ME Bones Talks Comic Books and His Artistic Alter Ego
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Over the weekend I spoke with UK based artistic identity, ME Bones. We spoke about comic books, creating an Alter Ego for Art and his theories around the Real Identity of Banksy.
I hope you enjoy the below Interview as much as I did talking with ME Bones.
Anthony Pollock: Thank you for taking the time to chat with me this week. Please tell the readers a bit about yourself and the work you do.
ME Bones: Thank you for getting in touch! My pleasure. I go by the name ME/BONES and I am based in the UK. As an Illustrator I work to any brief that comes my way. Most of the projects I get to work on are related to comic books. I also frequently work with recording Artists and labels, designing illustrated album and single covers.
Comic books and cartoons are my greatest loves, and I try to reflect that in my work. I try to create imagery that is bold and vibrant, with the hope that people will create their own narrative behind it.
Anthony Pollock: Tell me a bit about the inspiration behind the ME Bones artwork.
ME Bones: The name itself is a combination of my initials (M.E) and a nickname I’ve had for many years (BONES). When I began my practice as an Illustrator, I liked the idea of using a pseudonym and the person behind the work being a question mark. I also felt it was more interesting than my regular name! Over the years I’ve tried to foster a distinct look and narrative in my work that would be recognizable to the viewer as MEBONES. And if people dig what they see, I feel that I’ve accomplished that.
I’ve been reading comics since I was a kid, and still avidly do, so I gain inspiration from a long list of Artists and creators, classic and contemporary. I also watch way too many cartoons. Overall my ultimate inspiration is to spin a narrative and create some kind story, through the characters I draw, or the mood and feel of an image, sequential or otherwise. I hope to make a lasting impression on the viewer, and anything I come across that has that effect is an influence to me.
Anthony Pollock: How did you get started as an artist?
ME Bones: I’ve been drawing since I was a kid, I drew my first comic when I was about eight. It was basically Batman with whiskers, I called him ‘Mews Man’. As a Teenager I picked up a copy of Stan Lee’s ‘How to draw comics the Marvel way’ and that book taught me how to draw everything comics, how to draw full stop really!
Since then I continued off and on over the years, as a hobby. In recent years I began to practice more seriously, professionally setting up as an illustrator, creating a portfolio and running with that. These days I’m usually pretty busy with outside projects or my own work.
Anthony Pollock: Who are your biggest artistic inspirations?
ME Bones: So many! A few major inspirations are Jamie Hewlett, his work is so distinct and his characters are so bombastic, a big influence for me. Daniel Warren Johnson is another hero of mine. His work is always beyond stunning and his ability to tell a story and evoke emotion through his imagery is something I certainly aspire to.
Anna Cattish is also one of my favourite illustrators, her work is brimming with mood and attitude, again a quality I try to bring to my own stuff. I also try to take inspiration from daily life; a movie, something I’ve read, I try my best to soak it all in!
Anthony Pollock: What are your biggest obstacles when it comes to your work? How do you overcome them?
ME Bones: My biggest obstacle is the occasional art block, I could be working on a brief or my own stuff, and what’s in my head won’t translate to paper. I have a terrible habit of sitting for hours trying to force the drawing to life to no avail. To overcome that I have to reason with myself that it’s fine to leave it, do something entirely unrelated to drawing, and come back with a fresh set of eyes on it.
I find that after a physical and mental break from whatever I was trying to do, even a few hours, is enough to refresh the mindset and come at things with a different approach. Pretty much every time, after that break, I capture what I wanted right away.
Anthony Pollock: Many of us creators work on projects outside of our 9-5 jobs. Do you have any advice for balancing careers with passion projects/side hustles?
ME Bones: Admittedly I’m not the best at this! I work as an Illustrator in my spare time, and have been consistently busy in recent years. It can be very difficult to balance multiple jobs and responsibilities, and I sometimes do burn the candle at both ends, which does have adverse results.
I find the best way to balance everything is to be strict with working hours; have set days and times when you work, making sure you take time out for yourself to recharge. Sometimes deadlines and timeframes can get in the way of that, and it’s ok to lose a little sleep now and again, just don’t make a habit out of it!
Anthony Pollock: Do you have any upcoming events/projects/releases you would like to discuss?
ME Bones: Currently working on a few projects with a couple of recording artists, Illustrated cover artwork. Recently finished a cover Illustration for an upcoming comic coming to Kickstarter called Halfcells. Also recently completed a few comic pages for a title funded through Kickstarter.
In between that I’ve been working on my own comic book for a while now, in between jobs, titled ‘Boom’. The main character pops up in my portfolio now and again. I’m aiming to complete the first volume next year.
Anthony Pollock: Who is the real Banksy? Give me your theories.
ME Bones: Oh man I love all the different theories! The most recent that Banksy is Neil Buchanan from Art Attack was fantastic. To be honest I don’t put too much thought into it, personally I hope it remains a mystery! Banksy is almost like some kind of magic, mythical character that appears when he’s needed and vanishes just as quick.
My theory is he’s probably some Dude that looks like a Geography Teacher, and once the truth is out, we see the face, his work won’t carry such weight. The mystery is the fun part!
Anthony Pollock: Thank you for taking the time to do this! Where can readers find you and your work?
ME Bones: Thank you for the chat! Pleasure was mine, much appreciated. You can find me @mebonesart across social media, and at www.mebones.com