Posts By Staff

Artist Spotlight: Lisa Golightly

Paintings by Portland-based artist Lisa Golightly. With a background in photography — an influence that can bee seen in her work. Simultaneously anonymous and intimate, Golightly uses found photos to explores how picture taking can alter and even create personal memory. See more images below.

 

Lisa Golightly

“tele-present wind” by Artist David Bowen

A brilliant installation by artist David Bowen which reproduces the movement of wind using realtime data collected from a series of mechanized stalks. Basically, 126 x/y tilting mechanical devices are connected to dried plant stalks installed inside a gallery while parallel stalks are connected to an accelerometer installed outdoors. The accelerometer detects the swaying stalks outside and transmits the motion to those inside the gallery, resulting in a strangely beautiful unison of movement in real-time.

The latest iteration of the installation at Azkuna Zentroa cultural centre in Bilbao, Spain actually uses data from an outdoor location near the Visualization and Digital Imaging Lab at the University of Minnesota, effectively replicating the wind halfway around the world. See more images and video from the project below!

 

Giveaway: “Sabrina” by Nick Drnaso

Nick Drnaso

 

Booooooom: We get a clear sense of your characters day-to-day, especially Calvin Wrobel, as we follow his shifts at work, mental health surveys, and web searches before bed. What’s your own daily routine like?

Nick Drnaso: I work infrequently at a job doing menial labor, and most of the remaining time is spent working on comics. On a given day I wake up around 8 AM and work until my fiancee gets home around 8 PM, we have dinner, and then I either work until bed or maybe we will spend time together.

Booooooom: Were there any major differences between Beverly and Sabrina in terms of your approach or how things came about?

Nick Drnaso: I intentionally kept my approach almost exactly the same as I started working on Sabrina, only because I wanted to transition as smoothly as possible into a new project and I didn’t feel quite comfortable messing with my routine.

 

Nick Drnaso

 

 

Booooooom: We first featured your work on our site back in 2015 but you’ve obviously been at this for a lot longer than that. Was there a particular moment when you felt you’d figured things out? Either personal style-wise or even just in terms of format (i.e. comics, long-form narrative etc.)?

Nick Drnaso: It might sound insincerely modest or self-deprecating, but I really don’t feel like I’ve figured out much, even though at the same time I can recognize some kind of progression in what I’m doing. Put as simply as possible, it’s just one of those “the more you learn, the less you know” situations. I’m reminded of my own deficiencies and limitations on a daily basis, but I don’t mind that feeling of inadequacy at all.

 

 

Nick Drnaso

 

 

Booooooom: Obviously, the big question is what happened to Sabrina, but what about Randy? Actually a few cats appear throughout the book– from Sabrina’s parents’ to the ones at the shelter Teddy sees during his search for Randy — are any of these based on your own?

Nick Drnaso: Aw, out of all the grim things in the story, that’s the part of the book that made my fiancee the most upset. Randy is one of our three cats, so it was sad to draw that sequence. We’re very attached to all of our cats, but Randy is kind of the king of the house. I found him in a raccoon trap at a maintenance job years ago, so to answer your question, in a way, that part of the book is just Randy’s origin story before I found him.

The fluffy cat at the beginning of the story is based on our other cat, Olive. It feels natural to put things from my life into the stories. I try to use discretion and not make it too gratuitous, but I also don’t fret about it that much either. I think in some way if something is important to me, it will hopefully come through in the story. At the very least, it keeps me invested in what I’m doing.

 

 

Nick Drnaso

 

 

Booooooom: Words seem both powerful (capable of misleading and tormenting) and almost simultaneously shallow or empty (not leading to anything actual whether it be comfort or violence). For a graphic novel, there are pages that are predominantly filled with text. Can you speak a bit about that?

Nick Drnaso: I just discovered as I was writing Sabrina that there were sequences in the book that demanded a lot of text (as in many of the news articles and e-mails), and instead of figuring out some way to combine text with images, I preferred to make the text stand alone and uninterrupted. I like the way some of those pages look graphically, and I like the somewhat overbearing and unvarnished nature of a page of text amidst a comic that has a lot of open silence and meandering stillness.

Booooooom: Sabrina addresses issues of paranoia, anxiety and depression which you’ve been open about on a personal level. Do you find the work itself therapeutic? Or, what are your coping mechanisms when it comes to the overwhelming barrage of social media and fake news?

Nick Drnaso: Working on comics is certainly therapeutic, at times challenging and scary, but overall very enjoyable most of the time. It’s not very cathartic to have a book released and available in public, at least for me, unfortunately. That’s just something I will have to figure out how to work around as I continue to make books.

I actually don’t think I was reacting to social media (which I’m not on) as I was working on this book. The internet was just an unavoidable component of this story when I decided to set it in the present day. I was hoping it would just be the conduit that connects the people in the story, and the story wouldn’t necessarily be some kind of comment on the internet. When I try to remember where my mind was at, I was circling around very personal feelings of uncertainty, insecurity, and, most of all, fear and anxiety.

 

 

Nick Drnaso

 

 

Booooooom: I read that you’re heavily influenced by film and television more so than, say, other cartoonists. What have you been watching lately?

Nick Drnaso: Not a whole lot. I haven’t owned a TV since I moved out of my parent’s house, so our TV- and movie-watching is pretty much restricted to our computer with headphones on. I think the influence of movies and TV shows was more embedded from childhood, whereas a lot of cartoonists I’ve talked to have grown up infatuated with comics. It didn’t enter my life until young-adulthood.

To answer your question, we watched the documentary series “Wild Wild Country.” I rewatched “Tokyo Story,” which I hadn’t seen since I was in college, and it was even more affecting the second time. I think that story probably becomes more relatable as you get older, since it’s all about loss, aging and death. I also watched the documentary “Dark Days” again, probably for the tenth time in my life. I don’t know why I keep coming back to it, but it’s one of my favorite movies.

Booooooom: It’s not everyone (or every book) that receives such enthusiastic praise from the likes of Zadie Smith! Which new books or authors would receive a glowing dust-jacket blurb from Nick Drnaso?

Nick Drnaso: Oh, I just spent the weekend at a comic convention here in Chicago, and I was bombarded with so much great work by so many cartoonists I feel lucky to be working alongside. They truly don’t need my endorsement, but I’ll list them here, and I’m sorry if I left anyone out!: Beatrix Urkowitz, Tommi Parrish, Mimi Pond, Fiona Smyth, Lilli Carré, Conor Stechschulte, Gina Wynbrandt, Lane Milburn, David Alvarado, Edie Fake, Jessica Campbell, Richie Pope, Lale Westvind, and that was just one fraction of one convention. It’s overwhelming in the best possible sense.

Booooooom: What can we look forward to seeing from you next?

Nick Drnaso: I’m only about ten pages into what will probably be another long book, so it’s impossible to say what it will turn into. I’m pretty committed to working on one book in private for a number of years and releasing it all at once, so that’s probably what I’ll be doing for a while.

 

 

Nick Drnaso

 

 

Nick Drnaso’s Website

Nick Drnaso at Drawn & Quarterly

Artist Spotlight: Hikari Shimoda

A selection of work by Japanese artist Hikari Shimoda. See more images from “The Catastrophe of Death and Regeneration” below or on display at Asahi Art Museum in her hometown of Nagano July 7 – August 26.

 

Hikari Shimoda

Lane Walkup x Linnea Stephan

Some lovely shots of Portland-based artist Lane Walkup’s new pieces by photographer Linnea Stephan (previously featured here). Featuring their friend, Juell Towns, Lane’s wearable artworks are made from wire — bent, formed, torch-welded and finally powder coated. As she describes:

“You put these pieces on and you feel like you’re wearing something you shouldn’t be wearing, like armor for the modern world. I like making things that aren’t typically made in metal, they have a grandiose quality to them that way. You get a ‘Solange at a Met Gala’ feel when you’re wearing them, which is the ultimate dream.”

Each week our members share their work with us and we highlight the best of these submissions as Editors’ Picks. You can learn more about becoming a member.

 

Linnea Stephan

Illustrator Spotlight: Liam Cobb

A selection of work by London-based illustrator Liam Cobb. See more images below.

 

Liam Cobb

Photographer Spotlight: Marietta Varga

A lovely and unabashedly nostalgic series by Hungarian photographer Marietta Varga. Taken during her first trip back to her hometown of Siófok in ten years, Varga captures the popular tourist destination not as the vacation spot most people see it but as it exists in her mind. As she states:

“For most people Siófok is only known as their holiday place, with the blue lake and happy summer moments, however those who grow up here can see the town in an entirely different way. The places and things important to me are totally different than those liked and remembered by the tourists, and I feel that this is how it should be.”

See more images from “My Town Siófok” below.

 

Marietta Varga

Member Spotlight: An Interview with Brendan Megannety

Member Spotlights are an on-going series of interviews with people from our community! You can learn more about becoming a member here. For this instalment we introduce Vancouver’s own Brendan Megannety of Explorer’s Press

 

 

Jeff Hamada: Who are some of the people that have had the biggest impact on your life creatively? Or put another way, if your life is a song, who are you sampling?

Brendan Megannety: I remember going in to El Kartel when I was probably 15 or 16 and buying the Dithers DVD. It profiled a bunch of upcoming artists in the skate/graffiti at the time like David Choe, Dave Kinsey, Barry McGee, Margaret Kilgallen. There was a whole third DVD that was just Ricky Powell cruising around the lower east side talking shit. He was my favourite photographer by far at the time. That DVD changed my perception of the art world, and just made it look attainable to be an artist. Lately, I’ve really been interested in architectural influenced art like El Lissitzsky. I am also really in to Sean Vegezzi’s photo work.

JH: What were you like as a kid? How was the younger you different than the current you, and what’s stayed the same?

BM: I guess I can’t really put my finger on what it was like to be a kid, but just in terms of art or creativity, I remember having a lot of raw output as a teen. I would paint and draw almost constantly, but I also remember being really concerned about what people thought about my work. Now, I take a long time to come up with concepts for prints or products or whatever and then I execute them, and I know now that I have to do things for myself instead of being concerned with what other people think of them.

JH: You’ve often said “set no path, never lose your way” is almost like a motto for your brand, Explorer’s Press. But I’d imagine just going with the flow can only get you so far when you’re running a brand, do you think much about the path that Explorer’s is on?

BM: I don’t really think too much about where the brand is going. Explorer’s Press is just another project that happened to get really big and turn in to a full time thing for me. The brand doesn’t encompass all that I want to do creatively, but I have put a lot of myself in to it. It is a great venue to get designs/products out in to the wild, and to put on other creatives, but is a lot of “business” at the end of the day.

JH: Do you consider the brand a success? Or at what point will it be a success for you?

BM: I guess it’s successful? I don’t really know what the yard stick is. If I look at it objectively, the brand is in hundreds of stores, distribution overseas, etc etc. None of that shit really matters to me. As long as people get some satisfaction and feel some connection to the products I put out then I’m stoked.

JH: You’ve been making some hilarious bumper stickers recently, what’s the best bumper sticker you’ve seen in the wild?

BM: Last year in San Francisco I saw a bumper sticker that said “Think about honking if you love conceptual art”. That one got me pretty good!

JH: I remember you were trying to get collector plates for your Chevelle. If you got custom plates what you would put? I feel like you’d have a good one.

BM: I’ve always been jealous of my friend in Toronto who got the vanity plate “STRUGGLN”. For the Chevelle, I think “MNYPIT” would be appropriate.

JH: Are there other things you’re making or want to make that aren’t a fit for Explorer’s Press? Or is it broad enough that it can be an umbrella for all the things you want to create?

BM: Explorer’s is really broad, but yeah there have been things that I have just released personally over the years. At the end of last year, I released a zine called “PLAYER’S ONLY” that was just about billiards. It had a bunch of photos I’ve taken in pool halls over the years, and images of billiards in mainstream culture. It also came with a pin, patch, some stickers that say “Pool Players make better lovers”, and some other stuff. I just wasn’t sure if the customer base of the brand would really give a shit about pool, and it’s fun to release something in a small run and not have it sell out in a day online. I still have a couple packs kicking around the studio.

JH: What motivates you to make things?

BM: I have no clue what motivates me to create. If I did, I’d bottle that shit and sell it.

JH: You wanna shout out some other people making cool stuff that we should know about?

@scottsueme just had an amazing show at Kimoto that I really enjoyed. @jamesacrow just had a show as well that was awesome. @allister.a.lee is someone I really look up to in the creative world, and he just had a show at @theletterbet in Montreal. My partner at my shop HALF & HALF is @wastedeffort and she makes very cool jewellery.

JH: I can’t end this without mentioning that you were actually the one who sent me the seal wearing the hat image that I use for the Chillwildlife profile and you always text me funny pics. In your expert opinion what is the best animal photo on the Internet right now?

BM: Haha, I forgot about that! I do love a funny pic. I think the best thing I’ve seen lately is the stressed possum speaking in to the microphone.

 

 

Brendan Megannety’s Website

Brendan Megannety on Instagram

Explorer’s Press on Instagram