Kevin of Arcadia Mayhem
"I’m one to sit on a piece till an idea hits and then I'll proceed on it. It's like cooking you know? You’ve got to let the project simmer in your subconscious for a bit."
Have you ever wondered how artists who create crazily detailed illustrations think and work? WOOP ZINE chats to Kevin for a bit and learns how illustration is a bit like cooking.
Right now I’m not working or studying at the moment. I'm just taking a break to brush up on my skills for a bit. I’m however in artistic cahoots with my crew/business/cult/ hidden society, Tell Your Children, and am working together with three other fantastic illustrators on our artistic endeavours.
In my free time, I lend my expertise to further the advances of the goblin kingdom. They’re at war with the high elves.
I’d say the worst part of being a creative would be the transferal of the idea/vision in my head for the piece onto paper using such unforgiving mediums. Its frustrating when what's on the paper does not tally with said vision in my head. Sometimes that vision/idea is extremely vague - I like to think of it as a downloading process from a higher consciousness - and it turns me into a hulking green mess. And oh when you get paint on your clothes! (Curses)
As for my illustration style, I started admiring the works of my peers and somehow, their innate eye for details rubbed off on me. It's interesting to reflect on how big an impact they had on me. My Final Year Project was a book titled Brandemic and stylistically speaking, it was purely vector illustration. One could say that it was the genesis of my artistic journey.
How long does it take for me to finish a piece? Great question. Somewhere between 3 days - 2.5 years. I’m one to sit on a piece till an idea hits and then I'll proceed on it. It's like cooking you know? You’ve got to let the project simmer in your subconscious for a bit. That being said, I’m HORRID with deadlines.
Regarding how I'm inspired, I'm very much an observer; taking in the environment both online and offline, things people say, their experiences and stories, and I channel it into my art. Sometimes random words/phrases pop up while I’m working on a piece, which would lead to another, and another, and the ball keeps rolling from there. Inspiration is everywhere and sometimes you’ve just got to dig for it.
I'm a big fan of paper, ink (Indian and acrylic) and paint when I create my work, not so much digital; The 36 hour vectoring process during my FYP has scarred me and I’ve yet to recover from said psychological damages.
And when I do a commercial work, it irks me when clients try to take the reins of said project. I’d prefer them to give me space to experiment and test out my own ideas and play around with what they’ve provided me with.
As for whether I have themes for my work...it's hard to put a finger on a given topic. Most of the time my pieces are based on a pool of ideas swimming in a larger pool of thought, which gets a wee bit confusing sometimes. I do like paradoxical elements in my pieces though, and perfection: I strive to create a ‘ perfect' piece every time I work, which in turn leads me on a wild goose chase through my subconscious.