četvrtak, 20. rujna 2012.

James Jirat Patradoon - macho brži od boli

"Nepoštedan pristup stoičkoj naravi mačističke pop kulture". Ilustracije za one koji se, kad su prustovski raspoloženi, prisjećaju stripova, punka i kultnih filmova '80-ih.  
Tvoji grijesi utegnuti su u kožu i kromirani čelik a pokreće ih tvoj unutarnji motorkotač. Spavat ćeš kad budeš mrtav. Za buđenje, pucaj u vlastita jaja. Kad želi intimu, alfa mužjak prepričava svoje snove motornoj pili.
I mačizam može biti melankoličan, ako je dovoljno pretjeran.

Patradoonova web stranica



You sit in a grey, nondescript, four door sedan with tinted windows and a worn leather interior next to your twin brother. The old street lights, glowing eerily as if thirsty for power, are casting a dim, atmospheric yellow haze that fills the air almost against its will.  The leather fingerless glove on your left hand matches your black leather jacket and holds a cigarette, as the blueish smoke spiralling off the end disperses itself into the night through the passenger window left slightly ajar. The familiar ocean winds that accompany life in the notorious, hyper-real seaside city of Knuckle Bay, have once more brought the midnight rains, and as the droplets pair off and trickle slowly down the windscreen in gravitational matrimony, you flick the radio on to something rhythmic, something jazzy, something cinematic.
Your name is Sal, your brother’s name is Sal, your father’s name is Sal, and your Grandfather was Sal Domino, the famous bear wrestler and founder of the family business ‘Sal’s Meats’, where you work your day job. A butchery which has provided a money laundering veil of legitimate trade for the real family legacy: ‘The Domino Bros’ – historically some of the city’s heaviest heavies; unscrupulous, uncompromising mafioso debt collectors and hit-men for hire.
You mentally prepare for the job ahead. After picking out a sinew of home-slaughtered steak from between your teeth, you remove an old black and white photograph of your Grandfather from your beaten Ninja Turtle wallet, and stick him pride of place on the dashboard. His monochromatic presence has long been a good luck charm on jobs, and serves as a visual reminder of the Italian family that plucked you and your Asian twin brother from mysterious obscurity and adopted you both into their inner circle all those years ago. You catch Sal’s glance in the rear view mirror as he pulls on his sweat and blood-stained Lucha Libre mask, a Mexican wrestling disguise that has become synonymous with your infamous, incognito negotiating techniques. You recognise the seasoned glint in his eye, the glint that means he’s flicked over.
It’s time to do business.

As Sal slowly creeps the car off the curb into the maelstrom of neon-coloured comic book turf wars, the Power Ranger heads on the dashboard begin to bobble and a narrator starts talking with a gruff Tom Waits voice: “As the sun sets on Knuckle Bay, the freaks come out to play”. The city is rife with assorted clandestine sci-fi criminal activity from every conceivable walk of life, and tonight the streets are populated with an antagonised pandemonium of opportunistic criminals, cyborg police officers, perverted priests, corrupt officials, masked villains, hyper-coloured-clad skeleton pimps and alluring alien prostitutes.
The city’s power grid spends as much time off as it does on, keeping its inhabitants periodically lurching between a colourless world of contrasted black and white,  and a disorientating structural mass of surreal colours. There is no public transport system and what’s left of the infrastructure is in a constant state of disrepair. Gunshots followed by police sirens are an ever-present soundscape, an optimistic aural veneer that there is some semblance of law and order to a city living in denial.
Your car heads towards Redfern, a notorious hotspot, as you direct your eyes out the window and take in the familiar surrounds. The bitumen still holds the heat of the day, allowing steam to cast a poetic haze over marauding groups of life-beaten men in trench coats, standing in circles, smoking cigars and bemoaning what has become of their lives. Billboards advertising inter-planetary trips for the social elite provide shelter for the homeless, where they seek solace from their alternate reality with cheap whisky on their breath, exhaling melancholic vapor in spurts of sporadic, whispered conversation.
It’s just another night on the job.
You’ve been hired by a nefarious city counsellor who is heading up a secret project to silence the voices of the city’s artists, writers, intellectuals, thinkers and anyone with enough cognitive wherewithal to challenge and expose the injustices of the status quo to the city’s proletariat. Crooked injustices, that once revealed, could threaten the comfortably orchestrated living arrangements of all double-dealing politicians syphoning the life out of what was once a prosperous city.
Sal passes you the briefcase holding the money and contract, which outlines the terms of the agreement and provides a back story regarding the subject in question. You pop open the briefcase, count the down payment, study the enclosed identifying photograph, then read out the instructions. You’re not to injure him, but let him know his presence in Knuckle Bay is under threat, should he continue to dissect the sociological discrepancies and deconstruct the civil injustices of the city and its politicians. It describes your target tonight, one James Jirat Patradoon, as:
“A strikingly skilful and intellectual artist, who is sensitive to the social nuances of his environment and capable of comprehending and exploring a broad spectrum of expression. He is aware of the restrictions that operating in only one medium brings, and is cognisant to the fact that any medium is merely a vehicle for ideas, the vessel to express thoughts, tell stories and portray concepts. Frighteningly imaginative, he has created fictional worlds filled with character-driven narratives held together by a common thread of intelligence, on a tapestry of appropriated visuals, contemporary digital mythologies and a profound stylistic flair that is second to none.

James Jirat Patradoon.

Patradoon is an artist with X-ray vision, with the ability to see through things for what they are, and a disposition that distills behaviours and contemporary trends into articulate pixels. He exposes truth, often turning the gun on his own intimacies by putting himself in the analytical crosshairs. Dangerously educated, he is an artist who has fostered and developed his creativity whilst immersed within intensive tertiary institutions. He celebrates, embraces and succumbs to the unknown, allowing himself to fall through the never-ending universe of imagination without fear. Patradoon is an artist who compares himself to the best in the world, and his lack of satisfaction with what he achieves fuels his existential need to develop as a creator.  A self-confessed image and internet junky, he spends hours feeding his addiction to aesthetics, gorging himself on stimulation with an insatiable appetite for films, books, comics, art, photography, cartoons, music and fashion.
He is operating on levels of hyper-awareness and reflection that most of the population will never know and have no desire to comprehend.  His work is unapologetically bold, his portfolio reveals a true craftsmen, who takes full responsibility for creating highly polished, resolved and dynamic works of art rich with painstakingly detailed line work – always challenging himself with ever more menial minutia. He is both a professional practitioner and a liberated artist, embracing the digital age and the creative experimentation which it allows, as well as celebrating art’s traditional hedonistic ideals unapologetically, devoting himself to a life of constant observation and communication.
He is not an artist caught up in the world of ego fuelled elitism, instead choosing to regularly humanise and ground himself through a personable and interactive online persona. It is this openness to express ideas and feelings coupled with a prolonged consistent output of the highest calibre which has now granted Patradoon legions of high profile supporters, all of whom eagerly await his next visual musing. His ability to influence and inspire the masses to explore their own creativity and freedom presents an untenable situation for the Council, and those who rely on our stability for a mutually beneficial future.”

You finish reading the contract and click the leather briefcase closed as Sal pulls the car up at what the GPS tells you is the correct address. You adjust your mask and finalise the plan with your brother, then step out of the car and survey the apartment building and its immediate surrounds. As you soak in the environment, intense waves of nostalgic dejavu start to flood your consciousness – the gardens, the kids playing on the street, the arrangement of the windows and the names scrawled into what was once the wet cement all seem oddly familiar. You exchange uneasy glances with Sal, who is evidently feeling the same way. As your leather boots echo their way up the stairwell, the unusual feeling intensifies and you begin to feel light headed. Drawn to the door, you let yourself in with a heightened sense of foreboding with Sal following closely behind. A bead of sweat trickles out from under your mask and you become aware of the sound of your brother’s unnervingly heavy breathing. The interior of the apartment is devoid of light and home to a disorienting, deep blackness. You fumble around in the dark and as your groping hands locate what you thought was a light switch, the physical realm to which you had become accustomed to, dematerialises instantaneously. You find yourselves alone in a stark white never-ending void in every direction.
An ethereal light emanates from the nothingness and the only thing you can see is a white desk and white chair with a large white computer screen on it; the screen-saver is cascading through space as if it’s never been interrupted. You approach the screen apprehensively, not sure if you’re dreaming, awake, tripping, dying or are arriving at the gates of a digital heaven. As you swipe the mouse and reveal the contents behind the stars, you become instantly, frighteningly and uncompromisingly aware that your sense of self and reality is not everything you’d been led to believe. Your life literally flashes before your eyes as thousands of deconstructed illustrations of you and your brother in various stages of development flick through the screen faster than you can comprehend. Your sense of reason struggles to grapple with the magnitude of the situation,  the electrons in your brain react instinctively to the information your eyes are supplying. You feel weak, sick, stunned and anxious – as if you just received the answer to a question you never asked. Sal breaks you out of this trance by tapping you on the shoulder, all pigmentation has drained from his face and he looks as if he’s seen a ghost.
With his hand noticeably shaking, he slowly points to a note next to the computer which simply reads…“welcome home”.

Can you please introduce yourself to our readers and share with us some basics: What is the date and what have you been working on recently?
I’m an artist in my mid 20′s working in Sydney, and I’m known mostly for my illustration work. I share a studio with a creative collective I’m involved with called Toby and Pete. I just finished three pieces for a group show in San Francisco at Spoke Art curated by Zach Tutor of the blog Supersonic Electronic, I sent them off the other day, I’m pretty relieved. It’s New Years Eve tomorrow.

What does art (both yours and other people’s) provide you? What do you love about art, making art, looking at, and experiencing art? What are you aiming to achieve and communicate with your work?
I’ve always been a bit contentious and unsatisfied with the structure of what a normal life is supposed to be. Making art, being an artist, and researching other artists gives me this kind of antidote to a normal life, I get to observe things from an outsider’s perspective, always be in this chasm between fiction and the real world.
I think about the gap between what we want and what we are a lot. What I try to communicate with my work changes from work to work, I just want to share my perspective on things. If I can make people feel the same way about my work as how I feel about the work I love, that would be amazing, I would be happy with that.
In my more recent work I’ve been influenced by online personas and personal mythologies. Everyone has so much narrative to them now that we have social media and blogs and things like that. Once upon a time there were just some stories, now everyone can be a story, everyone’s trying to be a character, I think it’s very exciting, but creates a lot of identity issues. Visually I want the work to be striking and dynamic, I guess in that capacity if people didn’t really know what my work was about, they would read it as just being illustration, and that’s probably also why I get hired as a freelancer illustrator, because I’m constantly exploring how to make things that just look good.

Ms Fitz

What are your very earliest memories of drawing? How has your art developed through the years? What visual curiosities are you exploring at the moment?
In kindergarten we’d have to write stories about what we did on the weekend, my story would be “I like Batman.” and I would draw a big picture of Batman. I turned everything into an excuse to draw.
Ever since I was young I’ve always tried to show off with drawings, make them look really impressive. I learnt some techniques from comics and cartoons and used them in my work without actually understanding the technical ideas behind them, things like lighting and shading etc. To this day I don’t really see myself as that good a drawer, but I know how to make something convincing, I know shortcuts, I know how to get it across the line, I like how superficial it can be. My favourite comic book artist is Rob Liefeld and that’s saying a lot.
At art school I found a shortcut of using photo-reference collages, which I get condemned for, people don’t want to know that you do that, but I don’t care, because it’s not about the process of drawing for me anymore, it’s about just getting the image done. I don’t carry a sketchbook around and sit around in a park drawing people, drawing isn’t an escape for me anymore, it’s a medium that I can do, and it’s often at times laborious and menial.
I just got back from a trip to Hobart where I visited the Museum of Old And New Art, it influenced me to really make work that goes beyond the 2D image, work that would need to be seen in person, my ideas are becoming more sculptural but still retaining my fractured perspective on the world. My work is becoming a mystery to me again, and I’m enjoying that.

Your experience and success with screen printing separates you from many artists, most of whom have not explored the medium to the same extent that you have. Can you tell us about your feelings towards the medium, why you used it, why you have chosen to move on from it for a while, and what is has taught you?
I was at art school straight out of high school and I didn’t have any idea what I was doing. I got into printmaking and screen printing mostly due to impatience, it was a medium whereby I could make a large quantity of large scale work really fast. I was also attracted to the idea of the multiple, the fake, the knock off, printmaking raises a lot of questions about the originality of an artwork.
Paste ups were big in New York city at the time, with artists like Swoon and the Wooster Collective etc. I wanted to hop on the street art bandwagon so I made a collection of paste ups that I did in second year of art school that were meant to be put up in the street. I didn’t get around to pasting them up, they’re still just sitting around.
I mastered the medium technically because I figured I may as well get my money’s worth from art school, I got really good at it and after school became a tech officer in the fine art department of Hornsby Tafe.
I stopped screen printing mostly because no one was buying them. They took up too much room, and it’s not very cost effective. Then I got over the idea of prints in general. If people want to have my work up in their rooms they can print it off the internet. The idea of prints and giclees are kind of perverse to me, they’re not the real thing, they’re copies, but people are trying to pass them off as being unique. The world ‘limited edition’ makes me gag, I used to make limited editions of three or four, when I see a limited edition of 1000 I just roll my eyes.
I think just having to lug all these prints around with me every time I move has been a big reason for my aversion to creating physical art in the past. Uploading things to tumblr is so much lighter, but I’ve changed my mind again and really want to make sculptures, but I doubt anyone would buy those either, so I’ll be stuck with them as well.


Die And Be Forgotten

Your work harbours a satisfyingly bold, graphic and engaging approach to image making. Your ability to capture the energetic movements, shifting dynamics and the physicality of your subjects in countless poses and positions, displays an artist with a fantastic grasp on form, depth and proportionate anatomy. Can you illuminate our readers with the ins and outs of the interesting work-flow techniques you use to create these works. From the initial inception of an idea, through creating photographic reference images and utilising props, into illustrations, screen prints and digital pieces?
I never actually liked figure drawing, I suck at life drawing, to this day. I’m more interested in what the figures are wearing, expressing a narrative through clothes and textures and using gestures and expressions and props help to convey that story. I’ve stuck with using leather a lot because it looks really great when you draw it in black and white, and it is a garment that has such conflicting mythologies, it’s both hyper-masculine yet camp, the costume for the hero as well as the villain. Above all the final image has to look good, if there’s an idea in it and it’s doesn’t look good on it’s own then it’s not going to work. It has to be a dynamic visual, which is why I rely so much on photo-reference, because I don’t know how folds in clothes are going to look all the time, how the light is going to bounce off each bit etc.
When I start an image I work in reverse, I think about how it’s meant to look at the end, what I want in it, the symbolism of these forms and objects, and then I go and shoot my own photo-reference, and then make a really crude photo collage that I work off in a program called Manga Studio. Every drawing I’ve made since art school has started its life this way.
I really liked Max Ernst’s collages that he made using old illustrations, I’m playing with surrealism in a similar way, hacking photos together from my photo-shoots or my travels, and then solidifying them into a final illustration. The work I did called ‘Final Boss’ was basically a collage of photos of motorcycles that I compulsively take whenever I’m overseas.

Final Boss

You have an obvious grasp on writing and express yourself in written interviews in a thoughtful and eloquent manner. You often title your artworks before you draw them and sometimes “like them more than you like the pictures”. You source ideas from films, books and write things down as you think of them. Do you enjoy expressing yourself with words? What sort of things have you written? How does your approach to writing for expression differ to that of your visual efforts?

I learnt in honours that it isn’t that you make art and then retrofit an idea or concept around it at the end. Your work is an articulation of an idea that you aren’t able to convey in words yet. The point of writing about your work, the point of doing a thesis, is to force yourself to be able to articulate and to communicate, to actually look back at the dust trails you leave behind, to better understand yourself.
In a lot of cases an accompanying artists statement provides so much more clarity to a work, it does it justice. To expect people to just stand in front of your work and decipher it for themselves is a bit of a cop out, especially if your ideas have various degrees of obscurity, I find the whole ‘It means whatever you want it to mean’ is a bit cold and immature sometimes.
There’s that rule, ‘Show Don’t Tell’, I think I kind of tell more than I show. I like talking, I like discussing things, I like learning things. I hate being at an opening and not being able to talk to anyone about anything because no one wants to risk saying anything bad about the work, I hate artists that have no ideas and do the same thing over and over, it’s so boring.
I try to make my writing a lot less obscure than my drawings, because reading is more time consuming than looking, I try to make my writing as fast to read as possible, I know everyone’s got somewhere else to be.

At The Mercy

Immortal Classic

Artists, arguably more than non-artists, often struggle with things like meaning, validation, direction and self-belief. Have you managed to transcend any of these stigmas, or do you still sometimes end up staring into the void and asking yourself, why? How do you rationalise and attach a sense of meaning to your imagery?
It took me a long time to get over that sense of having to justify my life to people. Being an artist is probably one of the more abstract lifestyles one can lead, and it is a lifestyle more than a career. I didn’t know that I was going to end up this way, doing this, my life just kind of lead me here, and in that sense I don’t think I could really be doing anything else.
I know that I’m a lot more critical of things than my friends are, I get affected and depressed about things that people just don’t really care about. I expect a lot because I’ve been raised on fiction and celebrities. I’d never be happy with a 9-5, never be happy doing a job I hate.
It’s taken me a while but I realise now that not knowing is fine, because I’ve been in positions where I’ve known everything, and it got dull.

Isn’t It Midnight

American Born Chinese

Yours The Demon

Legacy Of Horror

There’s countless amazing artists in the world, but very few rise to the top and manage to earn a fulltime living off it. Still only in your mid 20′s, you already do a lot of commissioned work and have produced art for some pretty major international brands. How do you feel about the relationship between art and capitalism? Do you like being pushed outside of your comfort zone with briefs? Do they force you to up-skill and push your work in directions you never would have explored if you were left to your own devices?
I think about it in the way where the art directors I’ve worked with are just like me, we’re around the same generation, we’ve been raised on the pop culture, we can throw ideas back and forth and know exactly what we’re talking about, it’s just that they’re in a position where they can pay me to create something amazing with them. When great work is made in the end, that’s what we’re all here to do.
I love being pushed outside my comfort zone with briefs, it has forced me to go into some crazy directions, and that requires a lot of trust on the side of the art director and I’m always grateful for that.
I’ve found that major brands are the easiest to work for, bands and things like that are the worst, when I was young I always assumed it would be the other way around.

Into The Crevasse (The Man From Snowy River)

The Haunting of John Cusack


Your work is obviously influenced by traditional, highly graphic comic book art. You go against the grain of virtually all artists who talk about chasing and developing their own style and take a different approach by actively pursuing the development of a visual language that’s both classic and accessible. You talk about restraining your own style to create these works, but have almost ironically developed a style which people can instantly associate with your art. What led you down this aesthetic path and how do you think your images retain some level of identity that is unique to yourself?
This all kind of started with a misunderstanding of Roy Lichtenstein’s work, I thought he drew them himself, but he appropriated them. I wanted to make work that looked like his, I wanted my work to look ‘appropriated’, which is why I went with a generic and accessible comic book style, but with a subject matter that I could create myself.
If my style has become recognisable it is probably due to two things, I’ve probably loosened my sense of ‘restraint’ over time, and let myself go a bit nuts with line-work, and also I’ve managed to keep a visual consistency in terms of how my characters look, how they dress, the colours etc, and that’s probably come out of repetition and making a lot of work.
It’s great that my work has a level of identity but I can’t help but feel like I need to break out of that, I don’t want to be  defined by how I draw, I want to be defined by my ideas, I want to transcend mediums, and that is easier said that done, I’ve been struggling with that for a while now, because I keep coming back to the safety of illustration.
I use the comic book style because it’s a visual syntax associated with teenage boys, and contemporary masculinity is an ongoing investigation for me. If I was good at making action figures or video games or building skate parks I’d use those, the medium itself is an allegory.

Unfinished Business, Daedalus?

Digital vs Traditional. A question asked in virtually every artist interview these days. Luckily, you’ve been asked the question numerous times and you talk about a “grounding in traditional media” being “crucial to understanding what it is you’re trying to emulate” and artists working only in the digital realms losing the ability to create “resolved” images. Can you elaborate on the idea of a resolved image and the visual philosophies that involve resolving images?
My idea of what a resolved image is, is something that reaches compositional harmony within the confines of the layout, be it a square format or a portrait or landscape. When you make a physical piece, it needs to survive on its own within those dimensions, be it a canvas or a paper drawing. I’m not sure whether it’s a digital vs traditional thing, because I’ve seen it over both mediums. But some artists just do a preparatory drawing and leave it at that, it’s not in a context, it’s just a sketch that goes in a sketchbook, it sits within a lot of white space in the corner or a page, in my opinion that’s not resolved. Show the audience the finished product you know? Don’t be lazy.

In The Mouth Of Madness

Do you think people presume creating digital art is easier than it actually is? How has working with digital mediums allowed you to develop as an artist? Has it taught you anything you could not have learnt from traditional methods?
Yeah I think there’s still this idea that digital is kind of like cheating. Since my Heartaches show I’ve been using this method of making drawings digitally and then doing graphite facsimiles of them so they can pass off as what people traditionally think of a ‘work of art’ as being, to put them in this comfort zone of being in a show full of ‘real work’ when essentially they’re all actually fakes. I could potentially do multiples of the same image, and I’ve been tempted to, to highlight the nature of image reproduction. The ‘works’ made with graphite that are exhibited are the knock offs, the real drawing, the original lines and strokes etc, exist as megabytes. This ‘rift’ between the two mediums then becomes part of the commentary I’m making on ideas of authenticity.
I don’t have the patience to negotiate an image in traditional media, nor do I have the money or space for art materials. Digital is fast and cheap and works perfectly with my sense of impatience. I work in commercial art and digital is a medium that a lot of illustrators use, I get frustrated when people don’t acknowledge the technological age that we’re in. Having said that my work is about the mechanized image, so it’s significant for me to be using digital as a medium, before this I was using non-photo blue pencils and inking artworks because I thought that was how most mechanized images were being made, but then I ‘upgraded’.


Open Mind

You say “always assume your work sucks, keep trying to make things better”. How do you challenge yourself within your own art-making practices? What do you think it takes on a personal level to come as close as possible to fully realising ones creative potential?
Often if a work takes too long, I get bored of it. Or if I came up with the idea for it months ago and only just finished it, I’m bored of it. On a personal level I try to make work that interests me right now, so keep pushing yourself to be relevant to your current interests. I’m not going to continue making works in the style of what I did years ago just to stay consistent because it’d be boring, and I’d rather be bored at a 9-5 or something because at least I’d be making more money that way.
There’s that quote ‘Satisfaction is the enemy.’ and it’s true, where do you go from there?

Dr Caseface

I Think About You All The Time

Your love for art is equalled by your passion for fashion. That rhymed, in a bad way. What interests you about clothing and fashion? What are your views regarding fashion as a tool of expression and how would you describe your own style?
One of the most liberating things I’ve done for myself recently is lose weight and figure out a uniform for myself. I got the idea from the designer Michael Kors who wears the same thing all the time. I guess the idea is to have a curated wardrobe, I wear the same thing every day like a cartoon character, the clothes are deliberate and convey exactly what I want them to convey.
I think I approach fashion from a costume design point of view, I think clothes have this potential for narrative, you can learn a lot about someone through just how they dress and in movies that do that deliberately to convey the persona of a character. I respect people who can use the medium of clothing/fashion to create that dialogue, stylists like DI$COUNT, Nicola Formichetti, Kate Shillingford, and Ms Fitz.
I’m not so much interested in brands and things like that, I think people who get caught up in all that bullshit are completely missing the point.

News From Nowhere

Cobra King

Your work includes a decent proportion of faceless, masked and skeletal faces. You talk about the creation of our own mythologies and the way people portray themselves with appearances and online personas. Does the superficial outlooks and ideals of the Facebook generation concern you? What comments are you trying to make with these works?
The mask, the facelessness, the skeleton faces, they’re all about layers and what parts of ourselves we try to present to others. The Facebook generation interests me because there are all these mini superstars around, people will add me and I’ll stalk their profile and think ‘Wow, this person is amazing, they must be a rockstar or something, why are they adding me?’ and then I try to talk to them and they won’t talk back, and then i find out they’re some 19 year old kid from the Northern Beaches who works at Coles who just goes clubbing all the time. That superficiality is what interests me, that play with identity. Also people who change subcultures a lot, who go from being into rap at a young age, to hardcore music, and who are now these nouveau goths, I think that’s really fascinating, their personal growth is shed in the form of clothes and subcultures.

Patriot Games

True Names

You spend a great deal of time on your computer working on digital illustrations and discuss sometimes experiencing a feeling of ‘addiction’ to the online world. With the ability to both share work and interact with other people around the world constantly a few clicks away, how important is it to you for your work to have an audience? How significant has the internet been in your exposure and success as an artist?
I’d be in a really different place as an artist if internet wasn’t around. The first illustration job I ever got was from getting blogged on Australian INfront, and I work mostly for overseas clients who only see my work online, so a web presence is really important for me.
When I first started working I think there was a different level of connoisseurship from an audience though, I was uploading work onto Livejournal and there would be this dialogue with people who would see your work, you could actually have a meeting of the minds. I would email artists I liked and I would get emails from people, it was awesome.
That doesn’t happen much anymore, our relationships have been reduced to ‘likes’, which don’t really translate to anything constructive other than your own narcissism. If hundreds of people ‘liked’ something and I don’t get to have a conversation or get a job out of it then what’s the point?
I think things are becoming a lot more apathetic.

Remy of the Cold Cadavers

Daniel Dae Kim as The Buddha Of Akihabara

What constitutes ‘success’ for you? Is it possible for an artist to achieve contentment, or does that fly against the ideals of what it means to be one? What keeps you motivated and looking forward?
I struggle with this idea. I was content once and I felt stagnated, bored, and idle. At the same time I don’t think you need to be depressed to make work. It’s always more fun to make work when you’re coming from a positive place. I never thought I could lose that motivation or spark for making work because I’ve had it for as long as I could remember but this year I did lose it for a few months and it was terrifying. I don’t really know how I recovered from that, so I wouldn’t know what to do if it happened again.
I’m trying to have less answers to my work now, I’m trying to keep myself confused for longer, I’m not as desperate to make sense of things, I’m quite happy not knowing, as long as I’m happy with what I create.

Math Metal 2

What are your interests outside of art? What might people be surprised to learn about you? How do you unwind, relax and gather your thoughts? How does this downtime help you when you return to work?
The terrible answer is that I don’t really have any interests outside of art, everything relates back to this in a way, it’s a lifestyle decision. I watch movies, I read, I go out, but all these things trickle into ideas and artmaking somehow. I don’t know if I really have an opposite to this.
I got a motorcycle recently, riding around is probably the only time I don’t think about anything.



Ask Anyone And They’ll Tell You

I Told You To Wait For My Signal

What are your walls adorned with?  What elements of other peoples art do you enjoy?
The studio walls are adorned with things other people have put up, the only thing that’s mine is a huge joy division logo bill poster that I stole once and I like it because it’s black. If it were up to me there’d be nothing on the walls.
I used to collect images and put them up on my walls a lot but I think that practice just ended up becoming my ffffound (http://ffffound.com/home/likedominos/found/) which I spend a hell of a lot of time on. I can’t even begin to explain why I add the images I add, I’m sure someone could take one look and explain it to me, but for now I don’t need to know why.


Space Adventure

Proton’s Mighty Fury

Having Begun I Had To Go On

How would you describe that liberated, free and fluid state of mind that overcomes you whilst creating a pure piece of instinctive artwork? Is this the ultimate and what you hope for whilst you’re drawing? Does it just visit you from time to time, can you explain that feeling when you’re disconnected from yourself and literally ‘in the zone’? The only work that I’ve made recently where I’ve felt that way is called ‘This Won’t End Like Last Time’. I don’t know how I came up with it, I was just messing around in photoshop and got my friend to render me a 3D skeleton balancing on a tightrope, and I drew it with the logo of a fictional logo of one of my fake cities in the background.
It was for that group show coming up, and I had a couple of more free days over Christmas to make something before Fedex reopened and I had to send the art, so I came up with this image. It was a blissful feeling, and it doesn’t come as often as one would assume. I used to get it all the time when I was staying up late making pencil sketches of what would eventually become the work I did during Honours at art school. It’s one of the only times when all of this doesn’t feel like work anymore. Another time I got that feeling was when I was drawing a really gruesome portrait of that wrestler Vader, and I called it Bane (from Batman), I didn’t finish it, but I had a really good time drawing it.
I can’t really describe the feeling, but it has become rare.


Conventional Weapons Were No Match For Them


Oh The Horror

An Evil Villain is holding you prisoner in a futuristic prison made from crystal and lasers. He strides into your cell, where your bloodied and bruised super-hero torso (and most devastatingly your outfit) hangs in heroic ruins. You’re bound to the walls with shackles made from precious metals from distant galaxies. With his equally evil pet monkey on his shoulder, he levels his mythical staff at your face and as the ruby red orb on the end of it starts to glow, he laughs maniacally in an evil manner and growls, “ANY LAST REQUESTS”?…….
A tab of acid and some Yum Cha.

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