• Epicbig
  • Characters_big
  • Characters_photo
  • Short_story
  • Obstacles
  • Robot_bully
  • Noisy
Art

Tom Gauld

Posted by Alex Bec,

All the little drawings scattered around It’s Nice That are the work of the brilliant Tom Gauld. An uncanny nack for hitting the nail on the head seen him prove himself as a master of the art of editorial illustration. All polished off with a sense of humour to envy, we thought it was about time to catch up with him properly and also treat you to a first look at a brand new letterpress print, Character for an Epic Tale – released this week with Buenaventura Press

Hey Tom, your drawings are all over It’s Nice That, so it’s odd we haven’t spoken to you before – could you tell us a little about yourself for those readers who have been living in a cave and not heard of you?

I make illustrations and cartoons. I published my first comic book (called First) in 2001 with my friend Simone Lia. Since then I’ve written, drawn and published quite a few small comic books. My most recent books, Hunter and Painter and The Gigantic Robot were published by Buenaventura Press, they also publish ‘Kramers Ergot’ an excellent comics anthology to which I contribute. I do a weekly cartoon about the arts for the Guardian Saturday Review and have made illustrations for lots of different clients including The New Yorker, Penguin, Boots, Top Man, New Scientist, Orange, etc.

Your work has a very familiar style to it – has that always been the case?

My drawings have been vaguely similar to what I’m doing now since I was about twelve. I do occasionally try new things (I certainly took some wrong-turns when I was at college) but I think on some level this is a bit like my handwriting. I can’t imagine making some kind of massive change in style, but I hope that things will develop as I carry on. Partly I’m attempting to find a really efficient style which communicates ideas and stories effectively, but I want warmth in there too.

Humour is obviously very important in your work, where does the inspiration come from? TV? Books? Comics?

I’m interested in a kind of dry/black/bleak comedy in all of those forms (and in music, film, paintings, etc. too for that matter). I particularly like understated subtle humour on the sad/funny border. Having said that I sometimes just like very silly things too. In almost all my works I’m aiming for some level of humour, not necessarily a belly laugh, sometimes just a moment of recognition or surprise.

Your new print looks fantastic, what else is on the horizon for Mr.Gauld?

I’m working on a longer comic story which will hopefully become a book. I’ve been fiddling around on it for ages, fitting it in amongst commercial works and getting distracted by smaller projects, but I’m now determined to give it a big push. I don’t want to say too much about it really, I’ve had to work hard to create something bigger (my comics up till now have all been one to twenty something pages) but hopefully it’ll be interesting. I’ll also keep doing my weekly cartoon for the Guardian which I still love doing. I’ve got quite a few other ideas for projects; I made some lego robots for a show last year and definitely want to do something more with lego, but I’m trying to just focus on doing my current things well.

Characters for an Epic Tale is a letterpress print, signed and numbered in an edition of 150 copies. 24 × 32cm, printed in two colours on Hahnemühle mould-made Ingres paper. Printed by Buenaventura Press, 2009.

Ab-300

Posted by Alex Bec

Alex is one of the directors of It’s Nice That who now oversees our sister creative agency INT Works. For several years he oversaw the Monday Morning Music Video feature until it came to an end in 2014.

Most Recent: Art View Archive

  1. List

    Highbrow folk like us often find the traditional emoticon can struggle to express how we really feel. We don’t ALWAYS want to convey that we’re blindly happy, crying with laughter or horizontally-lipped and nonplussed. Sometimes, we need something a little more creative. Thank the lord, then, that Hyo Hong has come up with just the solution, in the form of the multifaceted (in its truest sense) Cindy Sherman-icon.

  2. Art-belikov-int-list

    I can’t tell you a whole lot about Lithuanian artist Art Belikov other than he’s 24 years old and, er, Lithuanian. And that all his images are fantastical digital creations. But in spite of the lack of background information currently available to me I’d just like to say that his work is extraordinary. He’s a maker of 3D rendered images depicting scenes borrowed from late 90s sci-fi; all “vintage” cell phones and games consoles, cans of mysterious energy drinks and designer bottled water. There’s a 666 in his URL too so you can be sure he’s a cool guy! When we finally track the man down we’ll ask him some questions about what it all means, but for now just drink in the eerie beauty of his digital creations.

  3. Jessica-brilli-int-17

    If when you close your eyes at night you dream of tying a silk kerchief over your carefully curled ’do and hopping in a classic Chevy to sail down the West Coast, you might find yourself as enamoured as I do with the work of painter Jessica Brilli. She favours endless-seeming roads and vintage cars for her expressive oil paintings, and she’s got recreating them on canvas down to a fine art. Her landscapes are dream-like in their expansiveness and colour palette, while her portraits seems to hark back to an era when a Chevy was still commonplace and kerchiefs were still pretty cool. And a little picturesque fantasy never hurt anybody, eh?

  4. London-is-changing-intlist

    Public art project London is Changing makes Londoners uncomfortably aware of the truths we’re perhaps trying to ignore: that our city is morphing beyond recognition, that creativity is at risk, and that for many people, it’s simply becoming unaffordable.

  5. Bensanders-potdealer-3-int_copy

    While keeping himself busy with postmodern Howard Hodgkin-esque painting and collage work, Ben Sanders is somehow finding the time to paint funny faces on ceramics. Cutting through the “worthy lifestyle” pottery trend with googly eyes, zigzag nostrils and creepy grins, Ben has stamped his sense of humour and aesthetic all over these thriving succulents’ homes.

  6. Olafur-eliasson_little-sun-int-1

    A “giddy joy” was described as the feeling evoked by the artwork of Olafur Eliasson when we interviewed him for last year’s Autumn edition of Printed Pages, and with his monumental, often participatory pieces, it’s not hard to see why. From his incredible 2003 Weather Project at Tate Modern to its portable, socially-conscious, tiny counterpart Little Sun(which “produces clean, affordable, and portable solar-powered lamps to areas of the world without reliable access to electricity”), his work is a glorious, utterly original ray of light shining on the sometimes impenetrable art world.

  7. Christian-marclay-vinyl-factory-int-1

    In another brilliant feat of creative engineering that bridges the gap between music, art and design, a project at the White Cube gallery in London’s Bermondsey sees musicians including Sonic Youth frontman Thurston Moore perform a composition for Christian Marclay, which is recorded and pressed on site by The Vinyl Factory Press. The press is housed in a shipping container, and the artwork for the record – also created on site – is designed by Christian and printed by Coriander Press, in a series that feels like cottage industry, DIY ideas brought into a slick, art-world setting.

  8. Lynda-benglis-int11

    “Think of bayous…crawfish…sea creatures…metal…tieing shoelaces…not knowing what to do sometimes and just doing it.” This is Lynda Benglis’ bizarre monologue, with which she ends the introduction to her new show.

  9. Brechtvandenbroucke-the-fame-main-int

    Brecht, after five years of admiring your work I can happily say that I can spell your name without looking. And I can tell you that even though I’ve spent years admiring the skill of your painting, I can finally say that I think I actually get it. Over time, Brecht’s erratic artworks have become increasingly crowded with characters, pop culture references, logos, and his trademark long-limbed creatures.

  10. Antoinecorbineau-6-int

    It’s my personal opinion that some of the most exciting creative work starts life as a side project to distract from commercial jobs. Such is definitely the case for Antoine Corbineau, a French illustrator and designer who has worked on a plethora of projects for commercial clients, drawing up large-scale, intricate scenes of characters interacting in an enormous, often map-like style. Potentially even more alluring, however, is Antoine’s painting work. It’s distinctly less bright, almost realist in its approach, depicting familiar domestic scenes and landscapes interspersed with small but resonant human activity. His attention to minute detail – the foliage of a plant, a picture frame, the icons on a computer screen – and his accuracy in creating scenes that you could swear you’d seen before makes this body of work oddly enchanting.

  11. Sethbogart-ceramics-home

    Seth Bogart is quite the Renaissance man. The frontman of San Francisco-based band Hunx & His Punx is also an artist, producing paintings, drawings and ceramics; a video director; a photographer and a fashion designer. He has collaborated with Yves Saint Laurent and has his own store, Wacky Wacko, for which he also designs installations. Seriously, this guy.

  12. Ellakru-painting-7home-int

    Latvia-born Ella Kruglyanskaya now lives and works in New York, depicting cartoon-like friends and “frienemies” out-and-about in large-scale oil paintings and murals. Ella’s work is packed with bawdy humour, exaggerated forms, exuberant mark-making and interactions. She describes her intention as “pictorial events… [that] aspire to an unspoken punch line” – the content, references and line-work all filtered through comedy.

  13. Anniedescarteaux-collage-7home-int

    Annie Descôteaux’s work is confident, engaging and straight-forwardly slapstick. The Montreal-based artist works with installation, drawing and collage and has seen her work exhibited and discussed at conferences on colour theory. In equally impressive outings, it’s also appeared in Bloomberg and Pica magazines, among other publications. Annie’s collage work is well-balanced with clean lines, sharp colours and discreet humour; each piece littered with raw steak, fried eggs and shuttlecocks.