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March 17, 2007

{     Interview : Kenneth Lavallee     }    

Kenneth Lavallee lives in the cold, cold north - Winnipeg, Manitoba to be exact. He draws amazing and creepy images that I love, and not nearly enough people know who he is. His work has been featured on posters, in magazines, on album covers and recently in the new book "Beasts!" from Fantagraphics Press, next to artists such as Jeff Soto, Glenn Barr and Tim Biskup. The dudes at Oddica.com interviewed him last year and we're reprinting it here for no other reason than we think he's rad and Oddica is too.

Kenneth Lavallee: Let's get this party started.
Oddica: Word. What are you up to now?
School is done for the year and I'm very much dreading the getting of a lame job.
Art-related job?
Yes. I actually have a couple of secret projects that i need to start very soon. One involves film, one involves a book. And a T-shirt.

As soon as they become 'not secret' let us know ... So how long have you been drawing and when did you realize that, Hey, I have a knack for this?
I've been drawing forever. I was totally the kid in class that all the other kids went to if they needed a drawing of a bunny rabbit or something. I got the drawing bug from my mom, who used to paint birds and such on garages and sheds with shoe polish.
Wow, pretty cool mom.
That actually makes her sound like a hippy. She wasn't. She painted a guy killing a buffalo with a ton of arrows on the side of my grandparent's garage.
Is that painting still there?
No i'm pretty sure they painted over it.
Bastards!
Who are some Artists whose work you admire?
Jillian Tamaki, Jordan Crane, Brian Cronin, Marcel Dzama, and this one guy in art school named Robert.
Great list!
Yeah Robert is amazing. I need to hook up with him ... art wise, very similar style.

So people always are asking, What do you call those Little People?
Haha ... Oh man.
Little Potato People?
People associate them with pretty much any sort of rooty plant (potato, radish, ginseng) ... they don't have an official name ... i love hearing what people think they are. I find it pretty funny.
Where do you come up with such original ideas?
It's all super intuitive ... I usually sit on my floor with a blank piece of paper, draw a head-shaped object, and roll from there.
Any shout-outs to Artists, people who have inspired you, or anyone else you'd like to give props to?
I never really given much thought into wanting to become like a real Artist when i "grew up", I wanted to go into graphic design. But then I was at a bookstore with my girlfriend and I saw a magazine with Marcel Dzama's work in it, and my girlfriend told me how he's from our city. I never thought it was really possible for someone to draw weird things like that and become super famous, never mind being from winnipeg.
Have you met Marcel?
I used to work at a music store and he came in a couple of times to buy CDs, but i hid in the back room. Though i went to school with his sister. Never spoke with him though.
So where do you see yourself going as an artist in the next five years? I know you'd mentioned someday wanting to run a gallery.
After finishing school the plan is to get a hot studio space, and a quality silkscreen setup, and i plan to spend my days and nights mass-producing my art on anything and everything. And i'm not a fan of Art gallery curators (the ones i've met anyway), so the plan is to have my own gallery sort of like how indie bands start up their own labels.

Interview originally published at Oddica.com, purveyors of high-quality t-shirts and meticulously detailed packing materials. Seriously, try 'em.

     » See more of Kenneth's work at knnth.com.

Comments

creepy, yes. but very awesome.

Posted by: susie at March 17, 2007 10:09 PM
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