Calgary, some people call the city “Texas in Canada”, where graphic designer, Geoff McFetrige was born. He got into drawing lines, drawing pictures in town where it looks little exposure to art, when his father gave him a coloring book as gift.
A Little Bit
There is an interesting story being told. He dreamt of being architect when he was young. He had never known any other profession than architect that made drawing a proper "job”.
There is another thing he came to be obsessed other than drawing. Skateboard-ing. Worldwide skateboard trend in 80s has excited even boys in countryside of Canada. Same as other boys in the generation, he came to admire skaters and dream of even launching his own brand. When he schooled in Alberta College of Art, he found graphic designer job. Looking ahead to the future, he decided to continue to California Institutes of the Arts after graduation of the collage. He struggled with his desire of creation and his conservative environment in coun-tryside. As Geoff being mania of skate culture and answered in an interview that everything he like was born in California, California is a Mecca. Finally his talent got bloomed in the city he had longed for.
Although he was still student, he was winning many awards such as in a competition by I-D magazine and in contest by Art Directors Club and accumu-lating some achievements. He received call from Andy Jenkins working at GIRL Skateboard as art director at the time. In the year of 1995, Andy offered him a exclusive designer job. But just when Geoff quitted his current job, he heard that the magazine hired other designer according to decision made by Rick Howard all of a sudden. His mind went blank. But instead, he was told that he would be introduced to Mark Newman. Mark was editor of Grand Royal Magazine at the time. Mark saw some of Geoff’s works, then hired him as art director of the magazine. Geoff is looking back the days and recalling with smile “the most ex-citing moment” to him .
The following year, Geoff moved his studio called “Champion Graphics” to near the label office of Beastie Boys. Grand Royal Magazine suspended its pub-lication in 1997. In the same year, he held his exhibition in George’s . This exhibi-tion made him known to new and more people. Sofia Coppola is one of them who got to know him in the exhibition. The relationship between them has been familiar since he contributes his work to her movie “The Virgin Suicides.” She in-troduced him to Spike Jonze . Spike Jonez and Beastie Boys used to be Geoff’s idol but now they are his friends working together and playing together.
Geoff has been working all over the world and also in Japan. He keeps crea-tion in variety of form ranging from poetry, animation to textiles. The atmos-phere he created in every work is very unique and consistent so that we can tell his pieces. That is because messages and ideas he puts in his arts are tied with his environment, hobbies, daily life of his friends and family, which overlapped with life of people who looks his arts. By looking arts of Geoff and seeing the moment when it crosses over design and art, we can face important things we sometimes overlook.