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Photograph by Ellis Scott

YCE: Gary Card

From a background in theatre set design, he has been injecting fashion stories with his own cardboard narrative.

“I come from a theatre design education so there's a certain amount of fantasy and drama in what I make (whether that’s conscious or unconscious), and I try to bring ideas that you wouldn't normally find in a fashion story,” says fantastical set/prop designer and illustrator Gary Card, whose truly inventive design work extends to making playful puppets for Uniqlo, creating shop window displays for Stella McCartney and 80s-style toys that reference his childhood. The 27-year-old makes everything by hand in his kitchen in Hackney, all of which is physically placed in front of the camera to be photographed. “I just really love making things. I'm driven by fear actually, fear of time and the lack of it, fear of failure. Is that a kind of inspiration? I think it is. The fear keeps me focused.” Describing right now as a great time to get creative, Card says most of his more successful projects have had little to no money behind them, and involved using simple raw materials. “This kind of restriction makes you think around a problem and create something more considered.”

Name a person or organisation that shares your DIY ethos, and explain why.
Definitely my friend and sometimes co collaborator Ferry Gouw, he's an illustrator, video director and musician. like me he doesn't believe in restricting himself to one medium or labelling himself, we share the same philosophy for art and commerce,( sometimes art vs commerce), and a love for making stuff regardless of the outcome.

Send us a picture/video that summarises your view of modern life, and explain why.

Do you think the recession has helped or hindered your creativity? Why?
Both, the sad thing is that there is inevitably going to be less opportunities out there simple because people can't afford to commission them. The great thing of course is having the freedom to work on self motivated projects, I'm currently working on an illustrated story right now, I wouldn't be able to do that in normal circumstances, so it's a luxury to have the time for a while.  

Music for a revolution - which song sums up your attitude?
Is that all there is? - Peggy Lee

What other period inspires you the most, and why?
Has to be the eighties, it's my childhood so I'm a bit bias but come on, everything was cool back then, new wave, punk, Prince, Peewee Herman, not to mention the best cartoons. Galax High, Denver the Last Dinosaur, Dungeon Master, Ulysses, Rude Dog! All these things are cool.

Read more of the YCE feature here.