An impromptu, informal and potentially alcohol-induced interview with Victoria-based artist, Tyler Witzel.
What do you draw?
I’ve noticed with your drawings - and maybe it’s just because the friends of mine who own these drawings are also your friends - but you base many drawings on mundane things, things that you see in everyday life. Do you find that?
Like the towels?
Yes, like the towels, but there are other objects as well. I say ‘mundane,’ but it is kind of a prophet-of-our-generation approach to illustration. Do you begin by drawing what you see, or is there a specific process to choosing your content?
I am definitely inspired by the things around me. I tend to incorporate certain everyday life things into my drawings, but I try to make them have a bit of a fantasy element as well.
Why were you drawn to a comic style?
I have always loved comics.
Shit answer. Try again.
A lot of my favourite artists are comic artists. I do actually like fine art, but I consider comics to be fine art. Not the Marvel types, though.
Manga? Oh, that’s funny- I used to draw manga through high school. I appreciate it still. I think it has an influence on my style, subtly, because I learnt to draw when I was into it. In school, instead of doing work I would just draw all day. Even though I am not into [manga] anymore, I’m sure it has an influence. My lines are very clean, which is a manga thing, very refined-looking.
Do you think your work is researched-based? Are you inspired by certain literature?
Definitely. I draw from a lot of things and just try to put it all together. When I think of an idea for an illustration, I will often look to what I am reading at the time. I have been into Hemingway lately for the first time.
How epic! Do you feel more manly lately? He is the definition of masculinity in my mind.
Yep. Totally. There is one illustration I did - I wouldn’t say it was based on The Old Man and the Sea, but it was in my mind - but I did a sea scene. There were no giant marlin or anything, though.
Nautical. You live in Victoria right now. Would you say you were drawn here for the island life?
I moved here because I have a lot of friends here. I remain here because of the art scene. I find it very communal and welcoming. Everyone is into…
Art? Music? Ocean? Hippie shit? Crystals? Coffee?
…art. I did a show at Olio, which is a great resource for artists. I asked if I could do it, and next day we got it going. I lived in Vancouver before this, and it was a bad time for my art. Plus, as you said, everyone here is into hippie shit and crystals and coffee and all that. Even though I don’t drink coffee, I drink decaf coffee. I get a placebo effect that helps me work. I feel like I’m still doing an interview…
Do you collect anything odd?
I have a stamp collection. I don’t collect them anymore, but I still have them. It’s always good to have a good stamp.
So instead of judging people based on their shoe choice, you can judge based on stamp choice?
If someone has a choice, why not choose a nice stamp? …What do you think of my shoes?
Drawings sourced via http://tylerwitzel.tumblr.com/
Zine craze in Kelowna this week!
My collective is organizing Kelowna’s first zine fair ONE WEEK from today. This is one of our contributors-
I’m putting together a zine called ‘JK’. These are a couple illustrations it will feature.
December 21st, 2:00pm-7:00pm
At Milkcrate Records.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more deets.