Getting sweaty and filthy all over the keyboard with up-and-comers Vicki Nerino, Phil McAndrew and Britt Wilson (NSFW)

22 Jul

PHILBRITTVICKI

The Dirty Three (Vicki, Phil, Britt)

For something a little different, I thought it could be fun to informally interview a trio of illustrators joined at the twitter-and-blogoverse-and-collaborative (and oft real life)-hip. That is: Vicki Nerino, Britt Wilson, and Phil McAndrew. Vicki and Britt are roommates in Canada while Phil resides in New York, where the ladies were staying, just fresh off the bus from Canada. Sweating and eating giant burgers and drinking beers.

web pattern kickassannie Britt Wilson

Britt Wilson's take on the Koyama Press "Kickass Annie" logo

storytime

"Storytime" by Phil McAndrew

holycrow

Vicki Nerino

A quick warning, that some of the images I’ve posted get just a bit NSFW. So if it’s safe to view, ENJOY! We talk about their various collaborations, process, art school, and more. Read the whole interview below the cut!

Accordion Face
So I guess a good place to start is, how did you guys meet?

Vicki
Phil wanted to be friends with us SO BAD

Britt
he was pretty much desperate

Phil
they stalked me on the internet

Britt
he was all “Britt, please be friends with me, I think you’re so RRRAAADDDD”

Vicki
NOT TRUE… wait. we did stalk him on the internet…

Britt
Oh yeah. Whoops. My bad.

Vicki
Phil wanted to come to Canzine in 2009, so we offered him our stinking couch to sleep on and thus, a friendship was born.

Britt
I met Vicki in a lesbian bar.

Vicki
we met eyes. it was romantic.

Britt
I saw you from across the room. It was the twitching that caught my eye.

Vicki
I had a seizure. you mistook it for bedroom eye(s)

Britt
but seriously though, we both went to Sheridan in Oakville Ontario, and we’ve been the closest of friends ever since.

beefcake

Britt Wilson

costumeparty

Vicki Nerino

generalpaintings

Phil McAndrew

Accordion Face
Did you go to artschool too Phil?

Britt
No he did not, he just rolled out a ditch one day, fully formed.

Britt
It was divine creation. He just stumbled into the road, ink pot and nib in hand

Vicki
Like he was beamed down from space or some shit

Phil
I studied illustration at a very small liberal arts school in Buffalo, NY. Or, yeah, what Britt said

Vicki
My butt is numb. Just sayin.

Accordion Face
So was studying generally good? or did you meet any kinda resistance from lecturers? (Ie. in terms of subject matter / style)

Vicki
I thought it was great. We had professors like Rick Sealock, that man knows where it’s at. Crazy man…

Britt
Yeah he actually told me to be crazier.

basilef02

Phil McAndrew (from his Picture Book Report contributions)

nannerdogs

Vicki Nerino

squid

Britt Wilson

Vicki
but of course there was resistance from some professors. it’s the way it goes.

Phil
My professors, for the most part, were very supportive and excited about the work I was doing!

Britt
“yeaaahh, but can you put more blood in it?”

Vicki
“make his eyes yellow, like he’s full of PEE or something”

Britt
Everytime I TRIED to gross someone out or make them mad I got an A, it got a little annoying so I gave up on rebellion

Vicki
I got resistance from one professor who was all “DONT USE BALLPOINT. NEVER USE BALLPOINT”

Britt
YEAH me too. I was like, suck my butt, I’ll use this pen until I DIE! and then I leapt out the 6th floor window to my death

Vicki
nah, by the time i decided to be a little bit of a disgusting human being, it was so far into the program that the professors pretty much let you go ahead and do what you wanted mostly.

Phil
Most of the work I was doing in school was pretty tame. I drew a lot of wrinkly creeps but I wasn’t doing anything super violent or disgusting.

uncle stan

Phil McAndrew (Family portraits project)

Accordion Face
On that note, branding and the internet and all, has twitter fart talk led to any jobs yet?

Phil
Nope! I’ve been going through an epic freelance drought. No paying work in a very, very long time. Maybe I should stop putting fart jokes on twitter…

Britt
Yeah actually, for me, Robin McConnell of Inkstuds fame is totally as vile if not MORE vulgar than myself, and he approached me about doing the cover for his book which is done and coming out in the fall i b’lieve

Accordion Face
Oh the creepy people-birdlets in the nest?

Britt
Yeah! exactly. Baby birds look like testicles

inkstuds-cover-web

Britt Wilson (upcoming Inkstuds book cover)

Accordion Face
What would be a dream gig then?

Phil
I’d really like to illustrate books. I think wine labels would be fun too…

Accordion Face
Like  internal b/w illustrations or kids book illustration ?

Phil
Both!

Vicki
Books would be great, yeah.

Britt
Books are so sweet

Vicki
Or lots of editorial. or… anything. as long as i can make it at least somewhat gross.

Britt
The only problem with kids books is I get really tempted to make dirty jokes and hide penises in them.

Accordion Face
On the topic of books, Phil can you tell us about Picture Book Report?

basilefangel

Phil McAndrew (Picture Book Report...)

Phil
Picture Book Report is awesome! I’m really having a lot of fun with it.
I feel very lucky to have been invited to participate. Meg Hunt, who is really an incredible illustrator and person, decided to put together a blog where a handful of incredible illustrators create illustrations inspired by some of their favorite books. Each month we share a new illustration, going through a full book.

Accordion Face
I’ve seen some amazing amazing images come out of it, from yourself of course and the others involved.

Phil
It’s been really top notch work. From everyone involved.

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Phil McAndrew (Picture Book Report...)

Accordion Face
I know all 3 of you are involved in various collaborative projects and blogs, which is I think how I found all 3 of you, let’s talk about them!

Vicki
Yeah, Phil and I have that terrible Icki Lip blog

ickilip01

Phil McAndrew (Ickilip)

porcupee

Vicki Nerino (Ickilip)

Phil
Oh, man, don’t look at it, please.

Britt
oh god, yeah, what a piece of garbage THAT is

Phil
It’s awful.

Vicki
the worst. i’m so so sorry

3680457239_927905ef4e

Phil McAndrew (Ickilip)

automonkey

Vicki Nerino (Ickilip)

Accordion Face
so how DID that one come about, dare I ask?

Phil
Whenever I visit these two in Toronto I leave a bunch of Icki Lip drawings with them because I don’t even want to be in the same country as them.

Vicki
I dont even remember. we just sort of thought it would be fun to do a project together, and we both like to draw terrible terrible things. so… there you have it.

Phil
That’s it, yup.

Britt
They thought it would be fun to leave me out of it

ickilip03

Phil McAndrew (Ickilip)

Accordion Face
And on the gynecologically exclusive flipside, Uterus Parade?

Britt
yeah suck on that Philip

Vicki
Just 2 chicks, havin a good time, havin a good time, havin a good time. Before we moved in together (worst mistake ever) we both drew comics and thought we would share a table, so we came up with the name.

march-10

Britt Wilson (Uterus Parade)

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Vicki Nerino (Uterus Parade)

Britt
*gasp*

Accordion Face
So how come theres no Phil / Britt collab effort?

Britt
Hmmmm goooooooood question

Phil
We did a joint commission sale not long ago but yeah, we haven’t really collaborated on anything.

Britt
yeah I dunno, I think phil and I have to have a serious talk about this. have a heart to heart… CHAT.

Phil
Britt wants to collaborate on babies.

Phil
JOKE

Accordion Face
They will all have moustaches

Vicki
so many of them

Britt
nah man, they would have really big feet and snore too much.

Accordion Face
What else have you collaborated on?

Vicki
Uuuuh…. the first time Phil came to stay with us, we sat down for an entire afternoon and drew so many terrible sesame street drawings… and muppets, oh the muppets…

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........

Accordion Face
So comics vs illustration – hearsay Vicki, is that you were pressured into comics by Britt?

Vicki
yes. totally pressured.

Accordion Face
Britt + Phil, has it been something you’ve always done?

Britt
I am persuasive

Vicki
In college, I did a couple assignments for a narrative class and then she harassed me ever since

Britt
I drew a comic about Mr. Invisible when I was only a wee child. But I took a big fat break in the middle, and only recently got back into them.

Phil
I’ve drawn comics pretty much my entire life.

Vicki
You guys are total nerds.

Accordion Face
I guess your styles allow them to go hand in hand, but would you prefer one over the other (Illustration vs. comics), or say, more *cartooning* work?

Phil
I only really got serious about illustration when I was in college but I think I actually enjoy illustration work more at this point.

Vicki
Nah, i like to mix it up. i get bored of one, then move on to the other, and back and forth. Keeps things fresh.

Phil
I still love making comics but it can be a tedious, frustrating process.

Accordion Face
I really dig the cartooning-influenced approach to illustration you’re doing.

Britt
I think comics are more fun for me right now, but illustration holds a greater artistic challenge. I dread the idea of getting too invested in either one or the other.

Accordion Face
Although, “Are You Man Enough”, Phil?

Phil
Are You Man Enough is easily the most popular thing I’ve ever done, yeah.

manly1

Phil McAndrew's "ARE YOU MAN ENOUGH" Click the image to view the comic in it's entirety!

Accordion Face
Can you let us in on some of your Influences?

Phil
I feel like a lot of non-illustrators are huge for me. Jim Henson, Roald Dahl, Terry Gilliam, Wes Anderson…

Britt
I have so many loves and influences that I don’t think any one stands out over the other…

Vicki
Werner Herzog, Ralph Steadman, Harmony Korine..

Accordion Face
Gummo?

Vicki
and others yeah

Britt
man, that fuckin movie

Vicki
he wrote this book, that is just a collection of characters. really really strange characters and i feel like that’s sort of the way i work too. It’s called “crackup at the race riots”. its a hard book to find, i had to buy it off of a used books site for $50

Accordion Face
Ok so to keep the ball rolling a couple of individual things about style / process… Britt you have a few styles going. The painterly thing, more cartoony exaggerated thing, realism, stylised lines..

Britt
I am a schizo. I just can’t get rid of any one of them, they are my babies.

me100-2

Britt Wilson (100 year old future self)

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Britt Wilson

Accordion Face
Are you planning on bringing more of the style you do in your sketches/comics/commissions into your illustrations?

Britt
I do actually, the only problem there is finding the time to sit down and play with my illustration. Lately it’s been comics comics comics, no time and no money in illustration.

Accordion Face
Not saying I don’t like the more painterly work of course. I’d personally love to see that style you’re doing for those, coloured up as final pieces as is. And I love those fighting people with the sneakers in your sketchbook.

Britt
Yeah, I feel like right now I’m right in the middle of revamping my entire process. I love those guys too, they just seem to happen when I doodle sometimes. They started after watching too much Ashes to ashes.

dd-web

Britt Wilson

wonder-woman-ouch

Britt Wilson

Accordion Face
Vicki – The eye thing, did that come about by accident?

Vicki
Sort of. I think it all started when I did a project with old people. and I drew the eyes. And the next project i just though id add the same thing, and it just got progressively worse until sometimes the wrinkley eye-ness fills an entire page

Accordion Face
To me that’s a really recognisable part of your work

Vicki
Thanks! its fun and a little obsessive. I feel wrong if the eyes arent at least a LITTLE gross. even babies.

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Vicki Nerino

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Vicki Nerino

Accordion Face
I’m giving you a thumbs up through the computer screen. A process question, the paint under your lines, do you lay down the paint first then ink over? or is this photoshop? Or acetate maybe?

Vicki
I usually do linework in my sketchbook, make a gel transfer, and stick it over the paint and touch it up after. but lately for illustration work, i’ve been doing the lines and paint seprately and smushing it together with PS. so much faster. i still do gel transfers for fine art junk though

Accordion Face
Gel transfers?

Vicki
You want me to give away my SECRETS?

Just kidding, xerox copy + 5 or 6 coats of matte medium + soak and peel paper = clear gel with toner linework. Its taken years to get it right and I still play with it. I recently did some colour transfers with green lines. so fun.

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A shot from Phil's process

Accordion Face
So I saw your recent process posts on your blog Phil

Phil
Ah yes, I’ve been trying to give people a little peek at how I do things recently.

Accordion Face
I love seeing process – is this generally how you work?

Phil
I try a lot of different things from project to project but yeah, for the most part that’s a pretty good representation of my process.

Accordion Face
Thanks for your time guys! Has been fun!

Vicki
NO, Thank you

Brittington
HAVE FUN AT WERK

Phil
THANK YOU!

Vicki
HAHA. its cookie time

And to wrap it up, here are the links to Phil, Britt and Vicki’s various online presences and projects:

Phil McAndrew’s website
Phil’s blog
Feral Pizza (Phil’s weekly comics project)
Phil’s Twitter

Vicki Nerino’s website
Vicki’s blog
Vicki’s Twitter

Britt Wilson’s website
Britt’s blog
Britt’s Twitter

Icki Lip
Uterus Parade
Ink Mountain
Picture Book Report

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