This month’s Verb feature is an interview with Bruce Mackay. He’s a Cape Town Illustrator/designer with a mad fresh style. Check out his interview below and make sure to keep an eye on his work!
Name: Bruce Mackay
Hometown: Cape Town
Favourite colour: Brown
What was your inspiration or the idea behind your Verb design?
It’s a cross between a Biblical resurrection and flipping bad-ass zomie skeleton ghosts.
Could you briefly explain the process you went through in creating this work?
Well, I probably went through an entire layout pad trying to get the drawing right in pencil, adding and removing different elements and props and trying to get the negative space right. Then I went over it and inked it a couple times to get the line-weight right. After that I did all the lettering separately. When all the line-work and typography was done I vectorized everything and layed it all out. Then I created blotched ink with a dry brush and built up the background. Finally I added the texture masks.
What music were you listening to while you were creating your graphics for the Verb range?
The Mountain Goats, Bright Eyes, Attack in Black.
Did you have any formal art education, or are you self-taught?
I dropped out of college in 2005 after six months and taught myself to paint for the rest of that year. After that I studied graphic design at AAA in Cape Town.
What sort of full-time work do you do currently? Are there any other projects you’re involved with at the moment?
I was working as a motion graphics designer for television when I worked on the deck. I recently resigned to freelance as an illustrator.
What sorts of mediums do you work in and what do you enjoy about it?
I usually work with acrylic ink and paint (especially ink) and drawing with a brush or dip pen. I like making stencils, and Lino prints, I really like different kinds of printing techniques. And obviously digital work, I had to teach myself vectors after I left college because I used to do everything as digitized hand generated work before then (which was pretty lazy on my part). Im starting to teach myself digital painting these days.
Do you do anything else for fun other than making art?
Well, I like sleeping, and climbing mountains by myself, I’m not sure if you would consider that fun though. I used to play bass in this really cheesy folk-pop band called This Quilt. We might start up again, but with new members and a different name hopefully.
Who are some of the artist’s whose work you enjoy or take inspiration from?
Jeremy Fish is my all time favorite. I’m really excited to be part of a project with the other Verb artists, they are some of my favorite South African artists. Also Faith47, Senyol and Michael Tymbios. The Internet has made it impossible to name everyone who’s work I like. I suppose David Shrigley, Alex Pardee, Mike Giant and Invisible Creature are some of my biggest/other influences.
How do you feel about being an artist living and working in South African?
There are a lot of really good artists to be inspired by and learn from. Its awesome to live and work in Cape Town. It sucks a bit that we have a culture where most people don’t really appreciate art or design.
Do you have any plans for 2010 such as art shows, travels or new styles to explore?
I’m trying to get a book I wrote published and work on a new one. Im thinking of just drawing soccer balls and zebras and lions on everything this year, tourists love that shit. I’d love to do more shows, now that I have time. I have some show ideas I’d like to get out sometime. I don’t really want to be here for the world cup, I’m thinking of taking up poverty in Namibia for that time.
Do you have any websites or blogs that people interested in your work should check out?
Also if you want to download my book “The Ceasefire” you can contact me via those sites.