2016 graduating Bachelor of Illustration student, Tim Wood, combines fineliner illustrations to create surrealist work that tests our imagination.
You have a uniquely traditional meets contemporary style, where have you drawn this inspiration from?
This is kind of a long story but I will try to condense it as much as I can. Early on my style was very much informed by the many comic books and graphic novels that I read as a kid. Quite different from where it is now, my work from that period had very thick lines and pitch black shadows. Then, while extremely lost and directionless at uni, someone pointed me towards Herge and Moebius who are now perhaps the two biggest influences on my style. Though I’m quite heavy handed so those thick areas of tone never stay away for too long. I also tend to colour all of my work digitally because I am kind of hopeless at using paint and I love experimenting with different colour schemes. This is far easier and quick to pull off when done digitally.
What are some quirky projects you’ve worked on?
Up until super recently I haven’t really worked on anything for anyone other than myself. I like to think that all of my work to date has included some level of quirk or surrealist element. For me, having something a little strange or a little bit off in an image is as important as a signature and I would hope that I sign most of my work in such a way.
Is music a big influence in your illustration process?
Music is an extremely useful tool for me as an illustrator. Although, I tend to use it a lot when I’m rendering my final artwork and stay away from it while I’m trying to come up with ideas. The main reason being that rendering the works that have a lot of crosshatching and clean lines can be tedious as hell and without music to distract me from that, it probably wouldn’t be long before my work isn’t the strangest thing about me anymore, that’d be tragic. Also, I tend to leave stuff as late as possible and nothing says “keep up dickhead” line a bit of dance-punk.
Where would you most like to see your work featured?
To be completely honest at this point in time I would be stoked to see it anywhere outside of my sketchbook. I like the idea of print, having something tangible that you can flick through in a very natural way and stop when something catches your eye. And the smell of a magazine is amazing! Yeah that’s what I want. I want to flick through a magazine and see my work on a lovely smelling page. If you’re reading this I guess I made it (thanks by the way). In saying all of that the comic book kid in me would still love to see me write and illustrate my own graphic novel. I think that would be pretty rad.
What message do you aim to convey through your art?
I don’t really know if there is any one message as it depends on the work. But I think it is super important to find the interesting among the quotidian. There is weird shit all around us and I think it is important to stop and take notice of it, and if you can’t see it, to create it. The thing is that a bad day can come out of nowhere and ninja stab you in the face and the best treatment for a mortal face injury is laughter… I think… I’m not a doctor, I draw stuff.
How does the combination of animal meets man seen within your work reflect your personality traits?
I’m not sure that they reflect my personality as much as I use them to give the character its own personality. In saying that I feel like I might be a little bit impulsive. So the second that I think about chucking a fly’s head on an electrician’s body, I kind of just have to go for it and see what happens. I also get a kick out of making people smile, or chuckle, or stare at something trying to find any reason as to why something like that should exist. Simply put, Frankensteining creatures onto the bodies of humans is just fun to do and hopefully fun to look at. It comes back to that obsession I have with making something interesting out of something completely normal.
What’s your ideal holiday location?
I’m not sure about a holiday but I would love to travel to and live for a bit in Canada. I’ve never seen snow before and I can’t stand the heat so Canada seems like a good idea to me. Also what the hell is up with hockey? I have no idea what the rules are but I could watch that shit for days. There are also some really rad Canadian bands which I would love to see live but never make their way this south (probably because of the goddamn weather). In saying all of that, I would love to travel all over the world. I have wanted to visit Tibet and Nepal for a long time now as well as Central Europe. At this stage in my life I think it is important to see as much of the world as I can and to meet as many people as I can.
Words by Rachael Sharman.
Images by Tim Wood.