While admiring someone else’s creativity, we keep on believing that we could have created the same work of art too. The problem is our lack of self-irony, but no: once again the great idea was somebody else’s. You attend courses, you read books, you carry around a picture of Woody Allen in your wallet or even better you practice your laugh in front of the mirror. It might be one out of many delusions: irony, especially if nurtured by creativity, is a gift that belongs only to a happy few. And if Woody said «God is dead, Marx is dead, and I’m not feeling that good myself», maybe you’re actually feeling very well. Shame on you.
Literally, or let’s better say visually, there’s someone who manages to transfer on paper all those great funny ideas, making them become irreverent comic books with characters that might be just like us in our worst nightmares (or dreams?). The choice is up to you. We happened to read through one of Hugleikur Dagsson’s books, turning every page licking our finger to get quickly to the next one – blocking the only passage to the small bookshop in the centre of Reykjavik – and we never stopped reading them since then. It’s something ironic, rude, violent, funny, stereotyped and original all together. VM18, so you’d better watch out.
We have few doubts on what Woody would have done. He would have probably joked with the artist, and that’s what we tried to do in our interview:
- Hi Hulli! You are “Graduated at the Academy of Fine Arts in Reykjavik in 2002″. Do you think that a qualification is necessary to make art?
Not at all. For me Art school was the only choice. I had to explore my creative tendencies in order to have a clearer vision of my future career options in a cartoonless country like Iceland. But some artists have got it from the beginning. I hate them. Art school is also a great place to make mistakes, because they don’t count when you’re learning.
- When did you start? Do you still remember your first drawing? Which comic-strips did you read as a child?
My first drawing was probably a monster. My first comic, which I did when was six, was called Dinosaur Island. It was partly inspired by Adele & the Beast (Adèle et la bête) by Tardi. My first comic was a Daredevil comic by Frank Miller which scared the shit out of me. There was no turning back.
- When you started thinking that your drawings, as well as a passion, could become a job?
Around when I did Dinosaur Island. But then later a faceless grownup told me that it wasn’t a viable career choice. So I was kind of lost for years until I randomly started doing stick figure jokes in my art school years. When I saw peoples reactions to them I thought “I’m gonna print this and sell it”.
- Does each drawing have a peculiar story? Or maybe you have a thread in the head which leads you to tella story through different images?
I think it’s both. They all sort of take place in the same world. Once I found myself hired to write a play based on my jokes. Then I was forced to directly connect my jokes into one storyline. It was fun.
- How do you choose the topics to be discussed? Which are your sources of inspiration?
Whatever’s around. There is no system.
- Is “any reference merely coincidental” in your drawings? Who are the receivers?
Right now I can only remember three people I’ve made fun of directly in my jokes; Egill Helgason, Lenny Kravitz and myself. There are probably more, but most of the time I try to keep real people out of the cartoons. I like them better when they could be anyone.
- Which instruments do you use? Do you have a “favorite” or a “lucky” one? Which is your favoritedrawing? Do you have a specific ritual before starting your drawings or when you come up with an idea allyou have to do is taking paper and pen?
I use regular artline pens on whatever paper I can find. What comes next is a deadline and a whole lot of procrastinating.
- Which is the perfect profile for a comic-strip writer? Have you ever made a comic-strip based upon yourself?
I’ve appeared once or twice in my own work. It feels weird.
- Your images are immediate and effective. Nowadays, do you think that art, to be effective, needs tobe “fast”?
Fast is good when it comes to humor, because of the element of surprise. However, awesome beats fast every time.
- Among your publications which do you think represents you the most and why?”
It’s always the latest one that relates most to me. As soon as a book is out, I kind of let it go and start focus on the next one.
- Which is the most important element in a drawing, the idea or its making?
Although this sounds like a chicken-and-the-egg question, the answer is the making. We all have ideas all the time. The trick is to make it happen. That’s what makes it art.
- Exclusive only for Reykjavik Boulevard: you have paper and pen, could you make up a comic-stripregarding our magazine with the first idea that pops up in your mind?