Commonwealth has been a collaborative effort in so many ways from the get-go. From the proprietors, to the staff, to our designers, to everyone that has helped build it; it really has a personality of its own. Conceptually though, the art and design aspects are a huge foundation for what we do and what we are about. Whether it is graphic design, interior design or any element of creativity, we’ve had the privilege of working with some really great artists.
We wanted to introduce you to one our graphic designers: Vancouver based, Rory Doyle. His contribution to the imagery of the bar has been super cool, and it’s been really great for all involved to work with him.
1) How did you get involved with everyone at Commonwealth? What was the connection?
Last April I received an email from Mike Grimes saying he'd seen some of my artwork at State of The Art (an annual art show during Telus week in Whistler) and needed a logo for a bar they were soon opening. The look they were going after was similar to some paintings and snowboards I had in the show. From that point I created some logos, which eventually evolved into a fairly large branding job.
2) What did you draw on for inspiration to create all of the logos, wallpaper, materials etc? How much of it was direction provided vs your own creative process?
It was definitely collaborative with respect to the direction. You guys (Commonwealth) were great at providing the initial thoughts and examples so from that point It was a pretty safe bet to head a certain way. As far as the inspiration, the overarching theme was old but modern. Haha that makes a lot of sense hey? To break it down we wanted the design to have an aged and established look that was also simple and approachable. I was looking at all kinds of things like old embalming fluid bottles, cigar boxes, war documents etc. Ha none of those would seem approachable but their designs were attractive and elements of them could fit into a modern genre but also give you the idea that they've been around for some time.
3) Out of everything you've created for the bar, what one piece stands out to you the most and why?
I'd have to say the wallpaper. It seems to have been received well by everyone, which is always nice to hear. Also, because it actually stands out the most haha. It's big and bright!
4) Besides graphic design, do you have have a favorite medium or something you sort of fall back into every now and then like photography, architecture, canvas painting, music, movies etc?
For sure. I love taking photos; I’ve been using a decent SLR for a few years that I'm slowly getting the hang of. Even iPhone pics are great these days with all the filters and apps like instagram. First to admit I'm fully addicted to "the gram”. I also paint when I get the time. I try to do at least a couple projects a year that are pretty separate from the day-to-day work on the computer. I like versatility so I'm down to try and test my boundaries as an artist. A group of friends and myself have a shop that we build and work on our motorcycles in so anytime I can get to work on my bike is always good.
5) Is there a specific artists or group of artists that you're into right now?
Not really anyone specific right now. I'm always gazing on art and design blogs and there is a ton of rad shit out there. If I see something that makes me stop and take a good look, I'll usually investigate a bit further and find the source to see more of their work. With that said, check out www.endeavorsnowboards.com. I'm not just saying that because I work for them. Endeavor has an amazing pool of artists that really sets them above the pack with respect to board graphics. They make a strong effort to promote the artist so it's easy to see who made what. Go have a look see and I'm sure you'll find someone you're into.
6) Coming from a skateboard/snowboard/graffiti background.... how much of that plays into what you're currently working on?
It depends on the job really. If it’s somehow tied to the industry then it plays a big part. It’s pretty easy to tell if someone made a board graphic with little or no knowledge of that industry. I’ve seen a lot of board graphics over the years, a lot of which get logged in my head, so I guess it plays a subconscious role. You know what’s been done already, what’s timeless, memorable gems etc. Maybe not graf as much these days but it definitely gave me the framework for a lot of things. I still love it though. I’ll stop if I see a new clean throw up or a tag with good hand style.
7) Any leads for people scanning the internet looking for cool shit?
www.ffffound.com is a cornerstone for me. I can easily get lost in there for hours. They've nailed how to keep the quality of the content high by governing who is allowed to submit posts. All the posts link you to the source site too so it's a gateway to radness.
8) Musically, what are you into right now?
All kinds really. I’ll flick through my ipod artists and note some of the notable. ACDC, Artifacts, Bad Brains, Beach Boys, Beatles, Beatnuts, Big Daddy Kane, Bison, Black Sabbath, Black Sheep, Blondie, BDP, The Clash, Cosmo Baker, CCR, DangerDoom, Danzig, Del, Diamond D, Dr. Octagon, Eek – A – Mouse, Elvis, EPMD, Eric B and Rakim, Frank Sinatra, Fu- Schnickens, Geto Boys, Ghostface, Gregory Isaacs, G N’ R, The Herbaliser, Heiro, Ice Cube (predator), Iron Maiden, James Brown, Jeru, Judas Priest, Kid Koala, Kool G Rap, KRS, Miles Davis, Motorhead. A lot more but I’ll end it there on Motorhead. No one follows Motorhead!
9) Top 5 movies.
Wow. Make a harder question haha. This is not laminated and aren’t necessarily prioritized…
1) Stepbrothers (as long as you watch the dvd extras http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i3WAquKvs08)
3) Home Alone (I'm going to get ripped for that but I don't care. I love Christmas time and that one always sends 'er home for me)
4) Life Aquatic
5) Uncle Buck
10) What are some other projects you're working on outside of Commonwealth? Where can people find out more info and check out some other work?
I have a few things going on right now. Endeavor Snowboards usually have me working on board graphics pretty much year round. www.endeavorsnowboards.com. I recently did a gang of funny masks for Airhole Facemasks. You can check them out at www.airhole.ca I help the guys out at www.megadestroyer.com now and again. There are a few local motorcycle shops I’m making some tee’s for. It’s probably easier to just check my site out. www.cargocollective.com/rorydoyle. She’s in dire need up of updating but gives you the idea.
11) You've had one party night at Commonwealth so far. How did that turn out?
It turned ME out haha. It was a heavy one! I recently became a father so I hadn’t been out on the drink in a while and was pretty fired up to finally see the bar and meet everyone. Those factors made for an amazing night at a deadly venue with great people. Long story short, the next day I woke up fully clothed, starfished on my bed, an hour after my flight left. Thank you guys for the strongest hangover I’ve had in a long time. Can’t wait to go back though haha!