Sunday, August 14, 2011

Inherent Vice: Ben Hutchings

During the Inherent Vice residency at The NGV Studio in Melbourne I spoke briefly with some of the cartoonists. Every day I have visited the NGV Ben Hutchings has been steadfastly chained to his desk with drawing utensil in hand. Ben enlightened me about what he has been up to.

How has the experience of been of working in public as apposed to your normal routine?

It's been really, really, really, excellent fun. I've really loved being distracted by people instead of by the fridge or the TV. I'm sitting here in the corner in front of these gigantic glass windows, where I'm the first thing everyone sees which is a bit weird, but It's great watching all the people walk past and talking to all the people coming in. Also having the other seven guys around is really good, really fun.

Did you have a specific project planned coming into the Inherent Vice residency?

I thought I'd set this time aside to work on this comic I've thought up called 'Walking to Japan'. I thought I'd be able to finish it in the five weeks here. So I've started working on it and It's a bit over half way through so the last week is just going to be a real massive hard slog to get that comic strip finished.

You're a full-time cartoonist?

Yeah I am. I do a strip for Picture Magazine and also just do a lot of freelance and stuff like that. I pretty much draw for a living completely.

The Inherent Vice residency is a curated event, were there any expectations from the artist's taking part?

Hardly any. They just said they'd like us to come in as often as we could and they gave us a little fee so if we could turn down some work and that sort of thing. There were no real expectations. There were plans to make a book at the end of this, a collection of our work, but it's pretty loose.

What got you into comics?

I kicked off with the British stuff like Beano and all that. That kicked it off and then I tried all types of comics, mainly with the style of humour it'd be the British funny comics like Viz and things like that which I just think are really, really funny. Also art styles a lot of black n white art from the seventies, underground stuff like Freak Bros, I picked up heaps of techniques from them and its a bit hard to say where I got techniques from but a bit of Manga I guess. Mostly black and white comics from the seventies and eighties I s'pose.

Do you have a favourite part of the comic making process?

Sketching out the thumbnails is the best bit, when you're writing out the comic.

Ben mentioned Milk Shadow Books will be publishing issue #10 of You Stink and I Don't, his long running one man humour anthology. Along with the Cartoonist/Animator David Blumenstein, Ben also hosts the hilarious podcast Comic Book Funny.

No comments: