Why do you do what you do?
I’m an illustrator, comic artist and more recently, a political cartoonist. For me this is something that I’ve always done and just part of my life. Drawing is a great tool for me to communicate all my thoughts and feelings and I love seeing people resonate with my work. I’m incredibly fortunate to be doing what I do and I can’t imagine doing anything else.
What inspires you?
Lots of things, it isn’t always art that inspires me, I can get ideas from music, word, film, pretty much anything. Sometimes an idea can just pop up from nowhere. Having said that I think it’s also important to work through things when you’re not inspired. To me, creativity is like a muscle. The more you work through blocks and create things, the more creative you’ll be. You can’t always wait for inspiration to be able to work.
Are there any particular things you like drawing?
I love drawing turtles and tortoises. I’ll try and sneak them in anywhere I can. I’ve managed to get the odd tort into my own comics, Doctor Who comics and even the odd political strip too.
Why do you think Scotland should be an independent country?
I believe Scotland should be able to make all of its own decisions, get the governments it votes for and stand on it’s own two feet. It couldn’t be clearer from the Brexit vote and recent general elections that Scotland wants different things from the rest of the UK and I don’t think it’s fair that it’s being dragged along regardless.
A few years ago I was doing an artist’s residency in Finland, an independent country with a similar population. It does great on it’s own and is socially and politically fairly similar (it’s where the baby box idea came from) I couldn’t help but think ‘there’s no reason Scotland couldn’t be like this’. When you look at countries like Finland, Norway, Iceland and Denmark the ‘too small, too poor’ argument falls flat.
Would you encourage other artists to get involved, and if so, why do you think they should?
I would. I think it’s a great way of expressing thoughts or feelings about politics which are so entwined in daily life. For me, bringing politics into my work was a bit scary but if it’s done respectfully it can very effective, and might even change some minds.
Photo by James Morisson.