Christopher Simpson (NZ)

Christopher Simpson (NZ)

Due to rugby worldcup, I was not expecting New Zealand artists to answer me quickly this month but Christopher Simpson surprised me, I saw his Nancy Norman poster on and was so puzzled by it, that I contacted him right on. I will give no advice to the kiwi's regarding their rugby (especialy because, coming from a french guy, it would be really weird) but I just want to tell them they should have a close look to their local artists.

Hello, of course as every Crewk interview, first question: what are we listening to when we come to visit you?

Hardcore pank from wellington new zealand or classic heavy metal/grind/thrash/black/doom/death. Then some classical music, talkback radio and drum solo compilations.

Can you tell us more about yourself, who are you, where are you from, what do you do?

I work at a video shop in Wellington (the capital city of new zealand) which has over 20,000 quality dvds and rare vhs. When im not working i'm either watching movies or sitting at my desk air drumming.

When did you start drawing?

I think in primary school when i was about 11 - then in high school I would draw little non-sensical comics which were never in order. A year later my mum signed me up for after-school art classes. They wouldn't give me any cordial juice because it made me hyper active, but we would go to the beach and collect driftwood to make into animals which i would later sell to cafes and shops.

Did you follow any course or did you improve by drawing in the margins of your schoolbooks?

I did a six month course on using a computer and learnt photoshop so now i can make doodles look like professional doodles. I would also practice drawing judas priest and megadeth logos in my school books.

Today are you living from your art, or do you do something else for a living ?

Video shop

Are you collaborating with magazines/fanzines, regularly?

I have done one illustration for a skateboarding magazine called 'Manual'. It was for an article about crust punks. I think i used too much pink. I got paid, but never got any more magazine work. I have made a couple of zines with black and white drawings as well.

Where does your influence come from? Is there any artists/graphists you particularly like, what are your influences?

It comes from: Skateboarding, Gumby, Maurice Pialat, Ana Torrent, Video Covers, Fenriz, Robert Bresson, Young Monster, Johnny Thunders, John Cassavetes, John Cardiel, Mark Gonzales, Ronnie James Dio, David Shrigley, Paper Rad, Coffee, Bananas, hand-made books from friends, Gibson Flying V Guitars, Witch Masks, Michael McGaveston.

And lots of good kiwi bands which not many people outside of nz really know, like: Butt Simpson, Rogernomix, Mongo Skato, Entrails, Methdrinker, Street Chant, Hussies, Old Loaves, Electric Mayhem, Black Boned Angel and Gaywyre.

What are the principal steps in your work ?

Listening to the band comes first. Then either drawing with ink pens on paper or doing a collage till something starts taking shape, then hand drawing the type

Do you do everything by hand or on computer?

Mostly by hand either drawing or cutting things out and rearranging then i'll usually colour in on the computer.

How long does it take you to do a poster?

Anything from an hour to 3 or 4 hours, sometimes longer depending on what else i'm doing at the time.

You have a very distinctive style, are you doing only what you feel like or if tomorrow somebody asks you an oil painting with horses running out of water with a sunset backdrop, is it a problem or are you up for it ?

I haven't used oils for a long time but I like horses and think i would be up for the challenge.

For which band have you already worked for?

Mostly bands from Australia or New Zealand. But a few international bands here and there. Some include:

Spencer C. Yeh, The Melvins, High On Fire, Times New Viking, Orchestra Of Spheres, Street Chant, The Clean, Popstrangers, Rifles, The Body Lyre, Ouch My Face, Surf City, Die! Die! Die!, Camp a Low Hum Music Festival etc.

For which band would you love to work?

Any band that would want to tour over to NZ

Do you choose the artists yourself?

No, they are mostly local bands so I have trouble even getting hold of music they have recorded. Most of the time I don't know what the band sounds like at all because it will be one of their first shows.

What is the most difficult part in designing a poster ?

Keeping the promoter happy while still having fun.

Do you think you are part of a "Graphic Scene", if so who else ?

Not in New Zealand, but there is a wider "graphic scene" that i hope to be part of.

A bit of self-promotion, take advantage of it, it's free, where can we see your work , on the web or in real life?

The best praise you received lately?

Being asked to be interviewed for a french web zine

What can we wish you for the future?

Good health. I just saw someone get hit by a car on a pedestrian crossing last night and now i am paranoid.

Thanks for answering my questions and see you soon on the website !!


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