I’m very much for the interesting juxtaposition of things old and new. And sometimes once in a cold, blue moon, I see something that just makes me laugh till my sides hurt and cry “why didn’t I think of that in the first place?!”
The work of James Kerr of Scorpion Dagger has this very effect on me.
The premise behind his ideas are simple: he uses characters from Renaissance paintings and makes them come alive through animated GIFs. In ways you wouldn’t expect, and typically not in the fashion you would think. Niceties are out the window, and in comes the culture of the 21st century, embodied by characters who belong in museums (who look much too solemn to be twerking, you say? Prepare to never look at a painting the same way again.)
On being a self-taught artist:
I don’t necessarily have any formal art training, I actually studied History and Political Science in University, but have been making art in one capacity or another practically my entire life.
On where his ideas come from:
My ideas pretty much just come from silly thoughts that I have.
On how he creates his GIFs:
Once I’ve decided what I’m going to make, I start looking through paintings to pull out elements that I think would work best for that GIF. It’s then cut, paste, animate in Photoshop until the GIF is done.
I was speaking to a fellow well-known artist the other day – it was the first time I met him after conversing through email for the longest time. And it was just brilliant. I always love meeting new people – even though the relationship wasn’t technically new, the experience of meeting someone for the first time is something I treasure, because of the wonderful little surprises I know that lies in store.
Whether it’s nuggets of advice and inspiration, or a forging of new bonds; my mind just buzzes with excitement at the thought of hands that are extended in friendship, and where a new thread becomes interwoven in the colorful fabric that has become my life.
So we sat down and talked over lunch, and the more we talked, the more I was fascinated at his ideas. “All I wanted to do was draw,” said the man who turned to art after studying to be a mechanical engineer. “And now I can.” It was inspiring, and to which I thought was incredibly zen-like. My head was brimming with ideas on how he could take it further, and I told him what I was thinking of. He just shook his head and said “I’m happy at this point of my life – I am doing what I’ve always wanted to do. I’m drawing, and I’m earning a living for myself and my family. I don’t have to go big. I’m happy.”
If contentment had a face and a voice, it would be his.
His name? Lim Heng Swee of I Love Doodle.
You’ll be able to read more of our conversation through the Work/Art/Play online course that starts in September – sign up for more details when we launch in a couple of weeks!
Dutch illustrator Antigoon has recently curated an excellent looking new exhibition at Walls Gallery in Amsterdam, open until 24th August, as an extension of his Exquisite Corpse website (last image, shown below). I love referring to the Exquisite Corpse as a creative exercise in my classes and his website was able to showcase the illustrations brilliantly.
For his new exhibition, Antigoon asked ten of his favourite illustrators – including Hedof, Nick Liefhebber and Joren Joshua – to work together in two’s, and for each pair to create a limited edition risograph print together. Just like the online project, the illustrators worked in sequence, with one creating the top half of the print before passing it on to their partner, with the partner only allowed to see a very small slither of what had already been drawn. The result is 5 prints which can see in totality at his Behance page, which are also up for sale.
[Print #1: Nick Liefhebber vs. Olivier Vrancken; Print #2: Aron Vellekoop León vs. Hedof]