INKBOY's cartoon illustrations and street influences

by Andrea Juanillo

Melbourne based artist INKBOY creates fun, cartoon and street inspired artworks.

How did you get started and what's your inspiration with Inkboy?

Inkboy started as a bit of an accident - I always loved cartoons and how they projected character, I was doing a lot of detailed tattoo style art but it never sat right with my personality. One of my biggest influences in Melbourne was a clothing label and creator called Boywolf. He ended up being a massive mentor and helped me get on the right track with how I wanted my art to come across. In doing so, I may have stolen half his name.

Your work is known to have been influenced by quite an old school street vibe including even 1930's arts. How did you start drawing inspiration from that art scene era?

It came very easily to me, which had never happened with art before. It was almost like going back to primary school where I used to draw cartoons all over my books; the art style lets me blend my influences of street and character and project my own personality into each piece.

Thanks to Flying Art Films and Guds Official for this great video

So do you remember the very first paid job you had?

Dishwasher at an Italian restaurant, it was awesome; I would work a solid 3 hours before taking home a large bowl of Pasta; simpler times!

What is your favorite piece of work you've done and why?

One of my favorite pieces was the cover I did for 'No Cure Magazine'. I've read and collected the magazine since I was a teenager so to be asked to whip up a cover was absolutely awesome.

And what projects are you working on right now?

Personally, I'm working on a collectible figurine, a new clothing line, and an art collection - these things always take time but are now, unfortunately, taking a back seat to larger clients. But when they are finally released it will be well worth it!

Are there other artists who you're particularly interested in at the moment, or who have influenced your work?

I have always loved artists that show restraint in their execution of style, incorporating design and art is not easy but my biggest influences have always been Dabs Myla, Mcbess & Travis Price.

Recent t-shirt collaboration with Hibiki, Melboure

How does the recent pandemic affect your current and future projects?

I've been very lucky that my work hasn't been too affected - It's mostly put a focus on supporting and choosing to create artwork for local business' over international clients as Melbourne (like so many places) has taken a huge hit to its arts and creative industries. Personally, it's changed a few personal timelines for my own larger projects but in this time community is the most important thing to nourish.

What kinds of commission works do you currently offer to your clients?

I have stopped taking in a lot of commissions lately however I am always looking for people with completely obtuse or new ideas so I can test my limits of creativity. There are a lot of people out there with great ideas out there and I love being able to help them out!

"There are systemic issues within the police force - it’s not about who is good or bad. They have deep rooted racial bias and a long history of abuse no matter if you’re looking at America or Australia."

What is the most difficult part of being an independent artist?

Being kind to yourself, managing that work-life balance is incredibly taxing some days as you're always pushing to better yourself but in doing so forget to care for yourself. That's been particularly hard during COVID - already spent 7 months of this year sitting inside which has taken a toll on motivation.

What challenges do you face today that are different than when you started?

These days I find that Instagram plays too big a role in the broader art community; It definitely feels like a double-edged sword offering a million different opportunities but leaving you bound to it; which in the long run creates a somewhat dependant & volatile relationship with it.

In solidarity with Beirut & Lebanon @carladrawz and Inkboy designed a charity sticker with 100% of proceeds going to the Lebanese Red Cross.

Is there anything that you want to share with other independent artists across the globe?

More than ever, we need to be collaborating, respecting, and promoting each other. The world seems to be tipping into a lot of uncertainty and it's a little scary but seeing people's creativity and passion reminds everyone that you're not alone in all of it.

Please check out Inkboy’s website and Instagram for more of his works. If you need to commission him or you need some creative video, motion graphics / animation / shooting, or editing please email us here or schedule a conversation with us.