Stunning vector illustrator Lounge Kat recently interviewed one of Thunder Chunky’s favourites, another eyepopping-ly superb illustrator Nathan Jurevicius, plus Animators Renmotion and programmers Touchmypixel on...
You’re probably all familiar with the work of Nathan Jurevicius, even if you don’t realise it. His quirky and surreal illustrations have graced many a publication, and his creation, Scarygirl, has taken the world by storm. Scarygirl exists in many forms, most notably as a comic strip and as a vinyl toy, produced by the notorious Hong Kong toy manufacturer Flying Cat. So what’s going on in the mind of Nathan Jurevicius?
Welcome to the world of Thunder Chunky, how are things going today?
Very very busy. Just finished working on some conceptual work (got to bed at 6am), now have to go to a meeting shortly for another commercial client.
I’d imagine you’re now constantly tagged with the line ‘The creator of Scary Girl’. How would you tag yourself?
So, lets start at the beginning – what first got you interested in doing illustration work?
My dad is an artist and had always guided my brother and I in this direction. I think by the time I was 13 or 14 I definitely knew i wanted to do something artistic for a living.
There’s always the assumption that someone who designs toys, must have loved their toys as a kid. What tickled your fancy when you were growing up?
I was a big collector of stuff as a kid – Lego, Masters of the Universe, Stamps, Coins, Jem Stones, postcards.
What was your first big break?
Possibly at university when I was asked to illustrate a series of kids books. This led to a bunch of freelance work on graduation which snow balled into other work.
How has your style of illustration developed over the years? Have you always used a computer to create a final illustration?
I began carefully hand painting everything. At high school and university i had no access to computers – and after graduation i didnt own a computer for about 4 years – later I taught myself some programs and experimented with photocopies and photoshop – eventually leading to what you see now (but even now I always hand draw every piece first in high detail).
Somewhere along the line Scarygirl was born. How did it all come about?
Scarygirl the concept has been floating around for over 3 years and first began as an online concept. This later changed direction when I was contacted by a Hong Kong based design company (Fliyng Cat) to create toys.
We went with the Scarygirl concept, changed the look and feel and I also developed a comic strip that was published weekly in Playground (a suppliment in Milk magazine).
What do you think people find so appealing about Scarygirl?
Probably because she has a sense of normality and sweetness but also a very odd side (well odd to other people – not herself).
There have been toys, comics, stationary, prints, movies how far can Scarygirl go?
Well the movie is still in early development so I hope that this is our next big project – plus I’ve finally sorted out the clothing side of things and should be releasing something within the next couple of months.
What’s the process for creating a vinyl toy? How long does it take to go from initial idea to final product?
It ranges from project to project – generally it takes about 4 months from initial sketches/turnaround sheets to sculpts and then to finished product – but there’s also packaging to think about and shipping, marketing – it takes alot of time and cash.
So when can the world expect part two of the Scarygirl epic?
I think the film will be the big reveal for part 2 (though i might try and redo the comic).
If there was a Nathan Jurevicius soundtrack, what would be on it?
Illustration for clothing label Junkfood
Short stories narrated by Christopher Walken with a soundtrack by the Flaming Lips.
What projects are you going to be working on in 2005?
Minitreehouse series 2, Minitreehouse animated shorts, 3 exhibitions (2 in the US and one in Taiwan), more Scarygirl vinyl and film developement, clothing design.
Finally, what’s the one thing everybody should do today?
Drink Oolong tea with dark chocolate.
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