FAF: Mega-Drop interview with Stevie Hunt

Has the city of Portsmouth impacted your work?

Portsmouth definitely has a massive impact on my work specially my street art. Taking photos of my canvas/ wood paintings using parts of Portsmouth as background drops is important to me. Even if it’s just an old wall, I like the setting to compliment the painting and Portsmouth acts as an infinite canvas for this. As the majority of my work is in the stencil design which can be very time consuming, it’s nice having a city like this with its sea front/common and quiet coffee shops and pubs I can sit in to get lost in my work.

What attracted you to illustration?

Video games first attracted me to illustration. Mainly the characters and the story telling. The first drawings I can ever remember doing were drawing Mortal Kombat characters and the demons from Doom in school and getting in trouble because it was probably maths class or something. Then at college I started experimenting with stencil design and spray paint. Whether it’s my own take on existing characters or my own (normally based around mental health), stencil design and spray painting is what I dwell in today.

Whose work do you find inspiring/ influential?

Junji Ito and Yoji Shinkawa. I love the elegance of every single brush stroke on Shinkawas work. Every single stroke and flicker of paint serves its purpose, whether it benefits the composition or creates emotion.

I love the way Junji Itos work creates fear and a level of uncomfortableness within his illustrations. His story telling perfectly complements his illustration style. Whenever I read his work I always get an overwhelming feeling to go and create.

The Execution of Lady Jane Grey by Paul Delaroche is a painting I can get lost in. Every single part of it tells a unique story.

The 3 completely different artists I’ve mentioned all have something in common. I always see something new in there works every time I look at it.

What has impacted your methodology/ approach to making art?

Just leaving the house and going to do my work in a coffee shop, pub, field or the sea front helps massively and has probably impacted me the most. Whether it’s taking my laptop to start the initial stencil designs or cutting the stencils out (which depending on the detail can take weeks) so changing the scenery helps massively.  

What’s your latest project?

I’m currently creating a T shirt line called Violent Artist. I’m expecting the first wave to be available very soon. I’m just making sure the quality is up to scratch before I release more info.

How would you describe your work?

I find it almost impossible to talk about my work, especially in a positive light. Unfortunately I tend to look at the mistakes and what I don’t like about it before I gage up the positives. Great job I’ve just done at selling it there!

I’ll attempt to describe what I intend my work to be…

The main element to my work is stencil designed. Most stencils are hand drawn with a graphic tab. My paintings are normally built up on 3-6 layers. Once I’ve cut the layers out I combine free hand spray painting with stencil spray painting ether on canvas or wood or whatever I can find to paint on. My typical paintings I focus on how I visualise mental health. When something like a comic con comes around I experiment bringing in more of a comic/computer game vibe to my art. Something that I really enjoy.      

If you could collaborate with any artist, historical or contemporary, who?

I would honestly chew my own arm off to collaborate with Hideo Kojima, failing that I’d take just going for a beer with him.

Describe the work your dropping around Portsmouth

For Portsmouth comic con I’ll be dropping spray paintings that are a mix of abstract and a semi realistic style of characters from the comic book world. My traditional art drops are normally paintings of cats that need a home. Cats are awesome! And even paintings of cats need a good home. 

Where can your work be found?

Online my work can be found on Instagram: Stevie_Hunt_Art. I can be contacted for commissions through there. You will also find my artwork hidden around the streets of Portsmouth in terms of sticker art, spray paintings and free art drops. You can also find my art a couple times a year in various exhibitions in Portsmouth. I’m hoping to get more involved in these as well as getting involved in the local community more.