We've had a lot of really fascinating conversations with a lot of really fascinating creatives. Most recently we spoke with Wesley Grim (@wesleygrim) about his creative spirit and his many inspirations. Read along and get to know the man behind such wild creations!
Well, I'm Wesley Grim; master of disguises and ex-member of the FBI. Nah. I'm just your average small town artist looking to make a name for himself. I am a full time graphic designer. I’ve been in the field for about five years now. I do a lot of corporate stuff - logos and ads n'at (local slang). Big change from my online presence!
What first attracted you to graphic design?
When I was in 7th grade I discovered Photoshop CS and Imageready. I used to be on a few graphic forums as a designer for signatures - the little graphics at the bottom of each post you'd make. Those are what really got me into the graphic game! After that it just grew into more of a passion and now it's a career.
So did that make Instagram just a natural forum for you to share your work?
Actually, when I first started using Instagram I used it for selfies and stuff from my everyday life. I didn't know that I could use it the way I do now. So if you scroll down my feed far enough you'll see my pre-professional use of the app. Ha! Once I figured out that I could use it for my design work, it caught on quick so I just kept at it and kept pushing myself with my work.
What typically inspires you to design a piece? Is it something you’ve visualized or does it just sort of unfold as you work on it?
As far as ideas go, I would say I just see things in my head and I'll jot some thoughts down on notepad on my phone on what I need to do or I'll sketch it out for a start.
I can't draw. I draw some great stick figures though! Most of the time things just kind of come to me as I'm creating and I just build on it more from there.
You do a lot of overlaying and blending with your edits. What does your typical editing process look like?
Depending on the complexity and the amount of time I want to put in to an edit, my process can take anywhere from 35 minutes to a couple of hours. I think 2 hours is the most I've ever spent on an edit just for Instagram. As far as layers go I think the most I've ever had was around 35 or so! I'm planning on doing YouTube videos too in the near future. Just to give people more of an inside look in to that process.
(And in fact Wesley did just that. You can view a “speed edit” of Wesley’s here. Fascinating stuff!)
How do you incorporate Mextures into your edits?
My love for Mextures all started when they were a downloadable packs on Merek’s website store. I love using them for lighting effects and getting some of my colors to really pop. I most often am using the Landscape Enhance, Vintage Gradients and Radiance overlays. When Mextures added the adjustment section with the 2.0 update it became such a powerful app to use! It is definitely my go to tool when I am wanting to add that extra bit of drama to a shot.
I know a lot of graphic designers have a particular theme or idea they may try to convey through their design work. Is that ever the case in the work you do for Instagram?
You know, I follow a few artists that do the theme thing but it's just never worked for me. I feel like sticking with one theme or style restricts me from progressing myself creatively. There are so many different styles of digital art out there. So I like to call my feed very diverse. You really never know what I'm going to post next.
What has been your biggest source of inspiration in the Instagram world?
I would have to say my biggest inspirations in the IG world have to be @nois7, @digitaleditz and @merekdavis for super smooth edits and for just being all around creative geniuses. Those were the first three guys I followed when I started using Instagram as more of a creative hub for myself. I definitely look up to each of them!
What’s one thing you really hope to accomplish with your work on Instagram in 2015?
I don't have any major sights set for the year. Honestly just staying inspired and creating fresh new pieces is always a goal of mine. I always fear the point of saying to myself, “Well, there's nothing left to make". I'm calling this the year of making moves though. So I really want to take my work to the next level as far as concepts go.