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David Shrigley: Weak Messages Create Bad Situations

Work / Publication

An interview with David Shrigley about his brilliant, enormous new book

David Shrigley’s got a whopper of a new book out entitled Weak Messages Create Bad Situations. I couldn’t agree more. Sometimes, at this time of year, when you look back at those annual round-ups and “photographs that sum up 2014” it can be easy to feel like the world is just so full of disaster and crap. It seems that the people running this planet have been giving us weak, nay wrong messages this whole time! How mean. And what have they created? A bad situation. We love David’s new book, which totally sums up the feeling of helplessly skidding downhill on a bicycle with no brakes towards a cliff. Here he is on the book, dreams, and the world in general.

If someone were to live by the rules of this book – what kind of person do you think they would be?


Either a sane person with a sense of humour or a crazy person without a sense of humour.

What is an example of a very weak message

Vote for change.

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David Shrigley: Weak Messages Create Bad Situations

Who is your least favourite person in the country?

There are many contenders of course. This week it would have to be former UKIP deputy leader Lord Christopher Monckton who went on some crazy homophobic rant. According to him homosexuals lead “short miserable lives.”

Who would you put in charge of the world, if you were allowed to choose?

That would be undemocratic, of course. But were that position to be created and were she willing to be a candidate I would vote for someone like Caroline Lucas. The world needs to be saved and she would have some idea of how to go about it.

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David Shrigley: Weak Messages Create Bad Situations

Do you tend to come up with statements and then draw an image to match, or vice versa?

I do it both ways. More often the image comes first though.
I’m not very good at drawing, you see.

What are your dreams usually like?

Mundane, mostly.
I once found someone’s dream diary in a charity shop and I was really excited.
But when I read it I found it was actually really boring.

“I once found someone’s dream diary in a charity shop and I was really excited.
But when I read it I found it was actually really boring.”

David Shrigley

What would you like people to get out of this book?

Happiness.
Joy.
Inspiration.
A sense of purpose.
Illumination.
Inner peace.
Relief from back and neck pain.

What do you listen to while you work?

I tend not to listen to music much if I’m deep in thought. But lately I have been listening to Cate Le Bon who I have become a big fan of.

When I look at your images, I read what they say in a small, high-pitched, gravelly voice in my head. When you’re drawing them, do you say them in your own voice?

I say them out loud in a small, high-pitched, gravelly voice while I am writing. And the moonlight shines in through the dusty gothic window of my studio and illuminates the flecks of saliva that I spit while I am speaking.

Tell us a strong message, to promote a good situation

Give me a world
that is horrible and boring
and I will make in nice and interesting
I will paint it bright colours
for I am an artist
and that is what I do
Now shut up
and let me get on with my work
you idiot.

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David Shrigley: Weak Messages Create Bad Situations