Meet: Deaf illustrator Gary ‘Goaty’ Sturrock

Posted on June 4, 2015

Last month, this site’s Editor, Charlie Swinbourne, showed his film The Kiss at Deaffest, then found a few days later that a Deaf illustrator called ‘Goaty’ had created an illustration while watching the film. The two men made contact and Goaty, otherwise known as Gary Sturrock, who is 36 and from Nottingham, agreed to be interviewed by Charlie about his work. Read on.

Could you tell me about why you are passionate about illustration?

Good question! I used love to draw on papers back at school 20 years ago, and I always had a great imagination and I kept sticking at it.

After school, I didn’t illustrate for a long time, then later in college I joined a computer course and found I was good at using programmes like Photoshop on my Multimedia HND course.

Then three years ago I bought an iPad and rediscovered my passion for drawing using a drawing app. The next day I bought a stylus pen.

'Heart' by Goaty

‘Heart’ by Goaty

I did so many illustrations, on many different subjects.

I first illustrated people when I saw Deafinitely Theatre’s performance of Love’s Labour’s Lost at Shakespeare’s Globe in 2012. My lovely friend Donna was in it, so the next day I did an illustration of her, and in the next few weeks I did illustrations of all the actors!

I was lucky I could remember them as saw them on the stage.

I always signed my illustrations as Goaty, my nickname for the last 20 years! I did many illustrations based on art, films, great movie scenes, comics and so on.

Goaty's illustration inspired by Ted Evans' film Retreat

Goaty’s illustration inspired by Ted Evans’ film Retreat

My rule is that I only use my iPad to draw illustrations, I don’t use Photoshop or similar programmes. I enjoy doing character illustrations, for Deaf people like Punk Chef, and Tammy Broskom.

For the last 9 months I have tried to make illustrations of signing and hand shapes to raise Deaf awareness.

Is illustration your job or a hobby?

It’s my hobby, as I have a full time job at ITV as a multi-skilled Technical Operator.

I am happy to doing illustrations for free as I’m never bothered about fees etc. I love to draw in the evenings, and some days at the park, in the cafe, and so on.

Goaty's illustration inspired by the movie Event Horizon

Goaty’s illustration inspired by the movie Event Horizon

Most of the time I like doing illustration projects for friends, for their websites, and often I just get an idea, grow it in my imagination and then I do it! I like challenging myself, like drawing those hand shapes.

I want to try Japanese culture art style, and I am working on Hindi art style at moment.

What makes you do drawings from Deaf films?

When I was at Deaffest I saw the films, got the idea, added to it with my imagination, made notes, then I did the illustrations later as I always carry my iPad with me! ūüôā

Goaty's illustration, inspired by The Kiss

Goaty’s illustration, inspired by The Kiss

For The Kiss, great film, by the way! I just noticed how the actors Deepa and Matt were passionate with their hands, and then I got a idea! And that represents the Kiss film!

You can see more of Gary’s work on his Facebook page, by clicking here.

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Posted in: interviews