Gavin’s specialties are Limited edition artwork combined with realism and portrait tattoos.
Never having had any formal education or artistic training but an avid comic-book fan , Gavin set up his own fanzine called El Clan (Organo de Agitacion Marveliana) in 1984. This critically acclaimed fanzine was to become a launch pad for many of its contributors careers, most of which would end up working for Planeta Agostini. It was at this point Gavin met Pere Olive (Art Director of Comics Forum which was publishing Marvel Comics at the time) and Jordi Sole (Editor Chief ) both of which encouraged him to develop his talent as an artist and graphic designer.
The Long and Winding Road…
A lot of people ask me how I got into tattooing….I never know what to say. I used to be one of those guys who was wary of people with tattoos. Images of shady backstreet tattooists sticking dirty needles in people sprung to mind every-time someone brought the subject up. That’s what I used to think…until I got one myself.
My mother died in Barcelona in 1981. By 1984 my Dad had had enough of me and I was left to my own devices. I was really into Marvel Comics at the time and me and some friends got together and decided to publish a fanzine dedicated to Marvel. It was a great launch pad, bearing in mind that none of us had any decent educational qualifications worth speaking of (I left school aged 13), so getting into Comics Forum (Marvel Comics in Spain) was the opportunity of a lifetime. I would spend the next eight years working as a freelance graphic designer, letterer and translator…
Circa 1992 I had my own studio set up at home. I was working for the five major Comic Book Editors in Barcelona and was doing the odd comic strip here and there. Life was good…and incredibly boring. Barcelona is a beautiful city, but career options are pretty limited. So I decided to close the studio and move to England…
After struggling for three months and down to my last ‘tenner’ I was starting to regret my decision. Fortunately I had bombarded various publishers in the UK with my CV and finally it payed off in the form of a job offer at Marvel UK.
My job description initially was Graphic Designer. However this changed as soon as I met Paul Neary (Editor-in-Chief) who quickly promoted me to ‘talent hunter’ as soon as he found out that I had contacts in Spain. Marvel was expanding and needed ‘new blood’ and there was plenty of that in Spain…Carlos Pacheco, Pasqual Ferry and Sal Larroca where the first three artists whom I signed up, followed by Ramon Rosanas. For a while everyone was happy, but all good things come to an end. In 1993 Marvel UK was taken over by Panini and everyone involved in the Marvel UK ‘make-over’ where shown the door. I was left with a worthless contract, no money and -well- no career. Computers where starting to takeover the workplace and nobody had any need for my abilities as a designer. Discouraged I hit the road on my bike and started drifting. In 1998 I was a single parent with no future stuck in the system. It was at this time that an old friend of mine (and co-founder of “el clan”) suggested that I take up tattooing. At the time I didn’t really give it much thought as I wasn’t tattooed and didn’t know the first thing about the business. It wasn’t until 2001 that I got my first tattoo and that is when I realized I had found my true calling.
Xavi Macipe – my tattooist- took me under his wing and helped me polish my technique (which was pretty rusty). On my return to the UK in 2006 I started to do more portrait tattoos. It was Xavi Boix from Valencia who really helped me at this stage. It wasn’t until 2007 when I met him in person and watched work that I started doing realism with some degree of confidence. The week that I spent at his studio was an eye opener and -in a way- very bad news for my boss…because it made me realize that if I ever wanted to reach that level of quality with my work, I would only be able to do it if I had full control over my work…and that was never going to happen at the studio where I was working in Scotland.
Now, after many years, my life has turned full circle and I find myself going back to my roots in the comic book and Sc-fi industry, striking a balance between tattooing and drawing.