GCBG Review : Chuck Anderson of NoPattern


A few years back when Design is Kinky was brand new, at least to me, I found NoPattern while looking for innovative photoshop techniques. Not really quite having a grasp of the scope of photoshop artwork out there I was amazed by the ingenuity of NoPattern. Its not that others havn't used similar techniques, but the simplicity and use of space in Chuck Anderson's work really sets the tone for a style of digital artwork that has been replicated by many other creative agencies in commercial work. His use of light burst and color spectrum effects gives a sense of light in a way that gradients and photos cannot capture.

Photo: Vacations by Chuck Anderson

The wonderment of the various tones of light within his pieces gives a surreal and emotive aspect that plays well within the expectations of both popular media and more abstract digital artwork. Equally stunning in both screen and print formats, NoPattern and Chuck Anderson are worth paying attention to. Innovator artist and, as I recently found out, blogger, Anderson was polite enough to answer some questions.

Stefan - What kind of graphics training have you had?
Chuck - I haven't had any training in the arts, honestly. It's been a natural ability to be creative since I was very young. I definitely inherited it from my father. I've been drawing my whole life and was introduced (by myself) to Photoshop when I was in about 7th or 8th grade and just kept with it over the years. In high school, I took a ton of art classes - my school offered an incredible amount of classes. I dabbled in photography, drawing, life drawing, animation, graphic design classes...all of that. But I honestly never learned what I know in those classes, rather, I think a few select strengths of mine I'd already developed were sharpened. After high school, I skipped college altogether and went straight to what I'm doing now. So, to answer your question, none!

Stefan - How did you develop your style of using light flares?
Chuck - Light flares. Haha... I don't like to think of what I do as a variation on the ever-dreaded lens flare filter, but I can understand why you might ask that question. I have always been fascinated with light in all forms - in photography, natural lighting from the sun, lights in the streets at night, cities at night...Just the idea of light in general and how it affects its surroundings fascinates me and I think when I work I am trying to exploit and explore that fascination as best I can. I didn't really develop it, it was just eventual in my work. I kept playing off different pieces of my work when I would do new projects and experiment.

Stefan - What inspires your use of color? (the pink, blue, yellow in your lighting effects)
Chuck - I just like bright colors and odd color combinations. I think it looks really cool so I use it. Not much more to it than that to be totally honest. I don't get all philosophical in my answers or try to sound smart by citing being influenced by graphic design masters or art history or anything...I just love bright colors...I think a lot of them are inspired by skies I've seen, a lot of things in nature and all that corny stuff...You know...

Stefan - What is your setup? (computers, peripherals, art tools)
Chuck - I worked on a PC my whole life up until about 6 months ago when my Sony Vaio started going far too slow for the projects I needed to be working on. I got a G5 and a few Sony 21" monitors and that's what I rock now...art tools...paper, pens (Microns), watercolors, pencils, spraypaint...

Stefan - What is your favourite piece?
Chuck - That I've done? As a collection, the SVSV collection I worked on is my favorite. I think it encompasses a lot of what I do best - using photography as a canvas, playing with light, and exploring color. One specific piece I am happy with though is probably my "VACATIONS" print available at www.npandco.com - that is probably what I'd call the 'epitome' of what NoPattern is.

Stefan - Who are the top three people you'd like to work with?
Chuck - Kind of a hard question... But... KAWS, Tiffany Bozic, and maybe David LaChapelle.

Stefan - Is there anything important you'd like to say about your work that you'd like people to know?
Chuck - A lot of people on messageboards (like some of the geniuses on Newstoday) have talked about my work before and said it has no substance. It's purely eye candy and I don't have a grasp on graphic design and a lot of other BS like that. Maybe I don't have a solid grasp on graphic design and so what if I create pure eye candy? I never claimed to be a graphic designer - I hardly am...and I like to make things with an aesthetically pleasing outcome, nothing more nothing less. I am not trying to convey political or social messages through most of my work unless the project warrants it...I am not a typographer and I rarely work with type...I work with what I know. Creating things that, to me and clients looks good and really allows people to feel good looking at it. So sure - I'd like people to know that I do what I love, I love what I do, I'm not a graphic designer, and I sure do very often create things purely to be eye candy. And I don't see anything wrong with that. Can I live!?

Stefan - If there are any comments you have, shout outs or events you'd like to promote....
Chuck - I just had leftover Chinese - mongolian beef and white rice. It was really good...Shout outs, of course...there are way too many but real quick...Benjamin BRILLLLIANCE, Gensler, Nigel EH!?, JVH, Jason Gregory, Eric Quebral, Marc Leonardo, Ben Shipp...I don't know...Yeah - come see me speak in Toronto at FITC(www.fitc.ca), Mexico City at OFFF (www.offf.ws), Barcelona at OFFF...and...I'll be a judge for the Art Director's Club 85th Annual Design Awards in NYC in February! Come say hi or something!

Big thanks go out to Chuck. The Brilllliance, the blog of Chuck Anderson and Benjamin Gott has been added to the blogs we follow and hopefully all Graphics, Culture and Bad Grammar fans will take the time to check them out.


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