Australia is home to many great graphic artists, but there is one that may, perhaps, shine above the rest. That man, with his unique, strangey-cute illustrations and twisted storylines is Mick-Macks artist (and owner) Jarrod Elvin.
I was lucky enough to score an interview with the creatively talented Jarrod and managed to get a bijou yet informative insight into his mindly workings. So what do we have to look forward to in the future from Mick-Macks.com?
When did you first start with the whole drawing thing?
I’ve been drawing since before I can remember. My inspirations come from a lot of things, first and foremost I’d have to say would be the 2D animated Disney movies. Then a bit of anime, and SPAWN comic books. There’s a lot more though, too many to list. If I had to describe myself in 25 words or less I’d say I’m just a shmuck who loves to draw, and knows I can only do it for myself. An impossible, but determined dreamer…
What made you want to become a comic book artist?
I’ve been writing and drawing comics since as long as I can remember. There’s never been a time where I haven’t been working on a comic/animation idea. I always wanted to be a comic artist, but I guess what really cemented the idea for me and made me follow it as a real thing to do with my life, was (a) love for the art, and (b) a seeming incapability and lack of desire to do anything else.
For the uninitiated, can you tell us a bit about Mick-Macks?
Hmmm… Mick-Macks is the name of my business, which in the future I want to cover a lot of things including comics, animations, film, toys, apparel, merchandise, video games and more, for all ages. At the moment, I am working under the ‘sub-name’ Meatbucket, which holds comics and animations that tend to be reserved for teenagers to young adults. Meatbucket products all have a slight dark edge and ‘wacky/insane’ sense of humour about them.
One has to ask. Why the name Mick-Macks?
It’s actually a name that my mum suggested. She’s deeply into numerology/astrology, and she worked out that, according to a certain numerological template Mick-Macks would be a very successful name. Haha! I used to believe in it fully. Not so much now, though I can’t deny that it does seem to predict a lot that could be too much to be called ‘coincidence’ – so it can’t hurt right? Besides, what’s in a name anyway? I couldn’t think of a better one.
Which comic have you most enjoyed working on so far?
It’s a question of easiness to do vs. the rewarding feeling when it’s complete. For example I like working on Checkers’ World, because it is fairly quick and easy for me, but with Checkers’ Asylum, which demanded a lot more work, the end result is far more rewarding. It’s hard for me to answer; I’m guessing it would be like asking a parent which child is their favourite…
In Checkers’ Asylum, Checkers has an imaginary pet/friend, a bright pink elephant…
Well, pink elephants are kind of the ‘quintessential’ hallucinatory being, so I needed to have one. When I came up with the name Thumbo, it confirmed it for me.
Dot Nightingale is the main character in the Mick-Macks comic VioleNt Streak. Can you give us some insight into this purpled-streaked haired girl who, in the first issue, has just started school?
Dot, like all my characters, is based on myself, or at least a certain aspect of myself. In Dot’s case, she gets bored with ‘normality’ very easily, so she is always searching for something exciting and out of the ordinary, which can sometimes lead her into trouble. She has a wild imagination and tends to jump to crazy conclusions about things. She gets scared very easily, but over-compensates for that by reacting in violent, but somewhat futile outbursts.
Do you have anything coming out for the end of 2009?
Meatbucket Mag #04 is coming out in print(as long as I can get my lazy ass around to doing it). As for online, I’m always coming up with new silly ideas to put up, either on YouTube or DeviantArt.
What will be your focus for 2010?
I don’t really ‘plan’ anything as such, pretty much just go where inspiration takes me. Because I do everything all by myself, I’ve got the freedom to do whatever comes to my head whenever I want. I can change/scrap/come up with new ideas without letting anyone down. However, next year, I’d like to somehow get my stuff into the American, maybe even Japanese marketplace
What piece of advice would you give aspiring graphic artists?
Oh jeez, well, I don’t think I’m the right person to give any advice, but I’d say; Just do what you think is good, follow your passions and do it for yourself, don’t tailor anything to please others. Also don’t get hung up on becoming ‘rich’, ‘famous’ or ‘successful’ – it’s all pretend…
A man’s gotta have a special moment with his socks. With his good buddies on the phone. In the jungle. In the sun.