolutely loved it, that lead to me taking the same talk to the Leicester, Bristol and flagship London Regent Street store! I did a 2nd talk about Droplets earlier this year at the Regent Street store again and would like to continue doing them next year. Im working on my own iPad/iPhone game at the moment so I’d like to do a talk about that!
21. I bet you were really stoked to be featured in some top design magazines!?
Yeah definitely, it’s a real honour to be in magazines and I’m very grateful to the ones that have featured my work!
22. Why did you decide to create the collaborative group Xynthetic? 
Well, noone had asked me to be in their ‘crew’, so I thought I would start my own! It was me and my good friends who work I really admired and it all went from there. It’s gone quiet a bit now, because we’re all grown up and everyone’s very busy (and I let the domain name expire by accident) but I hope to kick start it again in the new year!




23. What kind of feedback did you get from the Anyforty t-shirt collaboration?
Good feedback, which was nice! I’m friends with Al (Wardle, the man behind AnyForty) because he used to be Art Editor of Computer Arts Projects magazine and I’ve worked with him quite alot over the years on various illustrations for the mag and even a cover illy too, so it was nice that he asked me to create something for the AnyForty family! We’re going to work together again next year on something new for the brand too!
24. Do you see any of your products becoming more than a hobby? 
I dont know really, I’m not sure where things like Shirley Creamhorn, Droplets and t-shirts etc could lead me. I certainly couldnt live off them alone and wouldnt want to try but you never know where things may lead. If there’s anything I’ve learnt then you never know whats around the corner and what opportunities will arise!
25. What kind of tunes are you into? 
A bit of just about everything! From Metal to Motown, Underground hip-hop to old-school dance music, full-on orchesta’s to acoustic singer songwriters, I like most stuff except everything in the charts, because that’s just all a pile of shit :)

26. What projects have you got planned for the near future? 
First, I want to complete my bike film ‘Boikzmoind’ because that’s a big project I need to focus on and really want to do it right. I’ve got alot of ideas scribbled down in my sketchbook that I’d like to bring to life and a few wee secret projects on the boil, so my 2011 will be pretty busy im sure of it :)
27. Finally thanks so much for taking the time to answer the questions! Is their anything you’d like to add? 
I’ll leave you on a fantastic quote I heard whilst watching a talk by the great comedic genius John Cleese, who simply said “We do not get ideas from our laptops”.
To play the awesome 8-bit Droplet game click, HERE.
Name: Gavin StrangeWebsite: www.jam-factory.comContact: gav@jam-factory.com
Interviewer: Aaron KeoghFlickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/36062242@N02/

1. Ola! Could you kindly introduce yourself and tell us where your from?

Hello! My name is Gavin Strange and I’m originally from Leicester, in the midlands but I now call Bristol home, and I wouldn’t wanna be anywhere else!

2. How did you come up with the name Jam Factory?

Haha, well, I desperately wanted a ‘cool’ alter ego when I was first starting out, trying to do my own thing in my own time. I racked and racked my brains but couldn’t think of anything. My boss at the time suggested I register a domain name to start playing online, putting my work online so I just randomly searched for “Jam… Factory” - the domain name was available and that was that!

3. What kind of creative endeavours did you get up to whilst in Leicester?

A bit of everything! mostly web design and graphic design but also filming & editing skate videos, learning how to paint and experiment with photography. I liked to dabble in a bit of everything, whatever I could get my hands on!

4. Where did you learn your skills as a graphic/ web designer?

I studied Graphic Design at my local college back home in Leicester but then I joined a small design agency soon after (I didnt go to Uni) where I was taught the ways of being a Web designer. In my own time I practised photography, video editing, painting and everything in between. I just kept on learning as much as I can in my own time and that’s pretty much what I’ve been doing ever since!

5. When did you first get into making stuff?

I’ve always doodled but have always been rubbish at making stuff with my hands. I started trying to figure out how to paint when I was about 18 and am still figuring it out now. I can’t paint in the traditional sense, I just draw monsters and creatures really, nothing special. I’m incredibly impatient and if it doesn’t start looking how I imagine, I get frustrated pretty quickly! It’s only in these last few years, living with artist Richt, that I’ve learnt alot about techniques and got a bit better.

Jam Factory

6. How did you land the job as senior designer at Aardman?

Luck! I was freelance for 4 years, working under the alias of JamFactory. I worked in Leicester and then moved to Bristol, where I signed up to the local media network “Bristol Media”. I’m glad I did, as 4 weeks later I had an email drop in my inbox with the subject “Hello from Aardman!” - I was offered some freelance work on a project for Channel4, which lasted 6 months. Just as the project was coming to an end the position of Senior Designer came up and I got the job. That was nearly 3 years ago now and I’ve never looked back, it’s a dream job!

7. What’s an average day at Aardman like? 

Start the day with a tea. Check my schedule for what I’m doing for the day. Have a chat with the producer and then get on with it. Fire up Photoshop, illustrator & Spotify, pop my headphones on and I’m away! Stop regularly to have tea and a natter about something silly. Basically, I colour in all day long and drink lots of tea and listen to lot of music to help me do it!

8. What’s your favourite type of tea?

Clipper Organic Fair Trade tea. Not only is it good for you, its good for the earth and the packaging is beautiful!

9. What interests you in fixed gear bikes, is it the simplicity?

Yeap, the sheer simplicity of the machine and the aesthetic. I love that there are absolutely no unnecessary parts on it, no clunky extra clips or bits or anything like that, just pure streamlined componants. I also love the freedom you have to really make it your own too, there’s an infinite number of ways you can stylise your ride and I love that!

10. What kind of stuff goes on in Bristol for the fixed gear scene?

The Bristol scene is really healthy, full of a huge variety of people of all ages, backgrounds and interests, all coming together just because they love riding. No bullshit, no cliques, just people with a common interest!

Jam Factory

11. When did you get involved in skateboarding?

I was a late starter with skating, I didnt start until I was about 18 which is the reason I never progressed to be any good! I still loved it though but got too attached and would get really frustrated when I couldnt learn a trick. I lost count of the number of boards I snapped because I got mad with myself! I skated until I was about 25 then got into riding my bike, which felt more rewarding and had the dual purpose of being transport (you can’t really skate up the hills of Bristol!)

12. Who is Shirley Creamhorn?

She’s a vinyl toy of mine, a partnership with Columbian sculptor Alex Avelino who brought my sketch to life! The name actually comes from a good friend of mine back in Leicester, who I worked with when I was a wee 17 year old as a junior designer. Not sure how but my friend Andy gave me the alter ego of ‘Shirley Creamhorn’ and it’s stuck, so I decided to use that name and bring Shirley to life!

13. How did you get involved with Crazylabel?

I just happened to send them an email! A friend online recommended I contact them, as they thought my monsters would be up their alley - so I gave it a shot and just dropped them an email, saying I love what they do and I’d love to perhaps make a toy. They got back to me the same day, said they liked my stuff and lets do it, lets make a toy. I couldnt believe it happened so quick - it was definitely right place, right time!

14. What have you enjoyed about working on Droplets?

Everything! Being involved with so many talented and creative people for the launch of the 2nd series was fantastic. I was overwhelmed by the sheer kindness of so many folk who helped me out in so many ways for the big launch, that was really humbling.

15. What are the plans for Boikzmoind?

To get it finished!! I’m recording interviews at the moment with riders from the scene of all different backgrounds, which will provide the backbone of the film, being the narrative that takes you through. I’m hoping to get it finished by Spring/Summer next year and released online for free as well as producing a lovely digital hardcopy complete with photobook!

16. What makes Bristol a good place to take photographs?

It’s just such a beautiful City! From the Georgian architecture to Isambard Kingdom Brunel’s Suspension Bridge and SS Great Britain, there’s all sorts of things to take photographs of and always something new to find!

17. What’s your favourite lens to shoot with?

Hmmmm, either my 50mm f1.8 prime lens which gives a lovely short depth of field that makes everything very filmic, or my Sigma Fisheye which gives everything a distinctive look. They have their different uses though too, fisheye is great for parties and things like that, where you can get lots of people in and capture the spirit of the night whereas the 1.8 lens is a lot more ‘serious’

18. How has having your own website benefited your freelance work?

Just simply being able to get my work out there, available for all to see. I’ve had my site online (I just checked this) for nearly 10 years now (9 years 9 months!) and its enabled me to keep up as the internet world emerged and get my stuff out there!

19. Who are some of your favourite artists?

The list seems to change almost daily but my current favourites: McBess, Dieter Rams, Mark Ryden, Another Example, Mike Giant, Matthew Lyons, JP Vine to name but a few!

20. You’ve done talks at Apple stores, tell us how this came about?

A good friend of mine, Jon McGovern, works at the Apple Store in Birmingham and one day he called me up and suggested I do a talk about my work. I was honoured, I’d done some small scale talks but jumped at the chance and absolutely loved it, that lead to me taking the same talk to the Leicester, Bristol and flagship London Regent Street store! I did a 2nd talk about Droplets earlier this year at the Regent Street store again and would like to continue doing them next year. Im working on my own iPad/iPhone game at the moment so I’d like to do a talk about that!

21. I bet you were really stoked to be featured in some top design magazines!?

Yeah definitely, it’s a real honour to be in magazines and I’m very grateful to the ones that have featured my work!

22. Why did you decide to create the collaborative group Xynthetic?

Well, noone had asked me to be in their ‘crew’, so I thought I would start my own! It was me and my good friends who work I really admired and it all went from there. It’s gone quiet a bit now, because we’re all grown up and everyone’s very busy (and I let the domain name expire by accident) but I hope to kick start it again in the new year!

23. What kind of feedback did you get from the Anyforty t-shirt collaboration?

Good feedback, which was nice! I’m friends with Al (Wardle, the man behind AnyForty) because he used to be Art Editor of Computer Arts Projects magazine and I’ve worked with him quite alot over the years on various illustrations for the mag and even a cover illy too, so it was nice that he asked me to create something for the AnyForty family! We’re going to work together again next year on something new for the brand too!

24. Do you see any of your products becoming more than a hobby?

I dont know really, I’m not sure where things like Shirley Creamhorn, Droplets and t-shirts etc could lead me. I certainly couldnt live off them alone and wouldnt want to try but you never know where things may lead. If there’s anything I’ve learnt then you never know whats around the corner and what opportunities will arise!

25. What kind of tunes are you into?

A bit of just about everything! From Metal to Motown, Underground hip-hop to old-school dance music, full-on orchesta’s to acoustic singer songwriters, I like most stuff except everything in the charts, because that’s just all a pile of shit :)

Jam Factory

26. What projects have you got planned for the near future?

First, I want to complete my bike film ‘Boikzmoind’ because that’s a big project I need to focus on and really want to do it right. I’ve got alot of ideas scribbled down in my sketchbook that I’d like to bring to life and a few wee secret projects on the boil, so my 2011 will be pretty busy im sure of it :)

27. Finally thanks so much for taking the time to answer the questions! Is their anything you’d like to add?

I’ll leave you on a fantastic quote I heard whilst watching a talk by the great comedic genius John Cleese, who simply said “We do not get ideas from our laptops”.

To play the awesome 8-bit Droplet game click, HERE.

Name: Gavin Strange
Website: www.jam-factory.com
Contact: 
gav@jam-factory.com

Interviewer: Aaron Keogh
Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/36062242@N02/

Lolli_Watch

1. Ola! Could you kindly introduce yourself and tell us where your from?
Hello! My name is Gavin Strange and I’m originally from Leicester, in the midlands but I now call Bristol home, and I wouldn’t wanna be anywhere else!
2. How did you come up with the name Jam Factory? 
Haha, well, I desperately wanted a ‘cool’ alter ego when I was first starting out, trying to do my own thing in my own time. I racked and racked my brains but couldn’t think of anything. My boss at the time suggested I register a domain name to start playing online, putting my work online so I just randomly searched for “Jam… Factory” - the domain name was available and that was that!
3. What kind of creative endeavours did you get up to whilst in Leicester? 
A bit of everything! mostly web design and graphic design but also filming & editing skate videos, learning how to paint and experiment with photography. I liked to dabble in a bit of everything, whatever I could get my hands on!




4. Where did you learn your skills as a graphic/ web designer? 
I studied Graphic Design at my local college back home in Leicester but then I joined a small design agency soon after (I didnt go to Uni) where I was taught the ways of being a Web designer. In my own time I practised photography, video editing, painting and everything in between. I just kept on learning as much as I can in my own time and that’s pretty much what I’ve been doing ever since!
5. When did you first get into making stuff? 
I’ve always doodled but have always been rubbish at making stuff with my hands. I started trying to figure out how to paint when I was about 18 and am still figuring it out now. I can’t paint in the traditional sense, I just draw monsters and creatures really, nothing special. I’m incredibly impatient and if it doesn’t start looking how I imagine, I get frustrated pretty quickly! It’s only in these last few years, living with artist Richt, that I’ve learnt alot about techniques and got a bit better.

6. How did you land the job as senior designer at Aardman?
Luck! I was freelance for 4 years, working under the alias of JamFactory. I worked in Leicester and then moved to Bristol, where I signed up to the local media network “Bristol Media”. I’m glad I did, as 4 weeks later I had an email drop in my inbox with the subject “Hello from Aardman!” - I was offered some freelance work on a project for Channel4, which lasted 6 months. Just as the project was coming to an end the position of Senior Designer came up and I got the job. That was nearly 3 years ago now and I’ve never looked back, it’s a dream job!
7. What’s an average day at Aardman like? 
Start the day with a tea. Check my schedule for what I’m doing for the day. Have a chat with the producer and then get on with it. Fire up Photoshop, illustrator & Spotify, pop my headphones on and I’m away! Stop regularly to have tea and a natter about something silly. Basically, I colour in all day long and drink lots of tea and listen to lot of music to help me do it!
8. What’s your favourite type of tea?
Clipper Organic Fair Trade tea. Not only is it good for you, its good for the earth and the packaging is beautiful!
9. What interests you in fixed gear bikes, is it the simplicity? 
Yeap, the sheer simplicity of the machine and the aesthetic. I love that there are absolutely no unnecessary parts on it, no clunky extra clips or bits or anything like that, just pure streamlined componants. I also love the freedom you have to really make it your own too, there’s an infinite number of ways you can stylise your ride and I love that!
10. What kind of stuff goes on in Bristol for the fixed gear scene?
The Bristol scene is really healthy, full of a huge variety of people of all ages, backgrounds and interests, all coming together just because they love riding. No bullshit, no cliques, just people with a common interest!

11. When did you get involved in skateboarding? 
I was a late starter with skating, I didnt start until I was about 18 which is the reason I never progressed to be any good! I still loved it though but got too attached and would get really frustrated when I couldnt learn a trick. I lost count of the number of boards I snapped because I got mad with myself! I skated until I was about 25 then got into riding my bike, which felt more rewarding and had the dual purpose of being transport (you can’t really skate up the hills of Bristol!)
12. Who is Shirley Creamhorn? 
She’s a vinyl toy of mine, a partnership with Columbian sculptor Alex Avelino who brought my sketch to life! The name actually comes from a good friend of mine back in Leicester, who I worked with when I was a wee 17 year old as a junior designer. Not sure how but my friend Andy gave me the alter ego of ‘Shirley Creamhorn’ and it’s stuck, so I decided to use that name and bring Shirley to life!
13. How did you get involved with Crazylabel? 
I just happened to send them an email! A friend online recommended I contact them, as they thought my monsters would be up their alley - so I gave it a shot and just dropped them an email, saying I love what they do and I’d love to perhaps make a toy. They got back to me the same day, said they liked my stuff and lets do it, lets make a toy. I couldnt believe it happened so quick - it was definitely right place, right time!




14. What have you enjoyed about working on Droplets?
Everything! Being involved with so many talented and creative people for the launch of the 2nd series was fantastic. I was overwhelmed by the sheer kindness of so many folk who helped me out in so many ways for the big launch, that was really humbling.
15. What are the plans for Boikzmoind? 
To get it finished!! I’m recording interviews at the moment with riders from the scene of all different backgrounds, which will provide the backbone of the film, being the narrative that takes you through. I’m hoping to get it finished by Spring/Summer next year and released online for free as well as producing a lovely digital hardcopy complete with photobook!




16. What makes Bristol a good place to take photographs? 
It’s just such a beautiful City! From the Georgian architecture to Isambard Kingdom Brunel’s Suspension Bridge and SS Great Britain, there’s all sorts of things to take photographs of and always something new to find!
17. What’s your favourite lens to shoot with? 
Hmmmm, either my 50mm f1.8 prime lens which gives a lovely short depth of field that makes everything very filmic, or my Sigma Fisheye which gives everything a distinctive look. They have their different uses though too, fisheye is great for parties and things like that, where you can get lots of people in and capture the spirit of the night whereas the 1.8 lens is a lot more ‘serious’
18. How has having your own website benefited your freelance work? 
Just simply being able to get my work out there, available for all to see. I’ve had my site online (I just checked this) for nearly 10 years now (9 years 9 months!) and its enabled me to keep up as the internet world emerged and get my stuff out there!
19. Who are some of your favourite artists? 
The list seems to change almost daily but my current favourites: McBess, Dieter Rams, Mark Ryden, Another Example, Mike Giant, Matthew Lyons, JP Vine to name but a few!




20. You’ve done talks at Apple stores, tell us how this came about? 
A good friend of mine, Jon McGovern, works at the Apple Store in Birmingham and one day he called me up and suggested I do a talk about my work. I was honoured, I’d done some small scale talks but jumped at the chance and absolutely loved it, that lead to me taking the same talk to the Leicester, Bristol and flagship London Regent Street store! I did a 2nd talk about Droplets earlier this year at the Regent Street store again and would like to continue doing them next year. Im working on my own iPad/iPhone game at the moment so I’d like to do a talk about that!
21. I bet you were really stoked to be featured in some top design magazines!?
Yeah definitely, it’s a real honour to be in magazines and I’m very grateful to the ones that have featured my work!
22. Why did you decide to create the collaborative group Xynthetic? 
Well, noone had asked me to be in their ‘crew’, so I thought I would start my own! It was me and my good friends who work I really admired and it all went from there. It’s gone quiet a bit now, because we’re all grown up and everyone’s very busy (and I let the domain name expire by accident) but I hope to kick start it again in the new year!




23. What kind of feedback did you get from the Anyforty t-shirt collaboration?
Good feedback, which was nice! I’m friends with Al (Wardle, the man behind AnyForty) because he used to be Art Editor of Computer Arts Projects magazine and I’ve worked with him quite alot over the years on various illustrations for the mag and even a cover illy too, so it was nice that he asked me to create something for the AnyForty family! We’re going to work together again next year on something new for the brand too!
24. Do you see any of your products becoming more than a hobby? 
I dont know really, I’m not sure where things like Shirley Creamhorn, Droplets and t-shirts etc could lead me. I certainly couldnt live off them alone and wouldnt want to try but you never know where things may lead. If there’s anything I’ve learnt then you never know whats around the corner and what opportunities will arise!
25. What kind of tunes are you into? 
A bit of just about everything! From Metal to Motown, Underground hip-hop to old-school dance music, full-on orchesta’s to acoustic singer songwriters, I like most stuff except everything in the charts, because that’s just all a pile of shit :)

26. What projects have you got planned for the near future? 
First, I want to complete my bike film ‘Boikzmoind’ because that’s a big project I need to focus on and really want to do it right. I’ve got alot of ideas scribbled down in my sketchbook that I’d like to bring to life and a few wee secret projects on the boil, so my 2011 will be pretty busy im sure of it :)
27. Finally thanks so much for taking the time to answer the questions! Is their anything you’d like to add? 
I’ll leave you on a fantastic quote I heard whilst watching a talk by the great comedic genius John Cleese, who simply said “We do not get ideas from our laptops”.
To play the awesome 8-bit Droplet game click, HERE.
Name: Gavin StrangeWebsite: www.jam-factory.comContact: gav@jam-factory.com
Interviewer: Aaron KeoghFlickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/36062242@N02/

1. Ola! Could you kindly introduce yourself and tell us where your from?

Hello! My name is Gavin Strange and I’m originally from Leicester, in the midlands but I now call Bristol home, and I wouldn’t wanna be anywhere else!

2. How did you come up with the name Jam Factory?

Haha, well, I desperately wanted a ‘cool’ alter ego when I was first starting out, trying to do my own thing in my own time. I racked and racked my brains but couldn’t think of anything. My boss at the time suggested I register a domain name to start playing online, putting my work online so I just randomly searched for “Jam… Factory” - the domain name was available and that was that!

3. What kind of creative endeavours did you get up to whilst in Leicester?

A bit of everything! mostly web design and graphic design but also filming & editing skate videos, learning how to paint and experiment with photography. I liked to dabble in a bit of everything, whatever I could get my hands on!

4. Where did you learn your skills as a graphic/ web designer?

I studied Graphic Design at my local college back home in Leicester but then I joined a small design agency soon after (I didnt go to Uni) where I was taught the ways of being a Web designer. In my own time I practised photography, video editing, painting and everything in between. I just kept on learning as much as I can in my own time and that’s pretty much what I’ve been doing ever since!

5. When did you first get into making stuff?

I’ve always doodled but have always been rubbish at making stuff with my hands. I started trying to figure out how to paint when I was about 18 and am still figuring it out now. I can’t paint in the traditional sense, I just draw monsters and creatures really, nothing special. I’m incredibly impatient and if it doesn’t start looking how I imagine, I get frustrated pretty quickly! It’s only in these last few years, living with artist Richt, that I’ve learnt alot about techniques and got a bit better.

Jam Factory

6. How did you land the job as senior designer at Aardman?

Luck! I was freelance for 4 years, working under the alias of JamFactory. I worked in Leicester and then moved to Bristol, where I signed up to the local media network “Bristol Media”. I’m glad I did, as 4 weeks later I had an email drop in my inbox with the subject “Hello from Aardman!” - I was offered some freelance work on a project for Channel4, which lasted 6 months. Just as the project was coming to an end the position of Senior Designer came up and I got the job. That was nearly 3 years ago now and I’ve never looked back, it’s a dream job!

7. What’s an average day at Aardman like? 

Start the day with a tea. Check my schedule for what I’m doing for the day. Have a chat with the producer and then get on with it. Fire up Photoshop, illustrator & Spotify, pop my headphones on and I’m away! Stop regularly to have tea and a natter about something silly. Basically, I colour in all day long and drink lots of tea and listen to lot of music to help me do it!

8. What’s your favourite type of tea?

Clipper Organic Fair Trade tea. Not only is it good for you, its good for the earth and the packaging is beautiful!

9. What interests you in fixed gear bikes, is it the simplicity?

Yeap, the sheer simplicity of the machine and the aesthetic. I love that there are absolutely no unnecessary parts on it, no clunky extra clips or bits or anything like that, just pure streamlined componants. I also love the freedom you have to really make it your own too, there’s an infinite number of ways you can stylise your ride and I love that!

10. What kind of stuff goes on in Bristol for the fixed gear scene?

The Bristol scene is really healthy, full of a huge variety of people of all ages, backgrounds and interests, all coming together just because they love riding. No bullshit, no cliques, just people with a common interest!

Jam Factory

11. When did you get involved in skateboarding?

I was a late starter with skating, I didnt start until I was about 18 which is the reason I never progressed to be any good! I still loved it though but got too attached and would get really frustrated when I couldnt learn a trick. I lost count of the number of boards I snapped because I got mad with myself! I skated until I was about 25 then got into riding my bike, which felt more rewarding and had the dual purpose of being transport (you can’t really skate up the hills of Bristol!)

12. Who is Shirley Creamhorn?

She’s a vinyl toy of mine, a partnership with Columbian sculptor Alex Avelino who brought my sketch to life! The name actually comes from a good friend of mine back in Leicester, who I worked with when I was a wee 17 year old as a junior designer. Not sure how but my friend Andy gave me the alter ego of ‘Shirley Creamhorn’ and it’s stuck, so I decided to use that name and bring Shirley to life!

13. How did you get involved with Crazylabel?

I just happened to send them an email! A friend online recommended I contact them, as they thought my monsters would be up their alley - so I gave it a shot and just dropped them an email, saying I love what they do and I’d love to perhaps make a toy. They got back to me the same day, said they liked my stuff and lets do it, lets make a toy. I couldnt believe it happened so quick - it was definitely right place, right time!

14. What have you enjoyed about working on Droplets?

Everything! Being involved with so many talented and creative people for the launch of the 2nd series was fantastic. I was overwhelmed by the sheer kindness of so many folk who helped me out in so many ways for the big launch, that was really humbling.

15. What are the plans for Boikzmoind?

To get it finished!! I’m recording interviews at the moment with riders from the scene of all different backgrounds, which will provide the backbone of the film, being the narrative that takes you through. I’m hoping to get it finished by Spring/Summer next year and released online for free as well as producing a lovely digital hardcopy complete with photobook!

16. What makes Bristol a good place to take photographs?

It’s just such a beautiful City! From the Georgian architecture to Isambard Kingdom Brunel’s Suspension Bridge and SS Great Britain, there’s all sorts of things to take photographs of and always something new to find!

17. What’s your favourite lens to shoot with?

Hmmmm, either my 50mm f1.8 prime lens which gives a lovely short depth of field that makes everything very filmic, or my Sigma Fisheye which gives everything a distinctive look. They have their different uses though too, fisheye is great for parties and things like that, where you can get lots of people in and capture the spirit of the night whereas the 1.8 lens is a lot more ‘serious’

18. How has having your own website benefited your freelance work?

Just simply being able to get my work out there, available for all to see. I’ve had my site online (I just checked this) for nearly 10 years now (9 years 9 months!) and its enabled me to keep up as the internet world emerged and get my stuff out there!

19. Who are some of your favourite artists?

The list seems to change almost daily but my current favourites: McBess, Dieter Rams, Mark Ryden, Another Example, Mike Giant, Matthew Lyons, JP Vine to name but a few!

20. You’ve done talks at Apple stores, tell us how this came about?

A good friend of mine, Jon McGovern, works at the Apple Store in Birmingham and one day he called me up and suggested I do a talk about my work. I was honoured, I’d done some small scale talks but jumped at the chance and absolutely loved it, that lead to me taking the same talk to the Leicester, Bristol and flagship London Regent Street store! I did a 2nd talk about Droplets earlier this year at the Regent Street store again and would like to continue doing them next year. Im working on my own iPad/iPhone game at the moment so I’d like to do a talk about that!

21. I bet you were really stoked to be featured in some top design magazines!?

Yeah definitely, it’s a real honour to be in magazines and I’m very grateful to the ones that have featured my work!

22. Why did you decide to create the collaborative group Xynthetic?

Well, noone had asked me to be in their ‘crew’, so I thought I would start my own! It was me and my good friends who work I really admired and it all went from there. It’s gone quiet a bit now, because we’re all grown up and everyone’s very busy (and I let the domain name expire by accident) but I hope to kick start it again in the new year!

23. What kind of feedback did you get from the Anyforty t-shirt collaboration?

Good feedback, which was nice! I’m friends with Al (Wardle, the man behind AnyForty) because he used to be Art Editor of Computer Arts Projects magazine and I’ve worked with him quite alot over the years on various illustrations for the mag and even a cover illy too, so it was nice that he asked me to create something for the AnyForty family! We’re going to work together again next year on something new for the brand too!

24. Do you see any of your products becoming more than a hobby?

I dont know really, I’m not sure where things like Shirley Creamhorn, Droplets and t-shirts etc could lead me. I certainly couldnt live off them alone and wouldnt want to try but you never know where things may lead. If there’s anything I’ve learnt then you never know whats around the corner and what opportunities will arise!

25. What kind of tunes are you into?

A bit of just about everything! From Metal to Motown, Underground hip-hop to old-school dance music, full-on orchesta’s to acoustic singer songwriters, I like most stuff except everything in the charts, because that’s just all a pile of shit :)

Jam Factory

26. What projects have you got planned for the near future?

First, I want to complete my bike film ‘Boikzmoind’ because that’s a big project I need to focus on and really want to do it right. I’ve got alot of ideas scribbled down in my sketchbook that I’d like to bring to life and a few wee secret projects on the boil, so my 2011 will be pretty busy im sure of it :)

27. Finally thanks so much for taking the time to answer the questions! Is their anything you’d like to add?

I’ll leave you on a fantastic quote I heard whilst watching a talk by the great comedic genius John Cleese, who simply said “We do not get ideas from our laptops”.

To play the awesome 8-bit Droplet game click, HERE.

Name: Gavin Strange
Website: www.jam-factory.com
Contact: 
gav@jam-factory.com

Interviewer: Aaron Keogh
Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/36062242@N02/

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