Dave Garbot has been an artist at Perks of Art since December, but we were introduced to his pieces a few months prior while he was showing at Insomnia Coffee Co. in downtown Hillsboro. While there is not a time in his life where Dave wasn’t drawing, displaying his artwork is a much more recent event and we are excited to promote him and his craft this month!
Growing up in a suburb of Chicago, Dave was an introverted child. Preferring to keep to himself, he discovered his love for drawing at an early age and quickly found peace with being labeled “an artist”. His artwork provided a means of communication; a voice when he did not feel comfortable speaking and he was always encouraged to pursue his talents by his family and friends.
When it came time for college, Dave enrolled in the College of Arts and Design at University of Illinois to pursue a degree in Architecture. After meeting with an advisor, he discovered he had applied for the incorrect college and would not be able to study architecture until his second year; as it would turn out, this was the beginning of Dave’s professional artistic journey. He studied a variety of mediums and worked to develop his own style which eventually lead to a career in advertising and graphic design post-college.
Although Dave enjoyed some aspects of working in the corporate sphere, he longed for the flexibility and freedom that came with freelance work as well as more focus on illustration. True to his theory of always pursuing your passions, Dave left his structured job, packed up his home and family and ventured to Portland where the rest is history!
Dave is inspired by his experiences, both past and present. Dividing his time between the great outdoors of the Pacific Northwest and the quiet comforts of local coffee shops, the world is his muse. His creative process is very fluid; there is no beginning or end and he often returns to his stacks of filled sketchbooks and Starbucks napkins when pursuing a new design. Although the subject matter differs, Dave believes in always creating pieces that stem from joyful experiences with hopes that the positivity transfers from artwork to audience.
He attempts to keep his work fresh and interesting by introducing foreign patterns in familiar landscapes. For example, while admiring a framed piece in his kitchen, he explained that he awoke one morning and was intrigued by the shape and texture of a blanket that laid beside him which became the design for that set of rolling hills.
He explains how each finished piece tells a story; a representation of a real-world memory but presented from Dave’s whimsical perspective. His personality shines through in the details – a quirky character, a hidden joke and it’s this element that makes what he does so admirable; the passion and pride is so evident.
More than his personal illustrations, Dave also produces similarly-styled commercial artwork in the form of children’s game books, step-by-step drawing kits and food menus. While he is fond of this process, he says it requires a different mentality and more structure in order to create for a specific audience. Although his goal moving forward is to sharpen the balance between these two creative mindsets, he is still able to find joy within both processes.
Additionally, Dave hopes to continue expanding his presence in the local art community by participating in more events, markets and other galleries. When asked about an ending to his artistic journey, he said retirement does not exist in his world as there will always be a scene to draw and a story to tell. It’s been an honor to be a part of Dave’s evolution as an artist and we look forward to seeing just how far he will journey!
Learn more about Dave at: