Today we’d like to introduce you to Garrett Lee.
Garrett, we’d love to hear your story and how you got to where you are today both personally and as an artist.
The most unique thing is probably how late I started to take art seriously. I always liked drawing, but I was 17 when I quit calculus to take my first art class at the beginning of my senior year of high school. I had been planning to go into science my whole life up until that week and honestly I have no idea what caused my sudden pivot (I mean besides the primal fear of advanced math), but I decided that I liked art and was going to go pro—something that a very level-headed, sensible, not-cocky-at-all adolescent would do. At the end of that year I moved out and worked two jobs at a sushi restaurant and a farm to put me through school. I figured working with food would keep the starving artist cliche at a distance. Three college transfers, two weeping parents, and one caffeine dependency later, I got my first job working in animation at a company called Titmouse in Hollywood. Since then, I have been doing what I love making paintings and trying to not get fired at companies like Warner Brothers, Cartoon Network, Disney, and Sony—where I am currently trying to not get fired from.
We’d love to hear more about your art. What do you do and why and what do you hope others will take away from your work?
Well for work I make a specific type of art called visual development where I make 2D digital paintings based on stuff that happens in a movie script/storyboard. Those paintings are sent to fancier, more dimensional 3D artists who create the actual environment in an animated movie using my (and my insanely talented coworker’s) designs as a guide. Kind of like those really frustrating guides you use to build IKEA furniture, except instead of ending up with a new dinner table, you get a…digital table that no one can eat on.
Outside of work I like to make landscape paintings and illustrations based on my interests and stuff I feel on the insides. I read an article one time that called them feelings? I’m demonstrably awful with words, especially in person, so art is something I use to see others and share things I see.
Do current events, local or global, affect your work and what you are focused on?
Okay, I’m just someone who helps make cartoons for kids, so there’s no way my opinions on the meaning of international events are in demand. I usually keep my work out of the political realm, however, I do sometimes make art for causes I care about. I’ve donated my skills to illustrate a series of posters and a book cover for 826LA, a non-profit that supports young students by giving them free after-school tutoring, workshops, in-school support, and publishes the kids’ work in little books you can buy. They have a cool little shop called the Echo Park Time Travel Mart where they sell time travel themed gifts and all the proceeds go to the organization. The rest of my personal work tends to be more about events in the lives of people near me.
Do you have any events or exhibitions coming up? Where would one go to see more of your work? How can people support you and your artwork?
My paintings are sometimes on Cartoon Network, Disney Channel, Netflix, and some illegal streaming sites if you’re a bad person. But stuff I’m working on now will come out in theaters in 2020 on a movie called The Mitchells vs. The Machines and another called Vivo. Both films are trying to achieve new styles in feature animation, so I’m very excited for them. Stuff I do outside of work can be seen on my Instagram, Tumblr, or in the dusty bin under my bed.
- Website: https://garrettfest.tumblr.com/
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/hi_garrett/