Interview with Clayton Junior

Clayton Junior, whom we have the honour to talk to today, was born in Brazil but is now based in London.We instantly liked his illustration when we found his portfolio: whimsically looking persons and animals with a mid-century touch.

He told us why and when he started making art and with which artist he would like to meet for a coffee. Read on!

Why and when did you start making art?
I started studying printmaking on university when I was 19. At the same time I began drawing t-shirts for a skateboard company in my hometown. I would then see some wonderful skateboard decks by some top brands like Chocolate and Zoo York and be completely mesmerized. And at the classes I would discover from the German expressionists to what was happening on contemporary photography. Then I realized I wanted to be a graphic artist.

What kind of art do you make?
I make illustration, mostly for magazines. But I experiment with all the visual languages I can. I have published short stories on comics anthologies and a solo ‘short graphic novel’ last year, called Temporama. As an animation designer I develop characters and backgrounds for all sorts of projects. And on a music video I’ve done recently, I also directed and wrote the story. I don’t exactly write with words -Temporama and most of my graphic stories are silent, and the music video is an entirely visual narrative.

Where do you draw your inspiration from?
From everything around me I guess. But most conscious insights come from books. Recently I’ve read ‘Distraction’, by Damon Young. It is a philosophical overview on the role distraction plays in our daily life, it is really interesting. Now I am reading the other titles of the same series.

What does your usual workday look like?
I don’t like to wake up early, and 10am to 8pm seems like an average working day to me. But the projects I work on are quite different from one another so I don’t have a daily routine. Most of the days I go to my studio by bike. But if it’s raining, I take the bus. And if I am not particularly busy, I will divert to somewhere else, like a gallery or a musical instruments shop.

How do you spend a perfect sunday?
Having a proper Brazilian feijoada with friends. In a place with hammocks under the trees.

What is your favourite taste of chocolate?
Recently I am on dark chocolate with orange…

Show me your favourite artwork (from your own collection or another artist)
I have too many favorites… Any work by Paul Klee could be my favorite!

Whom should we interview next?
Chis Haughton. He is a great illustrator and children’s book author who also works on amazing projects involving design and fair trade.

If you could have coffee with a famous artist – dead or alive – whom would you choose?
Julio Cortazar, the Argentinian writer.

What is your philosophy of life?
Be positive and keep learning!

Thank you, Clayton!