Whitney Wells talks to us about getting high, drinking beer, and making really cool art

Whitney Wells talks to us about getting high, drinking beer, and making really cool art

ArtMarch 11, 2014

Some things are better taken for what they are, not coddled and overanalyzed like your weird only-child cousin. That’s exactly the approach Whitney Wells takes to his illustrations and paintings, which, although remarkable in execution, are simply his way of having fun with art.

Medium: Pen and paper, watercolor.

How do you think of this stuff?
Weed and beer. I get high and sip beer, and what you see is what comes out.

A lot of your work features captions or banners; do you come up with the words first, or the image? What’s the purpose of words for you?
When I make a piece, I add writing in afterward. Most of the words are from music I’m listening to, mostly Juicy J. If I’m in a weird mood, I’ll write something about what’s happening in my life.

What ideas are you exploring with your art?
Just the stuff that’s in my head that I want to get out. I don’t have some grand purpose. When an idea comes, I just doodle it. It’s stream of consciousness. When I put too much thought into something, it turns out like shit. It makes more sense to create on the spot.

What’s the purpose of exaggerating or hyperbolizing features of your subjects?
I always love drawing caricatures. I did life-like, detailed stuff when I was younger, but I pushed myself away from that as I got older, which helped me develop my own style. When I was younger, all I wanted to be was a comic book artist, which definitely influenced how I treat the features of my characters.

What makes you want to draw something?
My friend’s artwork motivates me. When they’re doing cool stuff, it makes me want to create. Also, real life experiences like breakups, skateboarding or friends’ personalities.

What do you think about artists taking themselves too seriously?
They’re idiots. It’s just art; you’re supposed to have fun with it.