5 Question Interview #89


We put 5 Questions to Creature and Animal creator Philip Davis... 

What’s the secret origin story of Philip Davis Art and how did it all come together?

 I've been creative and drawing cartoons all my life in one form or another, initially inspired by the Beano and TV cartoons as a child. My friends think of me who can make something out of nothing, (8 years ago I made a no-budget fan film called 'A Tale of Two Galaxies' and built all the sets out of scrounged stuff, right now I'm making a Borg Drone costume out of junk I've been collecting for a while!). I did Animation and Special effects at Uni, and made (for the moment at least) Creature & Animal as a simple panel cartoon so I could produce more of them. I'd love to animate them, but my mission at the moment is to do 100 and put them together into a book, then later do another book of random cartoons. I guess ultimately I have my parents to thank, for never doubting I had a talent and always encouraging me to use it to do something I love.  

What inspires you to create?

I guess most often it's simply a way to vent and express myself.  Creature & Animal just started as silly sketches I thought would be funny, it made my friends laugh and some of them convinced me (over a few drinks) that I should get some printed and do a show. That's how I first ended up at True Believers! I really enjoy making things. I'm lucky to be very well-travelled so take inspiration from the places I've visited. The TV news is always so gloomy so I thinking creating something funny or silly that makes someone smile is an antithesis to that. Doing my little bit to keep the sanity of humanity on an even keel.

Since you started, what moment has been your highlight so far?

Meeting other artists is always great, but I'd have to say the atmosphere created by the fans, really. From a table at the show I get a great view of all the amazing cosplayers walking around. Not knowing who my stuff will appeal to. The initial look of puzzlement and then surprise and laughter when someone looks at them and 'gets it', because I guess I have a unique style which obviously isn't your typical super-hero comicon fayre. The initial assumption is often 'Is this for kids?' then they realise Creature & Animal deals with more adult themes - the dating game. Or in fact 'how far will a little guy go to try and impress a beautiful woman? How badly will he mess it up this time?' I want people to feel sorry for Animal, he's an underdog, so I love it when people say 'Awwwww!'

Finishing a peice is always satisfying too. I like it when people ask me how I do it, because I use mixed media in the cartoons and whilst they're obviously hand-drawn the bright digital colours against matte acylic painted elements leave them wondering. Seeing my style improve and develop is good too, as an artist you can't stagnate. I try not to pore over the older drawings because it's tempting to go back and redo them. I like how each one is (usually) better than the last.

This is your third year at True Believers, what can people expect to find at your table on the day?

It is my third year! There'll be some new as-yet-unveiled Creature & Animal cartoons, as well as prints, stickers, badges, T-shirts, and a game. I've actually taken some time out from Creature & Animal of late to try and speed up my workflow and improve my skills in software packages and as an artist, and am putting together a new website. I'm hoping to have a nice variety of work and some other cartoons to show a progression and have some variety to engage fans with my stuff. I don't do many shows and setting myself a February deadline to produce some new work has helped me focus.

If you could pick one line that inspires you from a comic or nerd culture as your life motto, which would you choose?

This is hard! I'm a huge Star Trek fan, so it would have to be a line from that.... *thinks about it*

How about;

"Live now; make now always the most precious time. Now will never come again” – Captain Jean-Luc Picard, TNG

I also like this one, just as reminder of how extraordinary everything is;

'"We are just an advanced breed of monkeys on a minor planet of a very average star. But we can understand the Universe. That makes us something very special." - Stephen Hawking 

Thanks Philip.

You can find more of Creature & Animal/Philip Davis on their website, Facebook and Twitter.  Don't forget to stop by Philips table at #TBCF2017 and say "Hello".  You can also read Philips 2016 5 Question Interview here.

And don't forget to buy your advance tickets from our website.