FK talks to Dan from Little Gonzales about his label and work, and what we can expect to see this weekend at Sydney.
Tell us about Little Gonzales.
My name is Dan Gray, Little Gonzales is my moniker I work under. I do illustration, screen-printing, painting, a little photography and some design. I’m also part of a creative collective called The Groop.
What is the story behind the name Little Gonzales?
It comes from a childhood nickname. When I was little, my dad used to called me Speedy Gonzales.
What is your background and what do you love most about what you do?
When it comes to my art, I am pretty self-taught – I was actually planning on being a doctor at uni! Fortunately I came to my senses and realised I needed to be doing something I loved, which was being creative. I love being able to indulge in my imagination constantly. Seeing it come to life in my illustrations and prints is rewarding. Seeing people react, smile or laugh to my art is even better. I also love the constant journey of being creative, it’s forever learning, exploring and trying new things.
What or who inspires your work?
I’m very inspired by my childhood and things which relate to my inner child – I love stories by Roald Dahl, the brothers Grimm, Hayao Miyazaki and his amazing movies like Spirited Away. Illustrators like Jon Burgerman and Geoff Mcfetridge. Those successful, creative people who seem to have a finger in every pie, it inspires me to drive onwards and upwards. Travelling is always a great eye-opener – I love Japan and Paris.
My brothers and sisters all have pretty wild imaginations too – I would like to partly blame them!
When you’re not working on Little Gonzales what are you most likely doing?
Listening to my latest musical find (I am a music obsessive), going out to see a band or watching 30 Rock. I don’t get much time but I like to read and watch as many movies as I can, it helps any creative block!
What projects are you working on and what can we expect to find at the upcoming Sydney Finders Keepers?
I’m doing some works for a few exhibitions coming up next year. I’ve also been asked to create some art and paint the reception for a very awesome Sydney radio station. I just finished an animation course recently, so I’m working on some videos and hopefully a short film in the future.
At Finders Keepers I’ll have a range of screen-printed cards, stationery, tshirts, bags and limited edition prints and artworks. Most will be available for the first time ever, so come say hi!