Interview by Throwaway Press contributor and member of the HGPSCC, Jacob Lyle. Instagram · Website
Boston based artist Sean Patrick (@thankyou_sean) is, from what I can gather, a soft spoken guy. We corresponded via email for this interview and although his answers were short and to the point, he certainly has a way of making a lot with very little. Just take one glance at his art and I think you’ll know what I mean. His subversive takes on American Culture are equal parts comical as they are completely relatable. It’s reminiscent of a life spent wrought with anxiety, something many of us in the HGP community are all too familiar with I’m sure.
Sean most recently collaborated with HGP on the Live Laugh Love Tapestry – a piece that perfectly incapsulates his vibe. Having grown up in a house with “Live, Laugh, Love” painted above our dining room table, this piece hits close to home with a guttural guffaw.
The first thing Sean says is an apology for his sarcasm. I told him that isn’t a problem at HGP
as it’s something most of us relish in.
JL: Hi Sean! Tell us a little about yourself.
SP: Hello. My name is Sean. I live in Boston. I make art and I work at a bar sometimes. I am
originally from Western Massachusetts.
JL: When did you get into illustration?
SP: I have been drawing for as long as I can remember. My grandfather was a professional
artist, so I was always surrounded by and encouraged to make art from an early age.
JL: Tell me a little about the Live, Laugh, Love Tapestry you did for HGP. Where did the
inspiration for it come from? Personally, It’s a favorite of mine because my mom always had it
all over our house and I found it a little nauseating. I think your piece breathes (or sucks) some
new life into it!
SP: The Live Laugh Love design is just my take on the phrase commonly tattooed on/ hung in
the homes of the “super positive” (some of the worst) people I’ve met. Your mom is probably
fine though, in fact I’m sure she’s very nice, maybe just a little confused.
JL: Do you have a favorite piece of yours that you’ve made?
SP: I like most of the pieces I’ve made in the past year or so. They’re OK.
JL: You draw these very similar characters, most with the same expression. I’m wondering,
does that character have a name, backstory? Is it you?
SP: The character doesn’t have a name. It’s me. It’s you.
JL: Who are some artists that you draw inspiration from?
SP: I draw inspiration from this beautiful planet we live on and all of the wonderful things that
happen on it all day every day.
JL: I want to get a little personal here and say that your work connects on a pretty deep level.
There’s a real sense of nihilism that’s kind of birthed out of exhaustion which really resonates –
I feel it quite often. Do you get that a lot – that people connect with your work?
SP: I do get that a lot. If you relate to my work I’m sorry, but sometimes it feels better to know
that we’re all going through it together. If we can laugh about it, maybe that helps.
JL: And lastly… what can the readers look forward to? What are you working on? Any plans to
collaborate with HGP in the future?
SP: I’ll be vending at THE FEST in Gainesville FL at the end of October, and at the Boston Art
Book Fair the first weekend of November. Come say “HI”. I’m always working on something
new, and open for collaborations with my buds HGP forever and always. OK Thanks cya.
Stroll on by Sean’s instagram @thankyou_sean to get a look at his work, or shop here. And if you’re around any of the festivals, stop on by and support a local artist!
Interview by Throwaway Press contributor and member of the HGPSCC, Jacob Lyle. Instagram · Website
A farm boy from Barnstead, New Hampshire turned skate enthusiast at a young age, Providence artist Jeff Wheeler grew up watching peak 90s Nickelodeon shows and playing Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater. He’s got a weird, twisted sense of humor- you might not know it at first glance because Jeff is warm, friendly, and kind. He’s the kind of dude you’d like to grab a six pack with and go fishing down at the local watering hole. Just make sure you bring your board…
When I call Jeff, he says he’s been listening to comedian Tom Segura’s podcast “Your Mom’s House.” While I’d never heard of the podcast, I’m very familiar with Segura and we share about our mutual taste in comedy. Right away I can tell this will be a good conversation.
JL: Hey Jeff. Tell me a little about your story, when did you begin illustrating?
JW: I started drawing when I was really really young. It sounds wack, but I pretty much started as soon as I could pick up a pencil. My grandma was a really good artist, she was very creative, and she was really good at drawing people. So she’d always draw my favorite characters from movies and I would sit and draw with her. That’s what first got me sparked on it. And then I just never stopped. I got into all the weird Nickelodeon shows like “Ah, Real Monsters” and “Courage the Cowardly Dog.” I just really liked weird shit, so I started drawing a lot of weird shit. And haven’t really stopped I guess.
JL: So you’d say your grandmother was your big inspiration to start- what about some others?
JW: Once I started skateboarding, that’s when I got consumed with that kind of culture. Skate art, for me, was the pinnacle of illustration and design and it was the only kind of stuff I wanted to draw. That marked a moment in my life when I really decided what was cool and what I liked about artwork – when I started seeing artists like Jim Philips and Sean Cliver and Mark McKee and Pushead and all of those skateboard artists. Those guys really shaped my interest in what I wanted to do.
JL: And when did you start skateboarding?
JW: When I was 11. My father’s a farmer in the middle of nowhere in NH, so I wasn’t near the
culture at all. But I remember the first game I got was Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 4. Before the
game, before you’d start skating, they always showed all the pros and their footage. That’s
when I was like “Oh yeah… awh yes!”
JL: Oh man, I think I watched the Rodney Mullen video I don’t know how many times…
JW: Yes, dude! That was my shit. Rodney Mullen was a big inspiration for me. I lived in the
middle of nowhere – all I had was a driveway – I didn’t have ledges or drops or anything…I was
just skating flat ground. So with Rodney Mullen being a freestyle skateboarder as well as a
street skateboarder, I could try to emulate what he was doing just on my parents driveway – I
didn’t need anything else.
JL: You recently did some work for Thrasher right? That must have been a dream come
JW: Yeah that really was. So last year (2018) around the summer I did a comic and I submitted it to them and it got in! And that was the first experience where I was really stoked on what I was doing because, growing up, Thrasher was what I really cared about the most. I was subscribed to all the skate magazines back then but Thrasher is the one I still get. So I was just really stoked on getting my comic in there.
JL: Absolutely – it must feel like you’re giving the 11 year old you a high-five?.
JW: That’s what I say. For everything, if you’re doing things that make a younger version of
yourself stoked – then you’re probably doing it right. So yeah Thrasher was definitely one of
those moments. And then I got a canvas section in the July issue this year. If you’re not familiar
with the magazine, it’s this two-page spread dedicated to a single artist’s work. They actually
asked me to submit about two years ago and never heard back until I opened up the July issue
and it was just there!
JL: Let’s talk about the Wheeler’s Day Off patch you did for Hungry Ghost Press. If I can be personal, it gave me a sense of nostalgia, like I was back in southern Indiana with my Grandpa fishing on the lake! Is there a story behind it?
JW: So that’s pretty spot on. Growing up in a small town, that’s how my dad and I spent time
together, going fishing. Obviously I wasn’t drinking any beers back then, but he and his friends
would while fishing and it’s just the perfect marriage – beer and fishing! Now that I’m older I like
to draw things that bring me to a place of relaxation and that’s definitely one of the things. And
I thought how can I merge the two? So I did this bass popping up out of the lake with a mug of
beer and I just thought it was this cool little illustration. I’m glad it made you feel the same way
– the nostalgia.
JL: Absolutely. When HGP asked me which Made By piece I wanted to do an interview on, yours was the first thing that came to mind. It just opens up that world of nostalgia, looks like a sign that you’d see hanging off a dive bar in some Wisconsin lake town.
JW: Totally and I really love those sort of nautical t-shirts people buy on vacation. It’s funny, my girlfriend and I went up to Pittsburg, NH recently and they’ve got a bunch of gift shops up there and I just love all of those designs – they get me really inspired to make that shit.
JL: Do you have anything new planned with HGP in the future?
JW: Yeah, actually Chris was talking about another design. He’s shooting for September. I
made a gif of this guy with a split open head and blood shooting out and Chris was talking
about making a design out of that. I’m not sure if I’m supposed to talk about that actually… I
mean anyway, I’m local, so I’m sure we’ll get together on something again soon!
JL: Well besides that, what kind of art do you have planned for yourself?
JW: I’ve got kind of a lot coming up. So, I started freelancing in 2016 – I work at a screen printing place too and all my time I’m not there I spend freelancing. And for a while I was just never saying “no” and I’m to the point now where I know what I do and do not what to do, so moving forward I’m doing just what I want to do. Like more skateboard stuff. I work for a lot of local New England companies, so where I’d like to be is maybe doing some more West Coast brands and stuff like that – just be more involved in the skate community. I’d love to do more apparel, maybe work on my own designs. The screen printing job sort of allows me to print my own stuff off and I actually just put my third design up on my shop.
Do you ever sit around and you’re like “Damn, I wish I had some zines to read and look at”.
MAIL ZINES TO US AT HUNGRY GHOST PRESS 60 VALLEY ST. UNIT 2 PROVIDENCE, RI 02909
Or sometimes you’re are like, “Damn, I’d love to share the zine/comic/art book I made with some other folks”.
Well you’re sure going to be happy to hear that we have our very own FREE Zine Library in our store!
That’s right! Want a zine? Come grab one! Got a zine to donate? Come drop it off!
You may be asking yourself, “Well, damn. How does this thing operate?”.
And really, it’s pretty easy.
If you want a zine. Come take one. When you’re done with it, try to drop it back off here, if you can’t do that, you can send it back to us. And if you can’t do that, we understand. It’s okay! Just take the zine and give it to a friend! Tell them to do the same stuff. If a zine can’t make it back to us, just keep it in circulation! Pass it along and let others enjoy it.
Now, maybe you’re like, “That’s really cool! But, I HAVE a zine and want to donate it to the library!”.
Well, that’s rule. You can send it to us or drop it off in store. Please feel free to share as much or as little info you want. We’ll try and make sure to give you a shout on the instagram and do updates of the library with blog posts every once in a while.
If you also have any stickers you want to share, we keep a FREE container at our register of all our friends and rad people that make up the store and community.
If you have any questions about anything, just reach out!