What do you think of American art and design?
I think it’s a great idea. I tend to go for the Charles Anderson, Chip Kidd and Art Chantry end of town and I like Charles Wilkin’s collages too.
I don’t really think in terms of American art and design as if it’s a particular genre, like Dutch design, which has a distinct look about it. I think about it like American comedy versus British comedy. It’s all very competent and everything, but just missing a little spark of the unusual.
Where does your source material come from?
Packaging, magazines, overheard conversations. I once spent New Year’s Day in Amsterdam with a screaming hangover, fishing spent fireworks out of the gutter and then going back to my hotel and soaking all the labels off. When I was at college after a night on the ale, my mate Richard and I would go round the back of Holborn Underground station where there was a fruit barrow and rummage through the wooden fruit crates taking cardboard labels and also from badly screen-printed wooden panels. I am a great collector of printed tat from a time before there was the technology to reproduce quality colour photography. Everything was drawn or hand-lettered. I am addicted to foreign supermarkets, flea markets, junk shops, and car boot sales.
Walk us through your process.
My work revolves around found images. For some bizarre reason, drawing something myself seems like cheating. I trawl through my collection of images and see if there is anything that fits the theme I am working on, or if I have a bee in my bonnet about a particular image I want to use I will try and work that in. I take things out of context and then combine them with other bits of found type or images to create a new meaning. I will just potter about until something sticks. Then I spend a lot of time trying to make it look like it’s not done on a computer, putting colours out of register, making sure things aren’t lined up or are slightly wonky. Right now I am also gearing everything up for screen printing so it will be CMYK. I tend to think in terms of a print outcome.