Love to draw and draw everyday. Been drawing my whole life. Love to do it and love to get better. Went to VCU in Richmond, VA for “Painting and Printmaking” and then spent 10 years trying to figure out how to do drawing as a job and failing at it. Then I got lucky…and now I draw every day.
Usually, it just involves sitting down and getting it done. A lot of times I gotta take the dog for a walk and think about it. These things are all just puzzles…and it’s all about creating little games to make it fun. Also, I mean I repeat myself a lot…but always want to do something a little new or different so I feel like I’m doing something. Drawing is pretty boring as an activity so gotta have fun and do something daring occasionally. I also only draw in pen…so sometimes I’m like…well shoot…it’s time to live on the edge.
There wasn’t like a watershed moment or anything like that. It’s just been doing something for someone and then somebody else asks me to do something. I started making my own shirts and selling them just for fun and to see what I could do if no one had any extra “ideas”. My wife helps me with those. The first ones we did I silkscreened them at my apartment…and whenever the screen would get clogged I would take the screen into the shower and clean it off in there…completely covering me with ink. That system was not going to work for multiple colors or in a larger quantity. Like in no way was that going to work and I’m sort of against having a studio in practice for me. I like just having the drawing desk in a corner of my house. So, I can work when I feel like it. I actually really have to give praise to the silk-screener I work with. Brendan at Beezer Printing in Brooklyn. Always is down to get crazy with my ideas and also is a huge fan of water-based inks. Probably wouldn’t be selling my own shirts if he wasn’t silkscreening them. So…I guess it’s a business but it is also just what I enjoy doing.
I guess when I finally have the big idea or revelation that I’m excited about that finishes something. Sometimes…that just happens by working through it…other times—it just hits you randomly. It’s just fun to be excited about something.
It’s all the same process. Just sitting down with pen and paper. All the different mediums have their own rules and games and you gotta respect that. Get a flag on the play and tell the referee to eat it.
Alphabet one is definitely inspired by Jean Larcher’s “Fantastic Alphabets” but also I love it when an illustrator gets to flex on a multitude of fonts. The bear juggling…I don’t know. I heard you all like bears. A bear in a little clown outfit…hey that’s always nice. I would wear those pants the bear is wearing but feel like I would get arrested. Would be fun to wear those in the rain…and have them fill up with water. The goldilocks one…it’s fun to draw a quilt. It’s also fun to come home and having someone random sleeping in your bed and be chill about it. I dunno these are some quick spins and little dances with my “Critter Maximalism” style.
I built a pond recently. Think I’m going to try to build another pond in a friend’s backyard. Turns out when I dug this one…it’s not deep enough for Koi fish. Pond is 12 ft x 16 ft, but due to the angle of the ground it’s only like a foot and a half deep. I spent a whole week digging this thing with a pickaxe and a shovel. Gotta be at least 4 ft. deep for Koi. Right now it has 24 frogs in it…maybe I can put some goldfish in there. Maybe. I dunno, look out for “Pond Scum LLC” in a backyard near you…which is me screaming and digging a hole. I dunno if that’s expression but I had a great time pushing these boulders across the yard and sledgehammering rocks and want to do it again.
One of my favorite things to do is walk around and look at stuff. When Zach Sokol (the photographer who took the photos that grace the margins of this) was shooting the pictures, we saw a skunk. I had never seen a skunk in Brooklyn yet. Heard tales of them around. I’ve had encounters with raccoons and possums but this was my first skunk sighting. So that’s the sort of feeling I like with a drawing. First skunk sighting.
I mean the hardest part is staying excited and not going broke.
Got a ton of different illustrators and cartoonists I really love. The main thing I look for in drawings…is stuff that makes you want to draw. This can come from all over…and I love finding new people to add to my favorites list. It’s always growing… and whenever you find something new it’s fun to say, “hey, what can I take away from this…what makes this amazing”. I think drawing is a game you play against yourself…but you play with all the other illustrators and cartoonists you enjoy.
For the googlers that want to go in on some quick names: Shigeru Sugiura, Tagawa Suiho, Carl Barks, Floyd Gottfredson, Seymour Chwast, Tom Seidmann-Freud, Nicole Claveloux, and Tony Edwards.
Yeah, I’m supposed to start a 3rd book. When I do books that’s the only thing I do…18 hours a day every day until it’s done…so I mean when that process starts…that’s it for me. I’m fried. I guess there's also that damn pond in my friend's backyard. Make sure to keep your eye’s open and look over other people’s fences until you see that.