We got together with Montreal based illustrator Bryce Aspinall (@painintheaspinal) to create a brief capsule of some unique 1/1 pieces. Learn more about the artist through an exclusive interview and check out these limited run pieces below, launching online at taikaneverything.com on Tuesday October 31st, at 11am PST.
When did you first discover your passion for art and illustration, and what led you to make it your career?
My passion for art started like most, doodling as a kid, copying drawings from MAD Magazine and other comics. I think I started taking it more seriously after being asked by a friend to draw a gig poster. Once I got paid to draw, I realized this could potentially be a career. On top of that, I didn’t know what else I was going to do with my life haha
Who are some artists or illustrators that have had a significant influence on your work, and why?
Tom Bunk from MAD Magazine really shaped my early illustration style. I have hundreds of drawings of characters eating their own shit, eyes popping out, and grotesque stuff; all inspired by Tom. MAD Magazine really gave me insight into the world of humour and parody, I’m always drawing with some sort of cheeky tone.
How does living and working in Montréal affect your art? Is the city’s culture reflected in your work in any way?
I think anytime you move cities it’s going to have an effect. Especially moving to the other side of the country, it feels like I’ve gone international. The architecture, culture, nightlife, it’s all quite inspiring.
You've done posters and flyers for underground venues as well as work with larger brands. How do you approach these different types of projects, and do you have a favourite?
I approach every project the same usually. Everyone gets the same attention to detail as long as they give me the respect I give them. I’ve been lucky in the sense that I’ve never had a client ghost me with money but some brands treat you more like a vending machine than a person providing a service.
Could you walk us through your creative process? Where do you start when you’re working on a new project, and what tools or techniques do you find indispensable?
The process always starts in my sketchbook. They’re full of little doodles and scribbles that sometimes will end up being developed further. I’ll go back and flip through my old sketchbooks to find ideas. A lot of the times when i sketch something I’ll think “dumb idea” but coming back to it a month later, something clicks.
What has been the most rewarding project you’ve worked on so far and why?
The most rewarding project has to be the graphics I made for Blackriver fingerboards. I’ve been using their boards and obstacles since I was 14. When I did my backpacking trip to Europe, I was introduced to a friend of friend in Germany, where the products are made. This friend brought us to the Blackriver headquarters, their hang out house with fingerboard parks galore, an indoor skate bowl where we spent the night and to the owners house to skate his backyard bowl. It was unreal. This friend helped me reach out to the owner again and made the project happen to design for them. To have my graphics on their fingerboards is surreal and still gets me stoked today when I look at them on my wall.
Are there any new mediums or formats you're interested in exploring in the future? For instance, digital art, murals, or even augmented reality?
What do you consider the most challenging aspect of being a professional illustrator and how do you overcome it?
I think the hardest part of doing art for a living is the imposter syndrome. “Am I really good enough to be doing this?” It’s hard when you’re constantly seeing other people’s work and question if what you’re doing is equal.
My friend said this to me, “If you’re doing what you love, people will notice”. If you stick to what you want to do and need to do to be happy, people will get stoked on that. Manifest your success!
What advice would you give to someone looking to break into the illustration or art industry today?
Reach out to everyone, don’t wait for the brand to ask you for designs. I’ve gotten work just by doing up a design and sending it to a brand and asking, “potential t-shirt graphic?” Sometimes the client just doesn’t know they want you to do work until it’s placed in front of them.
And ask for deposits! People bail, don’t let them bail on your income!
If you could collaborate with any artist, living or dead, who would it be and what would you create together?
Thank you. Any closing comments or anything else you want to add?
Thanks for reading and thanks to Gman and Taikan for the opportunity :)