“Men always seem to think about their past before they die, as though they were frantically searching for proof that they truly lived.”-Jet Black
What is your favorite medium to work with?
I’ve always felt most comfortable with ink, and I have an admiration for strong line-art. When I attended SCAD, I also found new love in working digitally, and Photoshop has always been my go-to for color.
What is art to you?
I believe that art is mainly an outlet for self expression. I may not always be conscious of it, but more often than not, the desire to create can stem from my own anxieties and insecurities. Recently, I’ve found art to be a great mechanism for combating or challenging people and ideas that I find myself strongly against, especially in this current political climate. I definitely want to encourage young people to reject all of the egregious lies and ignorance being spread by the Trump administration.
Tell us more about rat face reggie, where did that idea come from? is it representing someone or something?
I really enjoy drawing rats, haha. To me they symbolize a sort of grimy, undesirable pest, which resonates with me. Going back to what I said earlier, I like to challenge opposing ideals with my art, and I feel like rats bring this specific sense of disgust which I aim to match. Although in this case, rat face Reggie really started as a loose drawing of a rat in a suit and the other elements formed around that. Approaching this “disgust” from a different angle, rat face Reggie also alludes to the continued existence of preconceived judgments that are perpetuated solely on superficial levels, and by unrealistic standards. As much as I want to hope for more tolerant and open-minded generations, it feels like things have been regressing along these lines.
What would you name your art style?
I like the idea of my art style having its own niche moniker, but I don’t know that I could appropriately encompass all my work under one label. I think on some levels, there is a variety of influence and experimentation. Although, if I had to, maybe I’d call it “Lazy Boy.” 😉
How did you get into drawing cartoons? like what sparked that interest in you?
Both of my parents studied and pursued careers in art, and they always encouraged me to draw from a young age. I’m also an insanely avid lover of cartoons, animation, and pretty much always have been. As a kid I would pause my VHS tapes and draw the cartoon characters on screen. I’m enamored by the exaggerated character expressions that are iconic to the formula. I loved Rocko’s Modern Life growing up; the intro sequence has a lot of that energy. Rocko’s eyes bulge out of their sockets, his brain bursts from his cranium, and his tongue launches forward, all as he frantically escapes the pursuit of everyday chaos. That sort of Rat Fink, eye-popping style really captivated me and I wanted to replicate that emotion and expression in my own sketches.
What is your creative process, like how do you start on a piece and know when you are done?Recently, in an effort to loosen up, I’ve taken a new approach to my work. I put an immense amount of pressure on my artistic capabilities, and can be somewhat of a perfectionist when it comes to deeming a piece finished, or ready for people to see. I started to work on these free hand drawings, where I could just sit and not feel the pressure of a more regimented process. I only use a pen, which means I’m relying on myself to commit to my mark-making. Committing to every line that’s drawn ensures mistakes will be made, but it only challenges me to re-purpose them into new elements within the drawing. So I’ll let my work almost frame itself, imperfections and all, until I see a composition that I’m most comfortable with. That art is then scanned and colored in Photoshop. I try as little as possible to tweak the art itself in order to give it that hand-drawn charm.
Who and or what inspires you?
So many things! An endless amount of wonderful talent exists online and I encourage everyone to follow tons of artists on Instagram. I have so much respect for artists really pushing their unfiltered, unique, and personal expertise. There is a lot to learn from other artists (not just the famous & dead ones). I haven’t stopped watching cartoons since I was a kid; some of my favorites include The Simpsons and Cowboy Bebop. And I definitely believe Adventure Time reignited an animation boom since its premiere back in 2010. So there’s been a strong presence of influential animated content in my lifetime. Music also has a big influence on my work, and there’s rarely a time when I’m not listening to something while I’m creating. Bouncing between different sounds such as Prince, (Sandy) Alex G, Kendrick Lamar, or New Order will always lead me to implement different tones within my work. The extraordinary surrealist vision of David Lynch has also served as an excellent source of inspiration. Blue Velvet and Twin Peaks are extremely important to me.