Last Year I did an interview with Music On Walls about some of my music related illustrations but the interview was never posted. I recently stumbled across the interview and I thought it would be fun to share the interview with all of you.
LOST INTERVIEW – MUSIC ON WALLS 2014
Can you tell MoW why did you choose to create artwork inspired by music artists ?
I love drawing faces and sometimes those faces belong to musicians.
Can you tell MOW more about the singers and musicians you chose for your artworks ?
Macklemore / James Franco + Riff Raff – The illustration of Macklemore and the illustration of James Franco and Riff Raff are both commissioned works that I created for Grantland.
David Bowie – David Bowie is one of my favorite musicians and I always wanted to draw a portrait of David Bowie because he looks so fucking cool. I didn’t want to draw “Aladdin Sane” era David Bowie because everyone draws David Bowie with the lightning bolt on his face. They always draw the young and glamorous David Bowie and I was more interested in drawing the David Bowie that just released one of the best albums of his career. “The Next Day” is an amazing album.
Billy Corgan – The Smashing Pumpkins have been my favorite band since 1997. My first Smashing Pumpkins album was “Pisces Iscariot” and it was the first album that truly spoke to my soul and the more I listened to The Smashing Pumpkins the more I felt alive and connected with the universe. The Smashing Pumpkins also had the best music videos and I really loved the band’s victorian goth aesthetic and the strange androgynous appearance of Billy Corgan. Nobody looked or sounded like the Smashing Pumpkins. They seemed like aliens from another world.
In my mind, there will never be a better band than the Smashing Pumpkins and I still listen to the Smashing Pumpkins every single day. I would argue that the Smashing Pumpkins is the greatest creative influence in my life. So I naturally feel compelled to draw a portrait of Billy Corgan from time to time to pay tribute to one of my favorite musicians.
Why is music important to you ?
I’ve found that music feeds my creative energy and helps give that creative energy a more intense focus. Music is fuel for the fire. Music is medicine. Music is therapy. Music sets the mood. Music is the muse.
Do you listen to music when your working ?
If so, what is the kind of music you would listen to ?
The Smashing Pumpkins, Radiohead, Muse, The Kills, Devo, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Johnny Cash, Cold Cave, The Pixies, Sonic Youth, Joy Division, Violent Femmes, White Lies, The Jesus and Mary Chain, Interpol, David Bowie, Tool, The Flaming Lips, Beck, Savages, The Decemberists, Nine Inch Nails, The Black Keys, Broken Bells, The Shins, Silversun Pickups, Ty Segall, Zwan, Garbage, Rage Against The Machine, Bjork, Arcade Fire, Fidlar, Cat Power, Lana Del Rey, Marilyn Manson, The Clash, Ramones, Nirvana, Spirit Of The Stairs, Explosions In The Sky, GOODING, Death Can For Cutie, UME, Neutral Milk Hotel, Black Moth Super Rainbow, Led Zeppelin, The Breeders, David Lynch, EMA, Phantogram, The White Stripes, Ramones, Black Flag, Dead Kennedys, Tobacco, Haim, Talking Heads, Fugazi, Ringo Deathstarr, The Dead Weather, Wilco, The Appleseed Cast, The Locust, The Black Angels, Wild Flag, Neil Young, The Cranberries, Sleigh Bells, Sleater Kinney, Bleeding Rainbow, Dum Dum Girls, St. Vincent, Chelsea Light Moving, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, The Strokes, Atoms For Peace, Sigur Ros, Cults, Russian Circles, Black Sabbath, The Who, Arctic Monkeys, Jake Bugg, Chvrches, Pelican, Band Of Horses, Die Antwoord, And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead, Frank Zappa, U2, Green Day, TV On The Radio, The Vaccines, Beastie Boys and many others.
Do you have a favorite piece? If so which one and why?
If forced to pick a favorite, I would choose the James Franco and Riff Raff illustration that I created for Grantland. One of the creative benefits of doing commercial work for clients like Grantland is that client work always takes you into uncharted territory and you often find yourself drawing something that you would never draw otherwise. I never would have drawn a portrait of Clayton Kershaw or Blaine Gabbert or Dick Clark or Macklemore if Grantland didn’t hire me to draw them. The James Franco and Riff Raff illustration was really fun to draw and this illustration is a great example of how comic books are playing a larger influence in my work.
Can you tell MOW more about your techniques?
All of my illustrations are 100% digital and they are created using a combination of Manga Studio 5, Adobe Illustrator CC and Adobe Photoshop CC. I do all of my drawing / line art in Manga Studio 5 and then I do all of my coloring / painting in Adobe Photoshop CC and I use Adobe Illustrator CC to create geometric patterns and typographical elements. My technique is very similar to the way a comic book illustrator would construct an illustration. I always begin with a line drawing and then I color / paint that drawing.
How old is your technique?
8 or 9 years?
How did it start?
I started creating digital illustrations after seeing a Wade Hampton art exhibit at the Lee Shiney Gallery in Wichita, KS. It was the first time I ever saw computer generated art exhibited in an art gallery among real flesh and blood paintings and I realized that the computer could be used to create “serious” art. A computer can be used to create a painting. A computer generated image can have the same anguish and grit of a real painting. You can have drips and splatters and smudges just like a real life flesh and blood painting. So it was that idea that fueled my desire to create computer generated illustrations. I wanted to create computer generated illustrations that looked handmade and haphazard and imperfect like a real painting. So you can thank or blame Wade Hampton.
How long does it take you to make an artwork?
I would estimate that it takes between 6 – 16 hours to create an illustration from start to finish. That includes all of the time I spend staring at the spinning pinwheel of death while my iMac tries to process all of my scribbles and splatters.
Do you have plans on creating new artworks inspired by singers/musicians?
I have an illustration of Wayne Coyne in the works that keeps getting abandoned in favor of other projects. It is one of those illustrations that really needs to be over the top bizarre and surrealist and freaky and I just haven’t been in the proper headspace to explore that territory and live inside Flaming Lips La La Land. A portrait of Wayne Coyne needs to look like John Kricfalusi, Jim Hensen and a Unicorn dropped acid together and exploded into millions of psychedelic pixels. My Wayne Coyne / Flaming Lips tribute will come to fruition at some point in foreseeable future when the pink robots and the bloody head wounds collide.
Until then… if anyone wants to pay me to draw Lady Gaga or Ben Gibbard or Tom Waits or Chan Marshall or Cyndi Lauper I would gladly draw them like a madman.
What is the song you liked the most lately?
I have a Spotify playlist called “Obsession mix” which is a sonic stew containing all of the random songs that I feel a compulsion to listen to over and over and over again. It is full of songs by David Bowie, The Pixies, The Kills, Haim, The Cranberries, Bush, The Violent Femmes, Radiohead, St. Vincent, The Pack A.D., Portishead, Billy Idol and tons of other random bands. The most recent addition to the mix is “The Killing Moon” by Eco And The Bunnymen. I also have a really unhealthy obsession with the song “Gun” by Chvrches. The Smashing Pumpkins just released a new song called “Being Beige” and I listened to that song about 50 times in a row. It is really easy for me to become stuck on one song and listen to that song over and over again for an entire day. After I watched “The World’s End” at the theatre I became obsessed with “This Corrosion” by The Sisters Of Mercy and I listened to the song 100 times in the span of 3 days.
I’ve been really obsessed with “Something For Everybody” by Devo. I really really love that album. I would argue that “Something For Everybody” is the best album Devo has ever made. It is one of those rare albums where every single song is amazing and I don’t feel the need to skip tracks.
Some of my favorite albums from 2014 include
“Monuments” by UME
“The Future’s Void” by EMA
“After The Disco” by Broken Bells
“Tomorrow’s Modern Boxes” by Thom Yorke
“Ultraviolence” by Lana Del Rey
“Ultima II Massage” by Tobacco
“St. Vincent” by St. Vincent
“Full Cold Moon” by Cold Cave
“We Are The Dark Stars” By GOODING
“Do Not Engage” By The Pack a.d.
“Voices” by Phantogram
“Too True” by Dum Dum Girls”
Morning Phase” By Beck
“Interrupt” by Bleeding Rainbow
“Lazaretto” by Jack White
“El Pintor” by Interpol
“Only Lovers Left Alive” Soundtrack by Jozef Van Wissem + Squrl
What was the last gig you went to?
In September I saw Francis Moss, Solagget and DVA perform at Fisch Haus Studios in Wichita, KS. DVA is a really awesome band from the Czech Republic and their live performance is very bizarre and eccentric and really wonderful. I went to the show primarily to see Solagget but I was really blown away by how awesome DVA was. DVA is something everyone should experience at least once in their life.
Are you a musician yourself? If so can you tell MoW more about your music projects ?
No. I have a deep appreciation and love for music but I have zero musical talent. If I had musical talent my band would sound like a cross pollination of Joy Division and My Bloody Valentine.