Jim Mahfood

23 Nov

Location: Los Angeles, CA

Website: 40ozcomics.com

Describe your Creative Space:

I converted my kitchen into the painting studio. The place is full of all sorts of dangerous and hazardous chemicals, which is fun. I have my computer/writing/drawing station set-up in the living room. And the place has a large den, which is the main drawing studio. My stereo is in there, drawing table, reference, light table, etc. It’s a pretty good set-up as far as apartment set-ups go.

Oils, Acrylics, Ink, Or Spray paint?

All of the above, my friend.

What is a typical day like for Jim Mahfood?

No two days are alike, it all depends. I wake up whenever I want, drink coffee, check email and handle business, draw, run errands, yell at assholes on the phone who owe me money (an essential part of the freelance art lifestyle…hilarious!), draw more, eat at some point, I try and at least take a walk or a jog or something once a day just to clear my mind, back to work, yell at more people, drink with friends and enemies, listen to records or maybe watch some cartoons to end the day.

You went to Kansas City Art School, did this help you discover your style of art and what you were doing with it?

Sort of. I was lucky enough to meet some like-minded people like my boys Mike Huddleston, Nathan Fox, and Paul Chatem and we all formed a crew and influenced each other. Google their names and you will see how badass they are. I started smoking weed on the regular and indulging in psychedelic drugs when I got to art school, so that definitely had a huge impact on me and the types of images I started to make. I would just fill-up sketchbooks in record time and eventually my style just started to ooze through. The style just sort of created itself, and continues to do so, over time.

Comic Books and Hip Hop seem to be a big influence in your work. Was there a record or comic book that inspires your art?

Not really. I started collecting comics and studying them when I was super-young, probably 8 or 9 years old. And music was always around in my house and I began collecting records and tapes when I was 11 or 12, so that’s a lot of influence to pull from, you know? That’s a lot of years of certain types of art and pop culture seeping into what I do. I could write 15 paragraphs on the types of comics and albums that are important to me but people reading this would just get bored and fall asleep or whatever. If you wanna know what kind of music I’m into just listen to my podcast at: http://thebeatbeesessions.libsyn.com/

I first learned about you from the Clerks comic books. Were those books a big turning point for your career?

Oh, yeah. That was the big break. Definitely helped put me on the map. I was totally in the right place at the right time and scored the gig and as soon as the book came out, everything changed for me. It was a magical kind of thing. I was lucky. It’s cool cause I’m still really good friends with the editor who discovered me, Bob Schreck, and I’m still cool with Kevin, and I met his producer Scott Mosier back then and now he and I are working together.

You have said in other interviews that you are burned out on Comic Books. Are you focusing more on galleries shows and design work?

I just said “fuck it” and decided to do everything at once. I’m working on comics right now as we speak….illustrating Ziggy Marley’s comic book, “Marijuana Man”. My buddy Joe Casey is writing it and we are having a damn good time doing it. I’m also doing my own comic/zine called “Scum of the Earth”. It’s an on-going thing. My thing. Me having fun and doing whatever I want. The first issue is sold-out and the second one is available here: http://www.40ozcomics.com/store.php

I just had a gallery show with my buddy Justin Hampton at the SubSpace Art gallery in Culver City. And I just finished doing an art installation at Winston’s Bar in West Hollywood. You can see the flix from that at: http://www.foodoneart.blogspot.com

So yeah, I try to stay diverse and do all sorts of things. It keeps me from getting bored. Gonna do Live Art tonight with Jason Shawn Alexander at the Music Box! Fun!

There has been rumors that you are branching out in to animation?

Yeah, that’s the natural progression. I’m excited about it. Scott Mosier and I are doing this pilot for Disney right now, we just got done with the storyboard phase and everyone seems to be into it. It’s moving along, so we’ll see. I’m also working on the new Tron cartoon, doing character designs for that.

Apple or PC?

8-track player.

Star Wars or Star Trek?

Battle of the Planets.

Marvel Or DC?

Comico.

Spider-Man or Batman?

They are my two favorites, but if I had to choose I would go with Spidey cause he’s the first super hero I discovered (on that PBS show, the Electric Company), and his comics were the first comics I ever read.

Artist that people should check out?

Oh, there are too many to name and I would get in trouble for leaving people out and all that so I’m not sure what to say here. Just go out and buy a badass book on Picasso and you should be able to discover some of the answers that way. Thx.

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