Showing posts with label Inherent Vice. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Inherent Vice. Show all posts

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Inherent Vice: Michael Hawkins

 At the recent Inherent Vice Residency I spoke briefly with Michael Hawkins.

What is the average day like at Inherent Vice?

I try to make it in as much as possible, usually I come in around 10am or 11am. I settle in, say hi to everyone, and decide what I want to do for the day. I've got a major project I'm working on which is a series of inter-connected stories. I try and set some sort of goal ahead like today I've penciled up a couple of pages which was my goal to at least get done. I've got that done now and I'll see how much I can ink and so forth. The rest of the day consists of just drawing comics, chatting to the public if they pass my desk, and usual stuff like eating, sometimes going out for a beer with the guys, or whatever happens.

What has it been like having the general public walking through your studio?

It can be a little distracting from time to time. The flip-side is the fact you have people seeing what you're doing as you're doing it and appreciating your work which is very encouraging and very motivating. As you probably know from drawing comics at home it can get a bit tedious. You get sick of doing it and you just want to go do something else. You know you're not going to get that positive feedback or validation until weeks or months down the track so having that instant feedback from the public can help you keep going.

What are some of the artists and comics that interested you in making your own comics?

I got into comics when I was about fifteen. I had always been an artist and I drew cartoons as a kid but decided I wanted to be a more serious artist. When I was in high school I was really into films 'cause I had that narrative impulse and I wanted to do something like that. Thought maybe I'd be a film maker then I discovered what was coming out of Fantagraphics at the time, Dan Clowes, Charles Burns, Jim Woodring, and so forth and that's when things clicked for me and I decided I wanted to be a cartoonist. 

More recently I've gotten really into the Kramer's Ergot stuff, artist's like C.F. and Dash Shaw that have more a lo-fi look and a certain kind of crazy trippy fantasy vibe. My friend Simon Hanselman is a constant source of inspiration. He's probably my favourite cartoonist out of anyone. He does the best comics I've ever seen and is always an inspiration to work harder.

What tools do you use to make comics?

I use a pacer to pencil with and for outlines I've got a special fountain pen for drawing from a Japanese site called Jetpens, fine point Manga illustration. Most people think I'm doing my comics in watercolour but usually it's with grey felt tip pens. I've got a couple of Copics which give a good flat gray. A couple shades with those and a couple with Faber Castell Pitt Artist pens which are a kind of a warm fuzzy grey. They're warmer in tone and the texture is softer and fuzzier. They last a little while but they don't keep their point for as long as you'd want them to. I use a little bit of grey water colour as well. I have another pen from Jetpens,  a brush pen that is refillable, it's like working with brush and ink except you don't have to dip. I use that for blacks and some of the stronger outlines.

Hawkin's Corey the Dweller in the Hollow has been released in a limited release run and will have a wider launch through Blood and Thunder.

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.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Inherent Vice

 The NGV Studio

From July 16th - Aug 14th, Eight Melbourne Cartoonists have recreated their studios in the NGV Studio for five weeks of intensive cartooning. Mandy Ord, Ben Hutchings, Sarah Howell, Michael Hawkins, Simon Hanselman, Michael P. Fikaris, Pat Grant and Rebecca Clements have all inhabited the NGV's Atrium for the last few weeks with an open studio space allowing visitors to come see them work and chat about their projects. Amongst the drawing tables and art supplies the artist's have personal libraries of inspiration, Individual displays of work in progress, and the large far wall is a collage of pages of comics, paraphernalia, gig and exhibition posters and work from other Melbourne cartoonists.

 Simon Hanselman

 Simon Hanselman's Megg Mogg & Owl

 Simon Hanselman's Casper
The NGV gallery space was created to engage with artists that would not normally have involvement with a large metropolitan gallery. Curated by Beckett Rozentals, Inherent Vice is the second residency since the creation of the studio.
 Pillar behind Ben Hutching's drawing table
Pat Grant

  Original pages of Pat Grant's Blue

Aug 4th saw a well attended 24 - hour comic marathon with a colour copying machine primed and ready at the far end of the studio. Rebecca Clements took it one step further producing a 36 - hour comic.

Come Inside My Body by Rebecca Clement - Click on pic for more info and to get your own copy

 Ben Hutching's Handball Heaven reaches to the Heavens


Ord's Space

Michael Hawkins

Ben Hutchings

Comics Wall