Lets be honest and call it like we see it folks. Artist Paul Ainsworth’s logo really says it all. The only thing missing is a Canadian flag, a beanie and some ice skates! Paul is a new member to the Poster Posse and his first piece was an outstanding Pacific Rim print. Let’s try and figure this guy out but let me warn you…the guy can talk.
BLURPPY- How long have you been creating art in the pop culture scene? How did you get started?
PA - It has only been a year! I’ve always been interested and finding inspirational artwork on a number of sites whilst trying to stay motivated at previous employers and I’d think: “Boy I wish I had time to do some stuff like this” and after going freelance I found myself with comfortable (affordable) time to try and see what I can come up with. I made a poster for myself with no direction, no opening, just wanted to create. Eventually I approached Joe at Bottleneck to see how one would go about being part of a show. He loved the diversity of my portfolio and wondered if I did anything recently. I sent him this poster and he loved it and said : “Haha that’s awesome man. One of my favorite films growing up!” From then on, I was hooked.
BLURPPY - Is art your full time job? If not, what else do you do?
PA - It sure is. I was working as a studio Designer for about 7 years in a couple of places but through some bad economic times and absolute poor timing, I was let go. It’s been freelance since July of 2012 and I couldn’t be happier.
BLURPPY - Looks like that saying, “Everything happens for a reason” applies here. Whose work do you admire or collect?
PA - Too many names to remember and not give the proper respect. A lot of my fellow Poster Posse members I always keep my tabs on like Sam Ho, Matt Ferguson, Matt Ryan, Erin Gallagher, Paul Shipper, Marie Bergeron and Chris Garofalo and so on. Other Artists like Godmachine, Matthew Skiff, James White are so busy doing their thing it makes me want to just pick up my drawing book and create. These folks are the people that make doing what we do worth it. We all help each other. Whether it’s giving constructive criticism or purchasing their great work or giving each other leads to other work possibilities, it’s a small community of talented people and I’m just happy to be part of it.
Some artists I look up to are really hard to even purchase because of their popularity like Martin Ansin, Jason Edmiston, Laurent Durieux and Ghoulish Gary Pullin. Thing about these guys are that they are approachable. They’re Rockstars to us, but to them, they’re really humble and I admire that more than anything. They’re not cocky. Cocky doesn’t impress me at all. Especially those who won’t go out of their way to even say hello. Any kids that approach me or contact me with questions, I’ll put my work aside to answer and help them out. My father was a man in a very important position in his profession and he always said: “Always remember how you felt when those people didn’t reach out to you so that you never do that to someone needing your help”
BLURPPY - I’ve never met your Dad but I like the way he thinks. Sometimes the greatest gift you can give someone if your time. Time is valuable so be sure to make the most of it. You touched on something about the pop culture art community. Since starting the Poster Posse I can’t tell you how refreshing it is to associate with such enthusiastic, creative and supportive people. I once reached out to an artist for a P.P.P. and received such a snotty, sh!tty response that I have never reached out to her again. I love that all the Poster Posse members support each other so genuinely. Ok, what one print, by another artist, blows your mind?
PA - Pretty much anything Laurent Durieux touches. His architectural illustrations, his color selections and his cross hatching techniques…*shaking my head… just makes me want to “hang up the skates”. (Sorry I’m Canadian) Makes you want to say “yea, what’s the point of continuing”
Select Laurent Durieux Pieces
BLURPPY - I have never had the privilege of meeting Mr. Durieux but I have corresponded with him via e-mail and he is absolutely wonderful. Someone with that much talent really doesn’t need to talk to BLURPPY but he has always taken the time when I have reached out. Now that I have met Struzan, Durieux is next on my list. With so much art being produced these days, how do you keep things fresh? (This is NOT a hygiene question.)
PA - I have a pretty big collection of movies, comics and HAD a huge collection of toys. (My mother sold them all in a garage sale before a big move years ago) *palm – face.
But yea, I just keep up with a lot of people’s work. I watch old movies, new movies. I reminisce how things used to be in the wonderful 80s and I do my homework and study what has been done and how things are being done. I’ll try to go in a different direction or just do what the hell I friggin’ want to do. Sometimes I could care less if someone’s happy with it. I’m just happy that I accomplished finishing the project and I’ll proudly put it up in my office.
BLURPPY - Besides working on BLURPPY’s Poster Posse Project, what is your dream project?
PA - Poster wise, is to do a solo show, but realistically, it’s a lot of work, time and risk involved. If I won the loto and could care less about return for my time and work, that’s 1 thing I would do.
Away from the poster world, I would love to have my own T-shirt/clothing line out that featured my work, and work of my peers. (That’s actually in the works at the moment – clothing line called Dead Eyre Clothing) Oh and a line of skateboards/snowboards. That would rock.
BLURPPY - If you weren’t creating highly desirable works of art for adoring fans, what else would you do?
PA - I’d be drawing and creating work for myself. My wife sometimes asks me : “Are you busy tonight?” answer is always the same “I’m always busy.” There’s always something I could be doing/creating/researching. That is of course after I’m enjoying spending time with my wife and daughter. When I can’t stand my screen or I’m getting right pissed over a drawing that isn’t working out, I grab one of my guitars and just mess around with it. I try to keep the creative side of the brain running. Music is my Neutral gear and lets the engine rest.
BLURPPY - I say the same thing to my wife and son ALL the time. I think Neil Young said it best when he said, “Bloggers never sleep.” or was that “Rust Never Sleeps?” Whatever, all I know is that Neil Young said it best. What movies are you excited to see this year/ next year?
PA - Hmmmm… After some of the flops this summer, I stopped looking into any. (After looking some up) Oh! 47 Ronin looks absolutely bonkers! It’s Last Samurai meets Count or Monty Cristo meets Lord of the Rings meets Avatar. Visually obviously, it’ll be crazy.
Storyline wise, I’m looking forward to Smurfs 2. Haha but really this Irish film called Grabbers film that came out. Supposedly, it’s a film about this monster that is attacking a small Irish island and has an allergy to alcohol so the locals have to get right hammered to not get snatched up. Looks like an awesome flick!
BLURPPY - What is your favorite print from your portfolio and why?
PA - My Clockwork Orange piece. I enjoy looking at others more, but this one is special because it was my first screen print. It was my first of many mistakes. 1- I didn’t shop around enough to get a better price on printers 2 – I printed way too many 3- The colours aren’t exactly what I wanted (didn’t use a pantone guide) and 4- I put logos and cast names on it without it being licensed. Either way, a lot of people love it, it looks great framed and it represents what not to do for future projects.
BLURPPY - “Mistakes are the guide to perfection” THERE I just came up with an amazing quote that sums up this print. Pretty deep if you think about it. That being said I would MUCH rather be talented art wise then word wise! What’s your biggest pet peeve about the pop culture art scene?
PA - Some collectors out there are ruining the fun for some of the artists and those artists are deciding not to be part of the fun because of it. So what if they don’t want to make their prints Limited. So what if they chose to take on a subject of their choice and not another Boba Fett piece. And we’re not in this game for reviews, so keep your reviews to yourself. “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all” – Every parent in the world
BLURPPY - WHOA, WHOA, WHOA….HOLD UP PEOPLE! Before folks go getting all crazy and stop working on their Boba Fett pieces DON’T! The world absolutely needs more Boba Fett! Ainsworth is just trying to corner the market on Fett art. Did you guys know he has a whole room FILLED with Boba Fett prints? That’s right! THERE…crisis averted, nice try Paul. So, what has been your best experience to date, in the pop culture art scene?
PA - Just networking and “Electronically” meeting other artists and fans of my work. I don’t have many artist friends and it’s great to speak to people sometimes in our own language without getting that “oooooo-kaaaaay” look other pedestrian friends might give you when they have no clue what you’re talking about, or they do! But they don’t care. haha
BLURPPY - Ya know, now that you mention it, folks never really connect with me about the blog either. My wife gets it but I tell friends at the beach, “Hey, Paramount mentioned me in a global press release for World War Z” and they just look at me with glazed eyes and say, “That’s… nice.” What was your most embarrassing moment as an artist?
PA - I don’t think I have anything really embarrassing. More like “Maddening” than anything. I create typos all the time and like everyone reading this probably has a mother like mine that will bypass the “boy that looks great!” statement and go right into the “you spelled ‘Clothing’ wrong sweetie”. It makes me so mad that I actually growl. (Not at my mother’s delivery, but at the fact that I made a typo). Fortunetly, I was able to take it down before someone else caught it.
PA - I’d have to say this question, and what I’m typing, this is what the answer is looking like. Did I just create a black hole? Wait, what year is it!?
BLURPPY - What do you have on tap for the rest of 2013 and don’t give us that line, “Lots of stuff , just can’t talk about it yet.”
PA - Hopefully more shows with you guys! Bottleneck, Hero Complex and LTD. have all been great to me, so expect to see some of my work through them and I have some other commissions that are really cool like my first skatedeck I’ve ever designed. I just finished doing a lot of design work for a Music Festival that just wrapped up and hopefully things will turn around soon for next year’s event but yea, freelance is hit or miss and there’s some dry periods. Looking at the length of my answers I guess you can say this is a dry period. haha
BLURPPY - Oh you are DEFINITELY in for future Poster Posse Projects. That’s the beauty of the Poster Posse, once you participate you always get an invite to future projects. Ok, here is the lightening round, quick and fast give us whatever comes to mind….GO!
- DC or Marvel?
- I just have more Marvel than DC but I chose Superman before Spidey always.
- Most Desired Super Power?
- Flight. Sometimes I just want to blast the eff out of here but come right back in time for dinner.
- Who is your favorite Star Wars Character and why?
- Han cuz he’s hilarious and I wish I had his hair.
- Best movie snack?
- Popcorn, I hate sharing too. Nom nom nom!
- Growing up, what was your favorite TV show?
- It would have to be between Today’s Special, TMNT, He-Man and ThunderCats
- What’s the best way for fans to keep up with all you have going on?
- What’s your favorite pop culture event?
-SDCC is so cool! My inner comic geek freaks out a little when I see pics of it and really wants to get down there but it’s so friggin’ far from here. I’ll get there someday.
- Who is your favorite fictional character of all time and why? (Can be comic books, movies, literature, etc)
- Superman really. Dude never lies. Always helping out apart from when he’s getting drunk and snapping pistachios at a mirror in Superman 2. I’ve just been a fan of his since I was old enough to flip a page of a book.
- Would you rather design the poster for an upcoming Star Wars movie or the upcoming Blade Runner sequel?
- Hard choice because 1- No one can top Struzan or really stand beside him for that matter. Maybe Frazetta’s work could, but I am really against the remake of Blade Runner. It was perfect for it’s time. It revolutionized special effects like Star Wars did, and it’s one of my favorite films. I’d take my stab at the old Blade Runner, but I wouldn’t do a new one out of spite haha. Where are my pills!!?
…Shit sorry was that supposed to be a lightning round? God I talk too much!
Ok, did anyone else catch that slight misdirection that Ainsworth tried in the ‘lightening round’? When asked “Who is your favorite Star Wars character” he SAID it was “Han” but I’m pretty sure he meant “Bobba Fett”. Huge thanks to Paul for taking the time to participate in the Poster Posse and sit through and answer all my intrusive questions. I for one, can’t WAIT to see what he comes up with for Poster Posse #4!