Your two new books are centered less around a linear narrative than a set of characters and symbols that are seen from various differing perspectives. Where do these motifs come from?
I had been planning a trip to Ireland and before I went I watched this movie called “The Secret of Roan Inish.” There’s this part in the movie where they describe the selkie creature as being trapped between Earth and Water. That idea – ”between earth and water” – really stayed with me. The idea of two things that sound so huge being finite at the same time was really appealing to think about as a kind of infinity loop in which both parties cancel each other out.
Once I was in Ireland, I was really impressed by the nature that I saw and began to draw from the feelings that came from things such as the weather, electric green grass and the ruins. For me this section of the book felt like a simple feeling of being grateful to be alive and to have my five senses to experience the world with.
Castle ruins are really interesting to me because they are each so unique, no stone is the same. The double helix has become very consistent in my work, and seeing moments of the persistence of life really fill me; moments such as seeing flowers and vines growing through fences. So it became exciting to see all this green overtaking the stones, and I began to imagine how the DNA could be applied to this feeling and the drawings just kind of happened.
What keeps you tied to drawing figuratively or orienting yourself through narrative when you so often veer away from it?
I enjoy drawing certain things over and over again, until I am naturally led to something new. It’s kind of like developing a muscle memory. I very much enjoy examining one idea from multiple angles and seeing how far something can get pushed. In terms of the narrative as a whole – I feel that I have always been more interested in the many stops along the way of a journey rather than an A to B way of thinking.
Also, working in a figurative fashion serves as a form of processing; it’s very cathartic. I am inspired by artists that have a very specific, obsessive persistence in their work. Someone like Keith Haring is very inspiring to me in how he really pushed his narrative through this one form of line but found so many different avenues to express on that journey. Another artist that I am inspired by is Aubrey Beardsley and the precision and craft that he inserted into everything he did. I feel a deep connection to that way of operating. I feel that drawing is the most honest medium that I can work in and it’s something that I truly enjoy. There are just certain things that I can only say with a line and it’s liberating to have a language to work within and to keep finding new sentences.