Interview the Gram – @zcounts
This week for Interview the Gram, I chatted with Zac Counts (@zcounts), a vector artist based in Tampa, Florida. I first started following him many months ago when his highly intricate vector art caught my eye. The level of detail he achieves with each piece still amazes me, and I …
This week for Interview the Gram, I chatted with Zac Counts (@zcounts), a vector artist based in Tampa, Florida. I first started following him many months ago when his highly intricate vector art caught my eye. The level of detail he achieves with each piece still amazes me, and I was really excited to talk to him about his artistic process. Make sure to also check out Zac’s store page and website.
Alfalfa Studio: Hello! So the question I start off with everyone is: why do you do what you do?
Zac Counts: My art is a mix of the things I like. I draw in vector because it feels like a closer parallel to relief printmaking, which is weirdly the media I learned to draw in. So carving away lines with the pen tool feels closer to what I already know.
AS: That’s really interesting! How did you get started in relief printmaking?
ZC: I changed my major to graphic design without really having drawn before, which admittedly isn’t the smartest. But one of the electives my first year was printmaking and the professor was amazing. I originally chose accounting for some reason. I saw a commercial on TV for graphic design and thought it looked better than accounting– and dropping out.
AS: Can you tell me a little about that printmaking elective and what made the professor so amazing?
ZC: It turned out to be a good decision! I wholeheartedly enjoy what I do. And the course and the teacher just pushed you conceptually, compositionally, and made me appreciate process heavy method of creating. Nothing’s more fun than cracking open a cold beer on a Saturday and carving. Same thing with vector, the process is what makes it fun.
AS: So how did you exactly make that switch over to vector?
ZC: I pretty much switched when I graduated college, because I couldn’t use the schools press anymore, so it made it difficult to keep producing stuff. I’d been comfortable in Illustrator for awhile from design classes, and I’d always looked up to @sweyda and @hydro74 just from Instagram. And then I just practiced a lot.
AS: How has your art style changed over time?
ZC: My art style has changed a lot. I experiment a lot, so that kinda keeps things constantly moving along. It keeps things from getting boring, too.
AS: How much time do your average projects take?
ZC: Personal projects take 3-6 hours. I don’t have a lot of patience if it’s for fun. Client work is just whatever they want.
AS: And what direction do you think you’re headed in the future?
ZC: Project wise I want to sink my teeth into some stuff that takes a big longer. I haven’t spent a long time on something in awhile, so that’d be fun. Just as an artist, I just want to stay on my wave.
Thank you Zac for sharing your amazing journey from printmaking to vector! Keep producing those awesome illustrations! Prints of Zac’s illustrations can be ordered here.