Patrick Kyle interview – February 2010

We’re curating a show and publishing a zine featuring Patrick’s work, both titled Grim Pseudonym. The show will be opening February 26 in Stockholm, more details to come!

Tell us abit about yourself.

I’m a Fine artist, Commercial Illustrator and Comic Book Artist from Toronto, Canada. I graduated from The Ontario College of Art and Design about a year ago, majoring in Illustration. Since then I have been steadily working as an illustrator and also working on a number of Fine Art and Comic book related projected with my two friends Ginette Lapalme and Chris Kuzma. The three of us work together as a collective called Wowee Zonk and we also publish a comic book anthology of the same name featuring local talent. I live in a cozy apartment on the west side of Toronto with my talented girlfriend Amanda.

Whats your work about? General process?

My work is heavily inspired by comic books, and I generally take a very comic-book-style approach to everything I do. (pencils, inks, colour) I’m very interested in creating worlds where my illustrations take place and stories where very unusual things occur. I’ve taken to working with themes of the occult, science fiction and fantasy because it’s generally more plausible for odd things to occur under those parameters. My process is pretty quick, which allows me finish a lot of assignments pretty rapidly. I do drawings in ink, xerox them, paint the xeroxed copy, and then use acrylic matte medium to transfer them onto watercolour paper. It’s complicated, and kind of a backwards way to work, but it works well for me.

Troll, Mixed Media w/ Acrylic Transfer on paper, 2010

Why did you decide to do what you’re doing?

I decided from a very early age that i wanted to draw comics when I grew up. I’ve never had a second thought about it since then, and I’m still drawing comics to this day. Of course, when i attended university, I discovered a lot of new opportunities and directions I could take my drawings, and now I’ve branched out into a few other fields.

What would you do if you weren’t doing what you’re doing?

I really enjoy cooking, so maybe I could operate some kind of an eating establishment. Although, I’m not sure if I’m that great of a cook. I’m also pretty into playing music. There isn’t a lot of opportunities or places to jam if you live in the city unless you have some kind of jam space. I’m also pretty idiosyncratic when it comes to music (and a lot of things) so i don’t make a very good band member.

What’s your daily routine?

I like the idea of getting up early, but i rarely ever do. I usually come to consciousness around 10 am, have a cup of something (Tea if i get up first, Coffee if my Girlfriend gets up first) and check my email for an hour before i start to work. I usually try to work on artwork and am most productive between around 11 am and 4 pm, breaking occasionally for snacks and tea. Around 4 pm i start thinking about dinner and usually begin to cook. I sometimes work during the evening, depending on how fast deadlines are approaching. It’s not really much of a routine right now… I’m only just adjusting to life outside of university, so I think i need to spend some more time planning each day.

If not working what are you up to?

I love to read comics, make music or cook. Though I am pretty guilty of spending a lot of time on the computer.

What does your studio look like?

I usually work on a very small scale, so currently, my studio is in the bedroom of our apartment. It’s modest, with just a drafting desk, a few shelves to hold some essential art supplies, and a computer desk in the corner. I have thought about the possibility of renting a larger studio, but i lived a tiny 1 Room apartment for 3 years during university, and I’ve really gotten used to operating and organizing myself in a confined space.

Studio space

What inspires you at the moment?

Right now I’m looking at a lot of old fantasy art. A large inspiration for the work I did in Grim Pseudonym came from the Swedish illustrator John Bauer. It’s very appropriate that the show is in Stockholm, because a lot of the work is inspired by his Illustrations and many of the Swedish Folk Tales associated with them. I am also really inspired by the work of Gary Gygax in creating the original Dungeons and Dragons Game Manuals. I have never played Dungeons and Dragons, but i think that there is phenomenal creativity and imagination in creating a functional world that players can place themselves in, interact with and understand. This relationship between work and audience is fascinating and very inspiring to me.

What’s next?

Myself and my two Wowee Zonk associates, Chris Kuzma and Ginette Lapalme, are putting the finishing touches on a new book of our fine artwork titled Pobody’s Nurfect. It’s being published by Koyama Press (Operated by the Amazing Anne Koyama) and should be released in May 2010. Other than that, I am slowly working on the third issue of my comic book Black Mass. I’m certain there will be a number of Wowee Zonk related events in 2010, but right now, they’re to be determined.

Toronto, Canada.