Artist Spotlight: Shane Griffin
Shane Griffin is an Irish-born artist and director whose work runs the gamut from animation and live action to sculpture and CGI. He’s put his energetic style and high-tech aesthetic into campaigns for major brands like Apple, Google, Ford, Adidas, and Nike. We spoke to him about his inspirations, the trends he’s watching, and the music that fuels his creativity.
Hi Shane! Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your creative background?
Shane Griffin: I’ve worked in design shops, visual effects houses, and post-production companies, so the experience of all three has influenced my style. I use my skill set now to direct commercials and create visual art.
How would you describe your style?
SG: I like to thread the line between art, technology, and film — so somewhere in the mix of those three is where my brain lives.
Where do you find your inspiration?
SG: Good question — I think a lot of people search their whole lives to find that answer! I don’t have anything that particularly inspires me, although I do really enjoy seeing new technologies and thinking about an artistic way to utilize them, so you could say that technology is a big influence.
I also focus a lot of my work on light, so artists who work with light are always super inspiring to me.
This month on the Creative Cloud Blog, we’re talking about Silence and Solitude as a visual trend. What do you think about finding some solitude while you work?
SG: I certainly enjoy long breaks of solitude to create my ideas. I think everyone does. That period where you can experiment and challenge yourself without having to constantly show your progression. Being able to fail in your own company is a strangely rewarding feeling! In terms of my work, it’s usually quite the opposite, very loud, a lot of bright colors that evoke happy feelings!
What’s been your biggest challenge to overcome as an artist?
SG: Finding a style I’m comfortable with that translates over design, live action, art, and everything in between. It’s the quest for a signature look that I’m married to. I think, as designers, we’re always evolving, and since my work is so influenced by futurism and technology, this is an ever-changing challenge.
What do you like most about working with Adobe Stock?
SG: The quality of the images is fantastic, and the ability to drop them into Photoshop straight away saves so much time. When the idea is in your head, the last thing you want to do is worry about finding high-res images, saving them, and importing them. Adobe Stock cuts out all that wasted time.
Also, there’s a diverse range of images, whether I’m just looking for a texture, or something small in the background, or for the main focal point of an image, it’s there.
What design trends do you think we should we be looking out for this year?
SG: More abstract work, a move toward more conceptual design in advertising, more experimental work, and a push from artists to project their work across more mediums. I think you’ll see a move away from the glossy Instagram look into something a bit more filmic and realistic. All of this excites me!
What music do you listen to while you’re working?
SG: I find music is a huge inspiration, and I listen to a great deal of different genres to help me create moods. If I’m doing something dark and moody, like a car commercial, I’ll tend to listen to something more aggressive. There’s a great track by Blanck Mass on his EP “World Eater” called “Silent Treatment” which has this huge rebellious feeling — like it’s inciting a riot or something. It conjures up great visuals.
I work with a lot of apparel companies as well, which tend to be grounded in street culture, so I like to listen to a lot of hip-hop to get into the mindset. I gave Future and Young Thug’s “Super Slimey” a few plays today.
When I’m in a more chill mood, I’ll listen to The Japanese House or Nosaj Thing or something like that. Music is such a big part of who I am and what I like. I’m sure people can see it blend into my work.
Many thanks to Shane for taking the time to tell us about his work and his inspirations. This year, his long list of projects includes working with a clothing label on their new collection and developing an experimental film. We’re excited to watch it all unfold!