News - All the latest news straight from the artists themselves
If years and years of South Park seasons taught us something, is that Canada is mostly populated by tiny stylized people with a penchant for jokes on fart. But then out of the indeed very proper and pristine Montreal comes James Braithwaite to redefine our perception of the land of the maple leaf: through a free flowing stream of ink and a brilliant use of copy, James creates punchy quirky images that will you make your mouth smile and your brain think - all at once!
In between creating campaigns for coffee company Kenco and winning an Emmy Award for his critically acclaimed short video “I Met The Walrus”, James still finds the time to analyze the events that shakes the contemporary society - like a new Pope or the newborn heir of the English throne.
Ladies and gentlemen, let us introduce you to James Braithwaite.
Cat lover, pope expert, illustrator extraordinaire and funny man: who’s James Braithwaite?
Who is James Braithwaite? Pope lover, cat botherer, drawer of floppy boobs. Master of drawing boobs best described as “a ten pound sack, filled with only five pounds of potatoes.”
How did you start drawing and when it did turn into a career?
I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t drawing. For me it’s a great excuse to not talk to people. Whenever I draw, I have this well practiced furrowed brow/scowl that makes me look incredibly serious, even though I am just drawing tits on Berlusconi. I recommend this look to all artists. It turned into a career just after university when I realized I was totally unsuited and wholly unprepared for any kind of work that required wearing pants or talking to people.
Where is your quirky style coming from?!?
As a child I played the Infant Jesus (more like Foetal Jesus, I was about the size of an apricot despite being almost three) in a local Easter parade. I slipped off the miniature donkey I had been tethered to, and bonked my head on a Vicar’s boot. Ever since that glorious day I have never been short of inspiration, and the work has just flowed out my pen like a dripping nose.
You create some memorable characters and super funny copy: where do you get your inspiration? do you have a massive breakfast in the morning and then hallucinate for the rest of the day?
I have a very strict regiment for creating art. If I don’t follow it, the muse won’t come anywhere near me. I wake up at 6am, and eat three containers of cream cheese. I then retire to my heated pup-tent where I smoke 8 cigars in the nude. Next, I watch three episodes of Star Trek the Next Generation dubbed in Portuguese. After that I am fully primed, and I am able to create perfect art for exactly 7 minutes. It is a labour of love, and I wouldn’t change a thing. Except for the art part. That bit is a pain.
You also went from illustration to moving images: how did it happen? how did you adapt your visual language to the medium?
I did start off with just still images, but quickly moved along to animation when I started I Met the Walrus. From there I was accepted into the NFB Hothouse program, and went on to work more and more in animation. In terms of style, the transition wasn’t very challenging. Things that worked well as illustrations, generally worked well in animation as well. One thing that is different is the collaborative element of animation. Illustration, at least for me, is a very solitary pursuit, which is usually impossible in animation. It took a while to get used to human contact, and relearn all the basic rules of human engagement, but after a thorough delousing and talc bath, the experience was incredibly rewarding.
You know I have to ask you: how did you get an emmy and got nominated for an academy award for “I met the Walrus”?
I Met the Walrus was a funny little beast. We shot it off into the festivals, not knowing what it would do. It certainly was a slow start, but it began to gather steam, and then began to rampage around the festival circuit. This was a first film, so we had absolutely no idea what we were doing, but it seemed to work out well. When we found out we had been nominated for an Oscar, we were more shocked than anything else. We were sure the Academy had better sense than that.
After that incredible achievement did you have groupies knocking at your door in montreal? did oprah offered you a multi-million dollars deal for an exclusive interview - or is she waiting for your first rehab stint?
I don’t like to talk about this, but Oprah and I have been having a torrid love affair for the last 11 years. I was the one who convinced her to change to an “interview show” instead of the “celebrity alligator yoghurt wrestling” format she had been pining for. In retrospect, I feel I did her a great disservice.
On facebook you wrote “I’m starting a tv show where Metallica gives religious advice to wayward stuffed creatures. Name of show: Pastor of Muppets”: when is this going to happen?
I am sorry, but that was a big dumb joke.
Why did you decide to join Machas? Mutal love of all things furry?
I had worked with Valentina in the past, and we had a wonderful working relationship. It just seemed natural to keep this artistic romance rolling.