2. Where do I work?
From home in Melbourne - in a room full of stuff!
Certainly! After making it out of high school alive I journeyed on to University to study mostly film and TV (and a little fine art) and also delved into a teaching degree - which I so far have fortunately not had to use. I feel for the poor hypothetical children who'd be in my poorly prepared hypothetical classes.
May they always remain hypothetical.
4. How is what I do done?
With the magic of computers - from pencil rough to finished art. It's all hand drawn...just digitally with a drawing tablet. My aim is to fool whoever's looking at my work into thinking it's 'real'...and more often than not it works, or at worst it confuses and frustrates people as they try to figure out how it's done!
I find totally computer created artwork can often lack a certain charm - hopefully I avoid that and instead create charming works!
5. How did I learn to do this drawing stuff?
Practice, really! That and copying things! The many hours spent drawing The Simpsons alone was an inadvertent master class in drawing hands. So just keep drawing and copy things from time to time - because atleast you'll be drawing things you love so you'll put your heart and soul into it and keep at it 'til you get it right! As far as I'm concerned, I still haven't got it all right and probably never will - you never really stop practicing - which is a good thing!
6. Any advice for aspiring types?
The first thing you ever drew, was the worst thing. You only get better - provided you keep trying!
Furthremore, watch TV or read books and comics or see movies or sit in the dark with headphones on getting lost in music or stare at a horse for hours on end...whatever it is you're into - get totally into it - enjoy it! And keep churning out the work - the worst thing you'll ever draw was the first thing you ever drew, it only gets better from there.
Of course, that's all good and well, but if no one knows you exist, no one will see your work! So put together a folio and get your very best work in front of the right people in this day and age of interwebby wonderousness it's pretty easy to find ways to contact publishers and companies who's attention you want to get!
7. How did I learn to do this writing stuff?
I'm not sure - I'm still working all that out myself! I may not be the best at offering advice on this matter!
8. Beveridge of choice?
Tea thanks, English breakfast would be lovely - white with one. Tah.
Any and all accompanying biscuits also welcome...jammy dodgers?
9. Meal of choice?
Toastie. Fill it however you fancy - ham, vegemite and tomato; baked beans; bolognese (preferably leftovers, from the fridge...still not quite warm enough) - so long as it's got cheese and is 'toasty'. Ideally, plastic Kraft single cheese...fancy cheese just isn't the same.
Once I did have one with NO cheese but with leftover curry puff filling - despite the lack of cheese - that was magic!
See - look there - tasty!
I also favour a good pie.
10.Influences. Reveal them.
Much too much time watching movies and TV - the top 5 movies listed earlier are a good sample of a very long list of favourites, however - to specify, while I saw many films from 1977 to 1989 (Return of the Jedi and Mary Poppins being two repeatedly watched favourites...as double features go - that one's...not even cohesive!) it was 1989 and Who Framed Roger Rabbit that made a great big long lasting impact - with the notion of animation being something people can actually do for a living dawning on my grade 6 sized brain. Tim Burton's Batman, Beetlejuice and Nightmare Before Christmas inspired the darker, spirally, ink stained possibilities soon after that. Pixar then began doing what they do, which eventually coupled with, of all films, Shaun of the Dead really all combined to set in stone what I aspire to achieve in my work to this day!
There's no question that visually, my work is informed by a good solid streak of Jamie Hewlett's (Tank Girl, Gorillaz) style as well as Lauren Childs (Charlie and Lola), Maurice Sendaks' Wild Things, Oliver Jeffers, David Roberts, Benji Davies and Emily Gravett, along with numerous animation film concept artists (if a book's title begins with 'The Art Of...' there's every chance I bought, it's on it's way in the post...or someday soon it will be - or on occasion, it's a bit rubbish and best left on the shelf!).
Otherwise, Jim Henson's era of Muppetness, low brow art of all shapes and sizes, the British sense of humour, lots and lots of music and perhaps a toy or two have all combined to help develop the work I produce today!
11. Did 'the man' try and get me down?
Sure! If i'd done what my primary school teachers repeatedly insisted I do (hold my pen PROPERLY) I wouldn't be much of a drawer today!
All through high school, a (usually) quiet air of 'maybe thinking about considering a real job too' often hung over me from the teaching faculty - but possibly by sheer fluke, luck or perhaps determination and ability i've shown drawing things can be a real job if you really, really want it to be.
Oh, and concentrate in class, sure - but should you drift off and start doodling in the margins - know within yourself that it's simply another branch of training for the future just as much as whatever it is you're meant to be paying attention to might be!
12. 5 books I'm glad I own.
The Art of Modern Rock - the original MASSIVE version. It's exhaustive and inspiring.
Gorillaz: Rise of the Ogre - Mr. Hewlett does cool stuff.
Chuck Amuck - makes you wish you were workin' in pictures back in the day!
The Art of... - Chronicle Books publishes a cracking line of 'art of' books for animated films, chock full of fabulous concept art from many of today's great animated wonders!
Batman Animated - In the early 90s there was a pretty darn cool Batman cartoon, this is basically it's 'art of' book! Piles of concept drawings, photographs and other such bat-delights cab ne found within.
Of course I could go on and on (and on and on....and on) - but I said 5. So 5 it must be. I know I made the rules, but if I then break the rules, well who would ever respect me again?
(I am aware my listing of 'Art of...' books is something of an umbrella listing that takes in a large number of books, thus breaking the rules - but....whatever. NEXT QUESTION).
13. What's my favourite thing to draw?
Hands, splatters, eyes, girls, zombies, girl zombies, unicorns.
14.Was my childhood traumatically conducive to conjuring creative worlds as a way of escape thus laying the groundwork for my future as an artistic professional...or something similar that would make for a possibly juicy autobiography or cliched biopic?
Uuh - no. Dreadfully supportive parents, i'm afraid.
15. Marital Status.
One wife, two children, one small dog. And two fish and a large 'mysterious snail'. That's it's official description. - but it's more a lodger than a family member.
16. How much do I earn?
Enough to be able to eat off a plate, all fancy-like. And not on the floor either. At a table.
17. Anything that really irritates me?
Restless leg syndrome - don't like it.
Ever increasing PC-ness leading to so many potentially great things being blanded out (often by commitees, focus groups, those who have decided they know what's best for you and/or marketing teams) and left to then limp into the world as an unchallenging, uninspiring and quickly forgettable waste of time.
Movie books that are basically just the film's script with a picture or two thrown in to try and make you feel less cheated.
18. Anything that really delights me?
A Day in the Life by The Beatles.
Emotional bits in movies or TV shows you didn't see coming thus making them all the more satisfying.
Unexpected musical bits in movies, TV or plays.
Long pronged forks.
19. Anything that really frightens me (or at the least, gives me the willies)?
Whales. I blame the Melbourne Museum - the original old scary one.
Spiders. All those legs, eyes and hairy bits - and those SUDDEN movements - and when they get all 'legs in the air' wavy wavy. No need for it.
20. Favourite word?
When has anything described as 'hearty' ever been bad? Hearty things are robust, delicious, satisfying and/or delightful.
21. If I could live in a cave - would I?
Don't be silly. Why would I want to do that?
22. What have I yet to do that i'd love to sometime (career-wise)?
Album cover art.
Character design for animation (something of mine being animated in general).
I used to add getting my own written and illustrated books made and having something i've drawn turned into a toy...but as fortune would have it, I don't need to add these anymore!
23. Any vices?
Cream or jam filled biscuits.
Meandering aimlessly online.
24. Any inspirational quotes I can share? thoughts for the day - if you will?
"There is no trouble so great or grave that cannot be much diminished by a nice cup of tea." - Heroux Bernard Paul.
or perhaps -
"Must we always strive to be better people than we really are? Sometimes, honestly, I just want to be an idiot." - Anon.
25. Is there anything that has surprised you about this interviews and the subsequent results on display?
I never expected i'd be photographing a toastie - again.
I bet you wished that 'BACK' button had turned up sooner!