Do I dig Burney‘s stuff? You kidding me? I’m a HUGE fan! If I happened to live anywhere near him, I’d be peeking in his windows right now, hiding behind the bushes with my face pressed up against the glass, just to watch this man draw. And DAMN can he draw! Check out these pieces he sent over! Holy fuck!
I’ve been looking forward to this interview for almost a year now, but the dude never stops drawing; I’ve heard he even has a silo full of ink in his backyard so his pen never leaves the page. So it was with great surprise that I received a note from the man himself, letting me know that the interview was going to happen. I couldn’t have been more stoked!
So without further adieu, or some shit like that, here we go…
Hey man! Where you living these days?
I reside in the beautiful and hungover city of Austin, Texas.
Where’d you grow up, and what got you into art?
I’ve been in the Pecos area for ten years, but my parents raised me in a few different spots in California. I lived in Boise, Idaho off and on for years as well. Got into tons of trouble up there, but met a lot of life long friends.
I always drew pictures of comic book characters I was stoked on when I was a kid. I still do! Such killer work in those little books. I think that’s what pushed me to draw more.
Can you tell me who some of your favorite artists were back then, and how they’ve influenced your work?
Specifically, In my teens, my dad had an old friend named Jim Damron (JD, rest in peace) who would come down from San Jose and we’d all get high and party together.
One time, he brought me a shoe box of all original underground sixties and seventies comics like Zap, Yellow Dog, Skull, Fantagor, Fever Dreams… all full of some of the raddest, X-rated artwork I had (and still have) ever seen. That introduced me to the likes of Greg Irons, R. Crumb, Richard Corben, Frazetta, and all those bad asses.
They also reminded me of one of my favorite movies when I was growing up, and I later found out some of these same artists actually worked on it: Ralph Bakshi’sWizards!
It all started to make sense!
Like most of us, I hate them rules and regulations, and these dudes broke every one of ‘em!
I wanted to be able to draw T and A and have it be appreciated. I found my niche!
Crumb, Shelton, Wilson, Griffith… all those sixties comixs blew the doors wide open. Corben, Frazetta… Man, I freaking LOVE Bakshi!
It’s always been about comics and cartoons. These days, Instagram has been key to inspiring my stuff. So many rad artists on there that I never knew about.
Meeting Phil Guy (on Instagram: @burritobreath) was a life changer (as corny as that sounds). All his shit is eye candy. He’s a machine, and super supportive. And nothing but positive shit has happened since.
I hadn’t been drawing anything for years. I was just drinking, snorting, and riding motorcycles. I still love my whiskey and bikes, but art comes first!
Phil is just about as cool as it gets. So what’s your favorite medium to work in?
Pen and ink, for sure, but I’m starting to get back into painting with acrylics.
You mentioned being into bikes. When did you start riding?
I’ve had friends riding for years and always wanted a scoot. I wasn’t raised as a kid around anyone who rode them, but was always infatuated with the freedom package they portrayed. And that’s what they are. Freedom machines! I just said “fuck it” one day, bought a used ‘03 Sportster and started pulling it apart and chopping the fuck out of it with friends. It’s been one of the best things that ever happened to me.
Your cover for Show Class #12 is killer! Can you tell me how that came together?
I saw that they had different artists designing covers for them and just got stoked on doing one up. I contacted Tim about it, and he said he was doing a “southern specific” issue if I was interested. I said “BET!”
Whatcha working on next? Any cool projects or product for us to look out for?
Tons of work!
I just finished a fun-ass design for Municipal Waste. That was a super honor.
I’m about to start a big acrylic on canvas in the vein of Frazetta for my dudes inEternal Champion, and I couldn’t be more stoked (or nervous) .
It’ll be my first big painting in at least ten years. I stopped painting years ago from constant disappointment with color. You can say I forcibly “regressed” back to pen and ink. I feel like illustrating with just black and white has taught me a lot about values and contrast, so I’m ready to put my paintin’ pants back on.
For me, every project is a huge learning experience, and they’re all important for the next one.
That Frazetta-esque piece you posted to Instagram was kick ass! I’m really looking forward to seeing your return to paint. We’ve talked about the artists from the past who inspired you, so who you digging today?
The twelve other Swamp Wizards* keep my gears turning constantly. These dudes kill it, and I’m proud to be a Swamp Wizard myself!
There are countless artists out there that I love, but Geof Darrow has always been an big inspiration. Not sure how many hundreds of times I’ve read Hard Boiled,Big Guy and Rusty or the Shaolin Cowboy series, but that man kills it. His work always reminds me to be patient, appreciate details, and make it fun.
I’ve been really stoked on the oversized “artist series” IDW has been publishing. Incredible fucking books. Oversized scans of all the original ink of some of the best comics. Mark Schultz‘s Xenozoic Tales has been my jam lately.
* Swamp Wizards include: Jessy: Sketchytank , Dresden: Dresdenthebarbarian, George: thegorgeousgeorge , Mike Giant: giantrebel8 , Phil Guy: burritobreath, Matt: mattitude, Nick: thebadweather, Chris: tallboy666, Chris Y.: mastersofdeath, Chris C.: chris_dogt, Ron: kingron315, myself: batdog, and last but certainly not least Honkey Kong: honkeykong.
Check em out!
Where can we see more of your work, and how do we get a hold of your stuff?
Instagram seems to be my staple these days as far as seeing current stuff. (Instagram: @BATDOG and also @SWAMPWIZARDS for the official IG page). I post prints , original art, shirts, and all the good stuff there.
Burney Art is my site, and you can always email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Also, Jim “dirtbag” has some designs on shirts I’ve done for him on 100% Dirt Bag as well as Steven at Orcus Brand. Both live in Texas, and are a couple of stand-up dudes who support a handful of other incredible artists.
If you could travel through time, where would you go?
I’d go to the garage that Slayer started in, have a beer with ‘em, and tell them that “Show No Mercy” still kills it in 2013. I’d also ride a chopper to Woodstock and party with the muddy babes. Might even try that brown acid.
Haha! Thanks Burney!
I’d like to say thank you, Tim, and the highest fives to you, good sir. Your support is so greatly appreciated. What you’re doing for us bum (hardworking) artists is humbling, honorable, and actually so damn cool it’s a little creepy.
It’s difficult to find good folks on this planet sometimes, especially those that will do something thoughtful for others without demanding money or a blowjob (or something else gnarly that I wouldn’t like to do to you).
And so what, maybe I’m over enthusiastic about a guy I’ve never met, who wants to share my drawings and what inspires me with the rest of the world. To some it’s just a stinkin’ interview, but you give a shit. It shows, and that fuckin’ rules. You’re one of the good ones, my friend.
Geez, thanks man! I really appreciate the kind words. Hopefully Doom Cycle will turn more people onto all the cool artists in the scene, and inspire them to become more passionate about the stuff they dig in their own lives.
And thanks a ton for setting some time aside for this interview; it’s been a real thrill!