About the artistArt curated by
A word from wotto: Do you ever see a designer and think 'Wow this guy/gal is one talented swine'? Well I did with Mr Rocks. He is right up there with the best. He certainly inspired me and I dare you to find an artist who can draw hotter woman.
You have skills, how did you acquire them?
Thanks. I've acquired my skills over time, which means I am old! (I'm only a few years away from 40! How did this happen???)
Seriously though, I have been drawing for a long time, every since I was a very young boy. My father used to paint, and owned a ton of old war comics that inspired me early on. I refined my skills at Design School, which taught me invaluable techniques and professional practice, and have been freelancing since graduating in 1994. Since then I have taught myself the riggers of Photoshop and illustrator, and so here we are today.
So tell us how you developed this T-shirt design, what was the starting point?
I have always been a fan of the old school horror films, like the ones staring Vincent Price. I have a book on the subject, and wanted to do a semi abstract homage to these characters. I thought about doing this alot more realistically, like you could believe this was a stitched together creature. But I found inspiration in Rob Gould's drawing style, and the black and white drawing style kinda worked with this mish mash of monsters. Considering some of the actual films where in black and white, it was one of those happy misdirections, know what I mean?
Which T-shirt do you wear the most?
HA! Hell, is it egotistical to admit it's one of my own designs? It's my Zombie Chick design that I did for a New Zealand label called Cleatis-Preston (http://www.cleatis-preston.com/). I had complete artistic control on this, and so I designed a shirt I would love to own. One of those dream jobs.
Name one artist you think is underrated?
Man, thats a tough one, there are so many. If I can interpret 'underrated' as 'underexposed', then Julia Sonmi Heglund springs to mind (http://sonmisonmi.com/). I seethe with professional jealousy at the way she can just pick up a pen and start drawing a finished piece that could grace anyones wall. I consider her 'my friend Julia who'll be a famous artist one day'.
Star Wars or Star Trek?
No contest, Star Wars. I was 5 when the original came out, and remember seeing the trailer at a Disney film. I could not wait!
Which 5 famous people would you like to have dinner with (dead or alive)?
There'd have to be drinkers and talkers, so, in order, Elvis (for stories and a sing-along), James Jean (would pick his brain, and he'd probably relish the chance to sketch the other guests), Frank Sinatra (a drunken duet with me, and maybe Elvis), Ernest Hemingway (more stories, and he could mix the mojitos), and last but not least Betty Page (keep her away from Elvis!).
What book would you suggest for people to read?
BLACKSAD. noir graphic novel genius. Buy both stories, and the behind the scenes book. All will inspire.
Who has been the best client you have designed for?
Joel at Shirt Woot is great. An open brief ,so artistically rewarding. Plus realistic budgets and royalties. Ticks all the boxes.
Who would you most like to dance with?
I think Jennifer Lopez could teach me a thing or two about rhythm, as they say it's gonna get you.
What plans do you have for 2009?
I want to do more painting, feel like more of an artist. I'd like to curate another show this year, but finding time outside of freelancing lately has been tough.
What animal would you be re-incarnated as and why?
Easy, a cat. More specifically, and un-neutered male cat. Cats have it made! Eat, sleep, play, sleep, cruise, sleep. I'm really into my sleep.
Who’s portfolio website do you envy?
Another easy question. James Jean (http://www.jamesjean.com/ but also check out his blog http://www.processrecess.com/). I almost want to weep at what he's achieved before he's even 30! But it goes to prove that talent backed by hard work will get you everything you ever wished for.
Want to promote a website/someone/yourself?
Sure, here are a couple. The Black Rock Collective, which I am proud to say I help start up:
and our store front: