Saturday, 17 March 2012

Interview | Dominic McCann

Dominic McCann is a professional retoucher and free lance digital artist from the North East of England. He's done work for big names such as National Geographic and Billabong, to name a few. I caught up with him to find out a little bit more about himself and his work.

An Interview With Dominic McCann

When did you first become interested in retouching, art and photography etc.?
It wasn't until I turned 20 that I became interested in digital art... it was actually eBay that pushed me down the retouching path. I had an online shop selling vintage clothing, one of the jobs was to photograph and edit the images before listing items. I started enjoying playing about with the images to make them stand out more to buyers, adding effects etc. While I was making money from eBay I got accepted onto the Fine Art uni course in Newcastle, the decision I made then is what has took me to where I'm at now. I chose to ditch uni in favour of Photoshop and eBay. Over the following year (thanks to a lot of YouTube tutorials) I became quite advanced in image editing and manipulation... and so when I found a freelance website where I could use Photoshop to make a living, I let the eBay shop go. That was 6 years ago and I haven't looked back since.

Have you always been good at what you do, for e.g. do you think it’s a natural talent, that you just found it easy to do, or was it a steep learning curve and lots of of hard work?
From a young age I've always loved and excelled in Art, being creative is when I feel most comfortable. People can still achieve great things without a natural talent, but it certainly helps to have a creative mind in this industry. Its been a huge learning curve, I'm still learning now and will be for as long as I continue down this route.

So where are you at the moment in terms of work. Are you working for a company, are you free lance or a bit of both?
At the moment I'm working Freelance. I get work direct from customers who have found my online portfolio, but I also use agents. I currently have 3 agents from different areas of the world who give me work for a commission percentage.

I know you done some work for National Geographic for one of their commercials, you must have been thrilled. Were you approached by them? It must have been great giving the opportunity? 
The Nat Geo project was given to me by one of my Agents. I'd only been retouching for a year when that one came in, so it was a huge confidence boost. Securing a job for a company of that size spurred me on to work harder and become better.

Now then the Subbuteo image you done for the Tyne & Wear derby, which I love by the way! It made it's way on to the front cover of A Love Supreme. You must be well pleased with that, again were you approached by the people over at ALS or did you contact them?
I've been an avid Sunderland fan for as long as I can remember, its a great passion of mine.. so I thought it would be fitting to combine my two passions, thus creating the MON Subbuteo image. I had a feeling that it would turn a few heads when I posted it on Facebook, but I was shocked when the editor of ALS got in touch asking for permission to use it. He's since given me the freedom to come up with other concepts for further issues... Its nice to think that my work can have a positive influence on others.

When your not busy retouching or putting together digital images, what is it you like to do in your spare time?
Nothing too 'rock n roll' any more I'm afraid. I live with my girlfriend and her 5 year old, so any spare time we get is spent doing family orientated things... teaching the little one to ride her bike without stabilisers is currently proving to be a difficult one ha ha.

Finally Dom, what are the plans for the future?
Not many people get the opportunity to make a living doing what they love, so if I'm in the exact same position in 20 years time then I'll be a happy man. There's always the chance for me to become the agent, and delegate work for a percentage... but I enjoy doing the work too much myself at the moment so maybe that can be much later in life


Thanks for taking the time out to speak to us. You clearly have a great talent, and we hope all goes well for you in the future.ACM

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

F As In Frank | Vintage Clothing

Toronto Store - Images by F As In Frank

Recently came across this brand based in Canada...the two guys behind the brand are Jesse and Drew Heifetz. They were born and raised in Ontario and grew up in an environment heavily inspired by vintage clothing. They have developed their family-orientated business right from the heart.

They have two stores one in Vancouver and one in Toronto. A veritable treasure trove...vintage items ranging from the 1900's to the 1990's. Everything from rock tees, flannel shirts, dresses, leather jackets, military jackets, boots/shoes, handbags, jewellery and champion basketball jerseys. To high end/ top shelf collectible clothing, inspiration pieces, movie rentals and everything in between. They also stock the largest selection of vintage sports gear in Canada, including snapbacks, starter jackets, t-shirts and deadstock gear.

Friday, 2 March 2012

UVU | Extreme Craftsmanship

UVU is a new premium performance brand designed by Dominic Stansfield in conjunction with the KTC Factory in China, who have been making premium outdoors and sports products for over 30 years. Crafted for the worlds elite ultra marathons, these garments will perform in the harshest conditions on the planet. 

It's a forward thinking brand, where sharp design meets serious fabrication. It's definitely a big step forward in garment technology. The garments are tested in extreme climates, such as the Arctic (that's a bit extreme, I hear you say), well that's what makes this brand and their garments innovative. It's product engineering, material science, an understanding of: running, environmental conditions and athletic insight.

UVU has been in development for two years now and come April 5th you can get your hands on the Cold Race Jacket 01. They are yet to confirm their prices, but they are certain that there will be something in everyone's price range between their Race and Train collections, when they launch.