Artist of the week: Roy Draws

Roy is an artist and illustrator based in Berlin. Roy Draws is more interested in the world than in the art world. This is perhaps one of the most amusing qualities in her work and one of the reasons fans start to pay attention to the newcomer. Borrowing from pop culture, street art, music and the absurdity of everyday life – Draws’ faces the paper entirely devoid of pretension. #interview

KALTBLUT: Tell us about your creative background – when did you first start illustrating/what really pushed you to do so?
Roy: I think seeing a colleague at my old office job who had been in the company for 30 years and was given a tiny plaque congratulating her for spending most of her life in the office pushed me to find something I was interested in. I just didn’t want to end up like Susan.

I applied to do a digital art work and design course as it was the only art course I could get onto without a portfolio, I then went onto to do an Art Foundation in my home town of Nottingham but was completely out of my depth and was pretty terrible to be honest.

After that I studied illustration at the university of the west of England, Bristol and did a semester in Berlin at Udk, where things started to fall more into place.

KALTBLUT: I love the way you combine text and illustration. What comes first usually? The quotes or the drawing?
Roy: Both, sometimes I’ll think of a word and just draw something that goes with it and vice versa. Most of the time it’s just spur of the moment and I just do something quick and somehow it works.

KALTBLUT: There is a certain irony in your work, which I love. What inspires you the most?
Roy: Being in a crappy mood inspires me a lot, I think I work best when I feel like the world is going to end. I think some of the irony in my work is just an extension of me as a person, I’m a bit negative and a bit silly.

KALTBLUT: What is the message you want to get across to viewers of your work?
Roy: I try and create work that people can relate to, and I learned early on that people can relate to my work through laughing at it. I guess the common message is to take the piss out of life a bit, it’s way too serious anyway.

KALTBLUT: You’re based in Berlin, how does the city influence your work?
Roy: I fell in love with Berlin because of all the street art and still that’s what I love about it. I also love the art you see in most of the bathrooms here, there’s always a cock on a wall or a drunken quote about life.

KALTBLUT: There is comics side looking at your work, have you ever considering doing a full comics book?
Roy: Yes, I wrote a story about a biscuit who is lonely and wants to find a wife, he does and then she kills him by dunking him in her tea. I’ll hopefully publish that this year. I have worked on a couple of books already and wouldn’t mind making some more.

KALTBLUT: What’s the smartest piece of advice you ever got?
Roy: My grandma gave me some good advice when I was about 6, she told me that little girls should always wash their fairy* everyday and I took that on.

(*A fairy is a fanny)

KALTBLUT: Have you found any other work/artists to be really inspiring currently?
Roy: I like Artists that use humor in their work, like Jeff Koons and Mr Bingo, and I have always loved David Shrigley. I can remember first seeing his work when I started art school and he really pushed me further in the sense that I was totally shit at drawing but realized that it didn’t really matter if you had something funny to say.

Instagram: @roy_draws

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