Works of Bart: Ken Kagami's multiple, slightly mad illustrations of Bart Simpson

Date
20 November 2018
Reading Time
2 minute read

For Japanese illustrator Ken Kagami, a fascination with Bart Simpson began “largely because I realised that this would be a very easy form to draw,” he tells It’s Nice That. That was 15 years ago and Ken’s love for Homer and Marge’s son has never drifted far from his heart or artistic practice. First releasing Bart Works in 2015, Ken has returned to his muse for Bart Works 2, a book comprising solely of multiple, slightly mad drawings of El Barto.

Despite drawing Bart for so long, Ken – an artist who works and lives in Tokyo and has had several exhibitions across the world, including being a surprising star at Frieze Art Fair in 2015 – still doesn’t consider himself an illustrator; hence his reasoning for sticking to what he knows (Bart). “I am not an illustrator but I use the vocabulary of illustration for my art because it is easy to draw,” says Ken, “this is the most direct way to get across my humour and my goal is to generate laughter!”

And so, over all these years, Ken has perfected the process for creating interpretative drawings of the Bartman. First, Ken “puts paper on the table” then, “look at an image of Bart’s hair and Bart’s eyes,” before step three kicks in “and inspiration strikes!” By studying the intricate details of Matt Groening’s creation, Ken’s line drawings of Bart are instantly recognisable, despite the fact that his nose can often go from a small little nozzle poking out to being overdrawn, appearing on his face multiple times or reducing massively in scale.

That’s all there is to it so why not give your own interpretation of Bartholemew J Simpson a go, or try your hand to a drawing of Lisa, Mr. Burns, Ned Flanders, Santa’s Little Helper or Troy McClure a turn too.

Bart Works 2 is co-published by Innen, Yellow Pages and Nieves and we recommend you get your hands on while you still can!

Above

Ken Kagami: Bart Works 2

Above

Ken Kagami: Bart Works 2

Above

Ken Kagami: Bart Works 2

Above

Ken Kagami: Bart Works 2

Above

Ken Kagami: Bart Works 2

Above

Ken Kagami: Bart Works 2

Above

Ken Kagami: Bart Works 2

Above

Ken Kagami: Bart Works 2

Share Article

About the Author

Lucy Bourton

Lucy joined It’s Nice That as an editorial assistant in July 2016 after graduating from Chelsea College of Art. In October 2016 she became a staff writer on the editorial team and in January 2019 was made It’s Nice That’s deputy editor. Feel free to get in contact with Lucy about new and upcoming creative projects or editorial ideas for the site.

lb@itsnicethat.com

It's Nice That Newsletters

Fancy a bit of It's Nice That in your inbox? Sign up to our newsletters and we'll keep you in the loop with everything good going on in the creative world.