Show: Steamboat Jelly, Nick Roberston. A2 ink drawing with Rotring pens and paint markers.
Tell: “A lot of the ideas from my work come from an appreciation for the visual or conceptual conventions of my favourite cartoons/ adverts/ songs/ films/ computer games etc. Having quite a sarcastic and sceptical sense of humour, they come across pretty tongue in cheek but I think my drawings are the product of a misspent youth and an even worse mid-twenties.
“This particular drawing is a reference to the early Mickey Mouse cartoon ‘Steamboat Willie’ but without the bouncy, smiley American ideals. I’m not a big Mickey Mouse fan but those early black and white cartoons were great, really stylised and charming.
“Before I started taking my work seriously(ish), the drawings were generally just composed of a half-decent idea sketched as a simple line drawing. After a while I started realising the difference between what I was doing and what the pro artists and illustrators were doing (and getting paid for). Now the challenge when I start any drawing is thinking about varying line thickness, which parts of the drawing will be textured, which will be filled with black ink, if there should be sections left simple and blank and where there should be an intensity of drawn lines.
“These aspects give the drawing richness and balance and make it tasty to the eyes. Being sophisticated with these techniques means you can as ridiculous and juvenile as you want with subject matter and still call yourself a proper artist, which is important.
“There’s a lot of contextual references going on in it, a lot of nods to things I like. The whale is modelled on Monstro from Pinocchio. I like whales; I’d like to be one if I wasn’t an artist. I’ve recently been buying a lot of the original Tank Girl comics online, which might explain the bomb-clad bear strapped to the side. I love Jamie Hewlett’s talent for creating comic-book characters that are kind of the antithesis of the genre; cynical, sarcastic and sometimes cowardly and immoral. It’s much more fun. I tend to draw a lot of the same motifs, things I enjoy drawing.
“I started drawing noodles a lot after seeing a drawing by an artist called Chie Konishi in the Jerwood Drawing Prize exhibition two years ago. It was a detailed drawing of fabric and she’d drawn every fibre in it. The level of complexity looked like a really addictive practice. I also like drawing bowler hats and toy guns. I’m not sure why. Possibly from Roger Rabbit.”
Info: Nick Robertson (AKA trou) is a Birmingham based Artist/illustrator with a penchant for pens and a taste for Burritos. His work can be seen until 21st April 2011 at Common, Manchester.
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