1. What’s your story? Where are you from?
Hello, I’m Maryssa AKA Glump! I grew up 50% in West Palm Beach, Florida surrounded by beaches and fun, then the other 50% in Mocksville, NC surrounded by tobacco fields and inescapable isolation! I cherish my time there because I really think living there was a huge part as to why art became such an important part of my life. In a town like that you can either tip cows or draw them I guess. I am currently based in Charlotte NC working as a freelance illustrator while also making designs and beer labels in-house for Resident Culture Brewing Company.
2. Tell us about your aesthetic.
I would like to say I am stylistically consistent but at the same time dynamic. I don’t believe in sticking to a particular style and trapping yourself in it. Style just happens naturally through practice no matter if you’re holding a pen, a paintbrush , or even a hot dog dipped in toothpaste. I like to shift mediums and push myself to approach things differently often, but I do believe my body of work remains consistent despite that. I think I would describe my aesthetic as lumpy, hairy, and intentionally flawed.
3. What is your favourite medium and why?
Pencil on paper, that’s where all of my projects begin and sometimes where they end. I’m really drawn to subtle scratches and textures that just happen when you use a pencil.
4. What is your artistic process like?
I usually start with words. Writing down anything that comes to mind whether it’s single words, half ideas, or full sentences. I tend to overthink and get anxiety about everything I do in life so this helps me pour everything out at once without turning into the human embodiment of Robert Smith’s hair.
From those pages of absolute brain vomit I pick out the best concepts and thumbnail as many versions of each idea I can. Those turn into sketches which I show to the client if there’s a client involved. I do a pencil drawing, ink it if it needs to be inked and then I work on top of that with layers of vellum using them to paint on and make spontaneous brush strokes, ink rolls, collage elements and other marks that I then scan in then manipulate the whole thing digitally. Working in physical layers help me compose the illustration so that when I bring it into Photoshop I already know where everything is going for the most part and I’m not stuck staring at a screen for so long that my eyes melt into my coffee.
5. Who and/or what inspires your work?
People. When people step in gum, when people sit alone in bars, when they’re mean, when they’re kind, when they are publicly embarrassing. I love watching strangers. I think I pull a lot of that human element into my work even when the subject matter isn’t exactly human. As far as art itself goes I like to keep my mind open and receptive to any influence coming from anywhere. The works of Gary Larson, Lynda Barry, Stasys Eidrigevicius, and Dave McKean are particularly special to me.
6. What role does art play in your life? How does it change the way you view the world?
I often get overwhelmed and stuck in my own head and in the past that would really make it difficult to get through a day. Drawing, sculpting, playing music, and other creative processes really help me snap out of that rut most of the time. It’s a unique escape because rather than failing due to mistakes you can sort of choose to shape your error into a great result. That mindset resonates with me and works effectively in art. I think I see value rather than fault in my own and other’s mistakes because of it.
7. Where did you study?
I got my BFA in Illustration from Savannah College of Art & Design. I was fortunate to study under amazing illustration and sequential art professors there.
8. Where do you see yourself in five years?
In five years I see myself still eating garbanzo beans out of can like I always do but there are 3 VERY IMPORTANT differences. 1. I am a full inch taller 2. I wear sunglasses more frequently 3. I have illustrated a published book or I’m in the process of it.
9. What about in ten?
In ten years hopefully I’ll be abducted and living with aliens or one of those people you see on TV wearing an aluminum foil outfit yelling about how I was once abducted and lived with aliens.
10. What do you hope to achieve with your art?
I originally started drawing because it helped me rationalize and deal with my own internal struggles. Now I have really grown to enjoy building a visual vocabulary so I can provide people with an end product that they can be happy with. So I suppose I don’t have a particular achievement in mind, I just know I want to keep creating and I want to keep working with people.
11. Now, tell us a little more about you as a person: what is your favourite food?
Sadly I can probably run an entire blog dedicated to reviewing any potato based menu item in existence. I love potatoes and all forms of them. I think I accidentally allow my potato diet seep into my work. A lot of the things I draw tend to be potato shaped.
12. Favourite book?
Breakfast of Champions by Kurt Vonnegut, Weaveworld by Clive Barker, The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath,
13. Favourite genre of music?
I love post punk, hardcore punk, blues, folk, classic country, and whatever combination of those genres Tom Waits and Captain Beefheart fit into.
14. What are your hobbies?
My hobbies include going on long walks, telling my dog Tub she is the best, and taking part in D&D campaigns.
15. If you weren’t an artist, what would you be?
Probably an asshole. Or a cowboy.