If you’ve followed Beautiful/Decay you know that Skwak has collaborated with us dozens of times creating apparel, posters, gallery exhibitions and most importantly his wildly popular cover story in Beautiful/Decay Issue J . One of his most exciting new projects is his collaboration with our friends over at Mr. Chiizu, an artist’s photo decoration iphone app. He signed on with Mr. Chiizu earlier this year to create a theme that lets his fans get inside his always funny and sometimes grotesque illustrious world. Skwak’s signature style lent themselves well to the photo frames and stickers he created for his theme. We caught up with Skwak to see what he has been up to.
I’ve been an illustrator for 8 years. Illustrations came naturally to me. It was a pretty obvious path.
Did you go to school for illustration? Or are you self taught?
I studied communications in college, and didn’t specialize in illustrations. Since illustration has always been a natural way for me to express myself it became more than a career, It’s my passion.
How have your maniacs evolved over the years?
My maniacs are born to pollution. They have since evolved and created a world with its own rules and codes, all based on the absurd and the idea of “excess”. Every day, new maniacs enter this world and make it evolve. This world is becoming more dense, more rich everyday.
What is your working environment like?
Very simple. My Mac, my graphics tablet and nothing else. No other elements on my desk. Everything happens on the screen.
What has been the biggest source of inspiration for you lately?
I don’t have one clear inspiration for my work. There is often an association of ideas which don’t make sense on the screen and does not give the result I want, but when all these ideas come together to create the Maniac world, an Absurd world it somehow makes sense.
I confess, In fact, everything inspires me but I don’t dwell too much on it.
How do you begin you creative process? With a sketch? On the computer?
Sometimes I do some sketches but it is very rare. Usually I write and I start directly on the computer.
Who are some of your favorite illustrators and why?
What was the inspiration for your Mr. Chiizu pack?
I wanted to create a theme that would give people the opportunity to fully integrate into my Maniac world. I tried to have a very varied selection of images to give the people the power to create a crazy and colorful world for their pictures. It would be fun to combine completely different elements in one image like a sausage and a star wars sword. An important point in my work, is the absurdity of the world of maniacs and that’s exactly what I hope people do with the images, create fun, crazy, and creative absurd images. The important thing is to use my theme without holding back! you must be crazy, have no limits, be colorful, absurd, and most of all a maniac.