"Maybe I just want to be an architect, but am not hard working enough."
- Liam Cobb
Introducing Liam Cobb. A comic book artist, illustrator and creator of the award-winning collection of dystopian sci-fi graphic short stories named ‘Shampoo’, which comprises of surreal explorations of love and loneliness amidst burning houses and sky-high rooftop pools. Liam's practice involves extensive use of Risograph whilst having a keen interest in the contrast and crossover between architecture and nature. We spoke to the artist about his work.
When were you first attracted to illustration and comic art? And what was it about these mediums that was for you?
I've always drawn since I was a kid. I like to experiment with narrative within my art, so comics is a perfect place to do that.
What’s your creative process when it comes to illustrating? And how do you go about seeking artistic growth? Usually I have a few ideas knocking about in my head before I start sketching stuff out. If I'm developing a comic with a more traditional story I'll try and work on a script before I start storyboarding. Each stage of the process helps inform the final idea. I'm not sure how much I think about artistic growth. I do try not to do the same thing over and over, out of boredom, but also it may not be the best way to push myself.
The relationship between architecture and nature is an inspiration in your work. What do you find most beautiful and intriguing about the connection between the two? The visual contrast between the two always interests me. I'm not sure why though. I love paintings that depict nature, obvious ones being someone like Peter Doig and then Matisse. But I also really like drawings of buildings and architects like Frank Lloyd Wright. Maybe I just want to be an architect, but am not hard working enough.
At what point did your crafts turn into a career pursuit rather than just a hobby? I guess after I graduated a few years ago. I sat around not really drawing, but not really enjoying any part time work either. I started just drawing whenever I could and was lucky enough to have some positive feedback from publishers and peers which kept me going.
What was the inspiration behind your graphic short story Shampoo? A bunch of stuff. I'd seen what people had been doing with the Risograph and thought it was really cool. I had used it before and had a few years of screen printing at college so I was excited to use it as a way of designing the book. I was into sci-fi quite a bit at the time but also just had a load of imagery and ideas that had been hanging around in sketchbooks that I wanted to get into some stories.
How do you see your artwork evolving and developing in the future? I just plan to continue making comics really. I don't like thinking to far into the future, so I just think about the next book as it comes. Finally, any messages or words of wisdom for the people reading this? If you're into comics, the best way to get good at the them is to just make them. Print them, sell them, but make sure they're what you want to see out there. Try to make something that doesn't already exist, looking outside the medium for influence is a good way to get inspired. It doesn't matter if you're not completely happy with them, it's all just learning really, so try not to think to much about what anyone else is going to think.
You can enjoy more of Liam's work on his website: https://liamcobb.com/