Der var et par spørgsmål, jeg godt ville stille Ron Regé, og så tænkte jeg,
jeg ville dele svarene med jer.
So, what are you doing these days?
I am making art all of the time. I am drawing comics, and commercial illustrations. I am making drawings and paintings & sculptures. I am playing music in a band, and I am even doing a tiny bit of work on something that might resemble a television show (well... a DVD!)
In March Drawn and Quarterly are putting out two of your books - a reprint of Skibber Bee-bye and the new The Awake Field which you told me has landscape drawings. Is it a narrative?
The Awake Field is narrative. I am not sure exactly how to describe it. Sometimes I get ideas, and plan out my work - like Piger Mod Smerte. Yet - sometimes complete books present themselves to me from my subconcious. I will get the idea for the entire work at once. I don't like to place restrictions on these works - and think of them as my true "art". They come from deep inside - like all great true art should...
There will be one new book, and two books of older material for you to read in 2006, as well as a 16 page story (from 1997!) in Kramer's Ergot #6.
You did the video for Mew's 156 and recently did some stage props for them - anything else in the pipeline?
Not at the moment - but they are good friends of mine - and hopefully they will ask me to create some work again. We've mentioned the idea of doing another video someday... They still sell Tshirts with my imagery from 156 on it. I will perhaps be publishing the art from the 156 video in a comic book here in the US someday...
You draw pictures for a living. How is that even possible?
It is not easy. I live very cheaply. I don't have any children, or own a home. I am also 36 years old, and have only been living 100% off of my art for the past 3 years! I have held very many other jobs over the years!
You've described your style as cute brût. The cute bit is obvious but which parts of Art Brût do you associate with?
The term "Cute Brut" was invented by my former publisher Tom Devlin. It was kind meant tounge in cheek. I do like the term, though. It is funny. I DO have a great interest in, and draw great inspiration from Art Brut! I try to follow my inner voice as much as possible w/ my art...
I associate strongly with the act of letting the inspiration for your art come from an unknown urge, deep inside the subconcious. Outsider artists don't neccesarily even know what medium to use, or how to execute what they desire to make. I may be educated, and I have DECIDED that drawings that sometimes have words with them is the best option for me.
Do you feel like you're on the fringe of society?
No, I don't think so. Perhaps in some ways, but not really with my art.
Do you feel a kinship with any other comic artists? Or musicians, writers, artists, etc?
Sure. Why wouldn't I like my fellow artists? I get along better with artists than stockbrokers...
About the cute aspect of your drawing style - It is cute, simple and iconic - but often I don't find it particularly easy to read. Your 'emanata etc' often invoke mood rather than facilitate reading the images. Composition of images seems a greater priority than readability. Do you agree?
No... not necessarily... If my "readability" is bad, then I just must be a difficult cartoonist. It is as "readable" as I know how to make it... Placement of the words isn't a priority, if that's what you mean... I view every aspect as equally important...
I don't think your style is difficult to read. It's just that it's often described as simple and easy and uncomplicated - and I think that's missing the point. I think your style is complex and takes a little while to learn how to decipher. My point is: People see round faces and big noses and immediately shelve your stuff with Matt Groening, Walt Disney, James Kochalka, and I see you as doing something else.
Ah... it's true. I actually often forget that the "cuteness" even exists in my art, because I am so close to it, perhaps. I am so often thinking more about the subject matter, which is so often not very "cute" at all. Whenever I get freelance illustration work - I am hired to draw "cute" things. It is funny to be pigeonholed in such a way, because from MY point of view, I feel my work is more similar to people like Blanquet, Valium, or Reumann - who use "cartoony" - yet not always "cute" figures to perform often ghastly tasks.
The term "Cute Brut(e)" seems to work well in this way as well - My work can be deceptively cute - yet the subject matter may be "Brutal"....
I haven't read much more than Skibber Bee-bye, Yeast Hoist 11: Does Music Make You Cry and duh, Piger mod smerte but I find all of them intensely emotional reads. They seem to all want to describe or explore the human condition. The author comes across very strongly - what I read is I WANT TO COMMUNICATE WITH YOU.
True. I like to explore the human condition. Humans' emotional relation to the world is something I think of often. Thus, it shows up in my work.
Um, sure. A person that draws talking pictures seems like the type of person that woukld want to communicate w/ others... Art, and thus pictures usually want to communicate, no?
My comics do tend to be very personal, it's true. It's not like I'm writing adventure stories, like Tintin or something. My subject matter is very close to my heart. Then again, it's always different & changing.
And finally: If DC asked, would do you a Batman story?
Of yeah, sure. I'll draw anything if the money is right. I wish people would offer me funny things like that to draw! In reality I'm probably be more likely to draw Batman without being asked first...
Aben maler / December 2005
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