Featured Artists #3: Pip Craighead
We spoke to the ineffable Pip Craighead, an illustrator from California. Check out our chat and some of his work below!
Hey Pip! We love your work. Could you talk us through your Paper Cinema Zine and where the inspiration came from?
Hey, thanks! I’ve been really glad to work with Print on Paper. Paper Cinema is a zine which I hope to make an ongoing project, with future editions coming out in different formats. I’m using it both to send to art directors etc. as I seek illustration work, but I’m also doing it just for the sheer joy of producing a physical edition of my work. When it comes to inspiration, I suppose it’s a combination of a love for Sunday newspaper comics as well as a wide variety of contemporary zines.
You’ve used both Paper Zine and Tabloid as product choices. What was your thought process behind this?
Paper Zine format is a wonderful, compact size, with limited pages, while Tabloid is obviously much larger and able to have a higher page count. So I viewed Paper Zine as almost like a fun, attention-grabbing calling card of sorts, while Tabloid has the possibility for a longer read, and takes me back to the feeling of reading newspaper comics when I was a kid. The tactile feel and look of newsprint – the way the colours hit the page – is powerfully nostalgic and I feel excited to see my work in that format.
What challenges have you found since getting the ball rolling with your illustration?
Hmm, good question. I suppose the greatest challenge has been finding joy in the process itself, and fighting the tendency to become consumed by how many “likes” something gets or whether art directors are giving me attention in response to my work. Ultimately, I think all creative acts are intended to be engaged with as a kind of serious play – like kids playing in a sandbox filled with wonderful toys, delighting in the gift of creativity and the world around us, rather than obsessing over how people perceive them or their work. That’s what I try to keep at the forefront of my mind; else I find I can get easily discouraged.
Knowing all you know now, what advice would you give to yourself when you first started drawing?
Delight in it! Seek to grow as an artist, while simply delighting in the act of drawing – think of it as more than merely doodling. Explore it as a form of prayer, of storytelling, of play, of literature, of filmmaking, etc. Push yourself, and put your work out there,
What are your long-term plans/goals/ambitions with regards to your illustrating?
Currently working on a children’s book for Patrol Books, in addition to some other projects. I hope just to keep drawing and would love to tell more stories through it.
Why do you think print is important as a media platform in 2017?
I don’t think I’m the only person out there who wants less screen time in my life, and who loves the feeling of books, the texture and sense of history in printed ink on paper. There’s just something wonderful about a physical product that doesn’t rely on electricity or an operating system to be read.
Printed matter itself – from papyrus scrolls to the Gutenberg Bible – is one of the most important and powerful constants in human history. I feel like I am taking part in a long, unfathomably rich history when I am producing a printed product, and it’s a great blessing and gift that in our time, everyday people have access not just to be able to buy printed matter at low costs but to produce it cheaply as well. I mean, think of how mind-blowing it is that I can easily put together some art on my computer and have it printed within a few days, compared to a monk labouring on an illuminated manuscript for months upon months upon months to produce a single book. What a gift.
What challenges do you think young creative people face in producing this kind of media?
Trying to produce things of worth without being daunted by the prospect of being lost in a sea of information. And, of course, time and money.
What advice would you offer someone who wants to develop a zine or independent magazine?
Content is the most part naturally, so focus primarily on that – but start figuring out how you’re going to print this early on in the process. I could have saved myself some time in the past if I had experimented with formats and InDesign templates early on and solidified my approach before getting into the full-blown content creation stage.
What would you say to anyone who is considering using Print on Paper to produce their work?
It’s fun, pretty easy, and has a delightful end result!
Finally, out of all of the art you’ve ever produced, which has been your favourite?
I’m usually most satisfied with the most recent projects. So, in addition to Paper Cinema, I did a zine with Jazz Dad Books in England called I Am A Kaiju that I was very happy with. And I also just started up a free newsletter featuring comics, stories, and illustration, which I’m excited about as another medium to explore: www.tinyletter.com/pipcraighead
Check out Pip’s work here: www.pipcraighead.com
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