College for Creative Studies: Illustration


Serge Gay

Freelance Visual Artist

Don’t try to put a label on Serge Gay’s career. His work as a freelance visual artist isn’t bound by a specific artistic medium. And that’s what he loves most about it.

“I’m a freelance artist in all mediums; I could never put myself in one box,” said Gay (’06). “Although I majored in illustration at CCS, I’m working in photography, film and graphic design to support what I love to do the most—painting. Some might classify me as ‘painter,’ but I consider myself a ‘freelance visual artist’ trying to master it all.

“What I enjoy most about my career is being able to do what I have loved since I was about eight years old: art. I always told myself that no matter what I’m doing, it has to be something creative. And I’ll be happy.”

Recently, Gay is working as an illustrator for video production company Artists & Derelicts on music videos. His team received a Grammy nomination for work he did on Cee Lo Green’s “F*** You” video. The artist has also worked on videos for Green’s “It’s Ok,” Train’s “Hey Soul Sister,” New Found Glory’s “Truck Stop Blues,” Matt Morris’ “Live Forever” and Fall Out Boy’s “America’s Suitehearts” among others. 

“I have this big obsession with music videos, but never in a million years did I think I’d be making them!” exclaimed Gay. “The combination of putting my art in some big time musician’s videos is mind-blowing to me! It never gets old. 

“You can imagine how shocked we were when we (director, producer and I) found out that we were nominated for our work on the Cee Lo Green ‘F*** You’ video. Even though we didn’t win, just to be nominated and recognized for our work still leaves me speechless. It didn’t hit home until we were at the Grammys.”

In addition to music videos, Gay has created several commission pieces for galleries as well as his own line of design wear that he is selling through an online store   

“I’m finally starting to finally see my art as a brand,” Gay explained. “This is a huge reward, especially since, like many artists, I find myself wondering if my work is good enough—if it fits in. And concerns of being loved/accepted as a Haitian/black American artist— if color matters—run though my mind every day.”

In addition to his career, Gay is working with his parents through an organization called Hand in Hand for Haiti, whose mission is to build a new school for children left homeless from the devastating earthquake in Haiti. 

“One of my long-term goals is to make a difference—to make an impact in someone’s life in a big way though art,” he said. “That’s why I got involved with the Hand in Hand for Haiti initiative. Finding new ways to support/help others through my talent puts a smile on my face.”