A conversation with Chris (Simpsons artist) about designing beer cans and friendship
“They will say now ‘that is what you call a beer can’”: Chris (Simpsons artist) tells us about doing drawings for a Northern Monk beer about friendship.
- Liz Gorny
- 18 August 2022
Making friends with strangers can be very hard. Chris (Simpsons artist) however is a good person to talk to about this conundrum. An artist and storyteller (“from the UK in the United Kingdom”), Chris has created drawings full of lots of helpful tips in the past – like how to feel less alone in lockdown or how to make people like you more. Chris is so good at advice that Northern Monk, a brewery from Leeds, asked the artist to create illustrations for its new beer, which is called Nice Toe Meet You.
Blessed with the freedom of choosing any drawing for the beer can, the elusive artist has decided to create a label that doubles as a guide to making new friends. Though we won’t ruin Chris’ surprise trick to secure a friend, we can confirm it is a wonderful way to “show you are a caring person”, just like the can says. We were very excited to learn more about Chris’ wonderful new beer cans, so we caught up with the artist to discuss the story behind the project. Learn more about Chris’ inspirations and the storyteller’s favourite way to greet a friend below.
It’s Nice That: What was the process like working with Northern Monk? What ideas did they have for the beer cans?
Chris (Simpsons artist): It has been really lovely to work with the Northern Monk and I first met him at a car boot sale and he said that if I wanted to I could have a design of seven different beer cans that will be released over the next year and he said that I could choose any of my pictures to be on them and when I said so I can put any of my pictures on the cans he said yep anything you want it is up to you and I said anything I want and he said yep go for it so the first one that I had a choose of was my how to make friends with strangers picture because it means a lot to me because I have made so many new friends by linking toes with strangers and I actually made friends with a old man on the bus three days ago by doing it with him and when he was having a look out of the window I took off his shoe and his sock and I put my toes between his toes and when he realised he just kept on saying please don’t stop please don’t stop for ages because he loved it so much and we instantly became best friends and if you are reading this old man I love you very much and I still have your sock I found it in my pocket.
“For years people have said to me Chris I wish that I could drink your drawings and for years I just kept on saying god I know I do as well I really really do and now we really can have a drink of my drawings it is actually like a Christmas miracle isn’t it”Chris (Simpsons artist)
It’s Nice That: What was your inspiration for the design?
Chris (Simpsons artist): I first began linking toes with strangers about four years ago because it was just a easy way for me to make new friends without having to use my hands and after about a year of doing it and perfecting the art of quietly taking peoples shoes and socks off and linking my toes between their toes really gently I decided to have a draw of it for people to use as a helpful guide for them to make friends with strangers and I am glad that I can help people make new friends for themselves because some people find it really difficult to make friends so it makes me feel good that I can help people because the more people that are friends in the world the less wars there will be.
It’s Nice That:What’s your favourite way to greet a friend?
Chris (Simpsons artist): My best way to greet a friend is to gently grip their arm quite hard so that they know I am there because sometimes if I don’t do that then they don’t know I am there so that is why I always do such a solid grip on my friends arm so they know that I do exist and I am there and I am ready to enjoy their friendship.
“My best way to greet a friend is to gently grip their arm quite hard so that they know I am there”Chris (Simpsons artist)
It’s Nice That:How do you hope people will enjoy your beer cans?
Chris (Simpsons artist):I think that when people have a look at my beer cans they will say now that is what you call a beer can and it will give them a enjoyable feeling inside of themself and then when they have a bit of a sip of the drink that is inside of it they will enjoy it even more because for years people have said to me Chris I wish that I could drink your drawings and for years I just kept on saying god I know I do as well I really really do and now we really can have a drink of my drawings it is actually like a Christmas miracle isn’t it we truly do live in such a beautiful world so let’s all gather round and link toes with each other and have a drink of my drawings and forget about our problems and just be happy for this moment is our moment and no one can ever take it away from us.
Love from your friend Chris (Simpsons artist) xox
GalleryChris (Simpsons artist): Northern Monk, Nice Toe Meet You (Copyright © Northern Monk / Chris (Simpsons artist), 2022)
Chris (Simpsons artist): Northern Monk, Nice Toe Meet You (Copyright © Northern Monk / Chris (Simpsons artist), 2022)
About the Author
Liz (she/they) joined It’s Nice That as news writer in December 2021. After graduating in Film from The University of Bristol, they worked freelance, writing for independent publications such as Little White Lies, INDIE magazine and design studio Evermade.