I discovered the colourful and imaginative work of US based Andy Rementer at the Pick Me Up show last year. Since then he’s stayed in touch with me about new projects, and I’ve been delighted to receive the occasional surprise package in the post: sometimes good old snail mail really is the best possible way to keep in touch. After all, printed matter is my first love and there’s nothing like a gorgeous postcard, poster or zine. From window displays and animations for Kiehls to comic strips for Nobrow and duck t-shirts for Lazy Oaf, this innovative illustrator is engaged in loads of interesting projects that are bringing him to a wider audience in the UK.
What kind of feedback did you get from exhibiting at Pick Me Up last year?
The feedback and response from Pick Me Up was huge. I got a lot of positive words of support from other creatives and fans. After the show, Gavin Lucas from Creative Review wrote a nice piece about my work. Also, I have started a relationship with Nobrow, who invited me to be in their 6th issue, and am working on more projects with them as we speak. As another positive note, my work on display sold out, which hopefully means people liked it.
Tell us more about your illustrated Skitsch catalogue, how did that come about and where did your Mr. Bello character come from?
The Skitsch catalog was a project made in collaboration with Apartamento magazine. I worked with them previously on a coloring book for their 4th issue, so they were familiar with my work. Skitsch approached them to create a character and narrative around their products and designers. I think they liked my style and color palette, so they chose me to illustrate a small booklet. The Apartamento team along with Skitsch developed the idea and character traits of Mr. Bello, and I worked on the look, feel and development of him and his world. There was a lot of back and forth concerning the way everything looked, but it was worth it and I’m very happy with this project that had a lot of exposure in Milan and London.
I love Kiehl’s – but I wouldn’t necessarily put your drawing style together with the cosmetics brand. And are you a Keihls man? tell the truth now… what’s your favourite guy beauty tip?
Yes I am a Kiehl’s man! Love the shaving cream and hand cream—important to keep the drawing hand moisturized. Kiehl’s incorporates a lot of illustration actually, so while my work may be surprising at first, I feel it fits in well. The campaign had a very big response worldwide, and I received a lot of fan photos from Malaysia to Berlin. It was really exciting to collaborate with a brand that I admire so much like Kiehl’s, and I was amazed at how respectful and supportive they were with my work.
Work for the New York Times.
What were your favourite projects of 2011 and what are you looking forward to in 2012?
Participating in Pick Me Up was a major highlight of 2011 and for my career in general. Being part of something so big, and along with so many talented people was insanely awesome. I met some heroes there like Tom Gauld, NoBrow and the It’s Nice That crew to mention a few. Rob Ryan even picked up a piece of mine!
Another great project I enjoyed doing was a comic interpretation of Madama Butterfly. It was made for the Bavarian State Opera House‘s magazine Max Joseph, which is the coolest opera publication imaginable. They gave me four spreads and free reign to interpret Puccini‘s classic play in my own style and visual world. The project entailed quite a bit of research and translating as the final story was in German, and even if I can’t read it, I’m very happy with the final result.
This year, I am really looking forward to participating in Pictoplasma Berlin. I will be giving a talk and showing some work as well. I was a part of the NYC version last year and it was a blast.
How would you describe your drawing style?
Fun on the outside, slightly dark on the inside.
What are the bonuses of working pastel colours?
I am naturally prone to using brighter colors in my work. I am technically color blind and have a difficult time distinguishing between muted tones. However in certain cases, I really like the contrast of my clear line style paired with pastel colors, and it’s a nice way to break out of my color comfort zone.
What are the good and bad things about living in Philadelphia?
Good thing is the location, with an International Airport. There are plenty of good art stores too, so that is a major plus. Bad thing is it’s a bit of an anachronistic city.
Why are books so good?
Books are the best. They smell good and the tactile quality is irreplaceable.
Where can folks in the UK find your work, other than online?
Good Press in Glasgow sells my latest zine with Nieves (above). Nobrow features my work in issue #6. I have a full page in the first issue of Cagoule published by Present Joys.
And Lazy Oaf sells some T-shirts I made.
In the future I hope to have an even bigger presence in the UK! *so do we!* Check in with the latest work by Andy Rementer on his website.
- An interview with McBess about Big Mother
- An Interview with Illustrator Tom Clohosy Cole
- Nobrow Press Flickr competition: People I’ve Never Met & Conversations I’ve Never Had
- An Interview with illustrator Hattie Stewart
- Exhibition: Nobrow Press presents Dungeons and Desktops by Jack Teagle.