Everybody loves a little nostalgia
Christopher Dupon-Martinez, is a conceptual illustrator from good ol’ London. This OCAD grad offers spectators an array of exciting artwork in various palettes and forms, eliciting nostalgia from the viewer. Christopher not only creates visually communicative illustrations, but also lovely comic strips. In this instalment of Fuse Profiles, he talks ghost stories, childhood, and Fantasia. Let’s chat…
What’s the craziest thing you’ve seen in Toronto?
How many people can fit into a streetcar.
Tell me something secret you want people to know about OCAD.
OCAD has a secret red staircase. You can see it from outside of the building. Unfortunately, it’s an emergency stairwell. However, in the event of a fire alarm and they do occur frequently head for the fifth floor, it’s a trip. Also, the third floor is haunted. An overnight security guard told me the staff have seen a little girl wandering the halls late at night when the school is closed.
What are your inspirations for such colourful illustrations?
When I was a child I went to a Catholic school. We attended mass quite frequently. I grew up in Wallceburg, Ontario and our Parish was Our Lady of Help. The artwork was so distracting. The church was surrounded by stained glass windows depicting marvellous imagery. The ceiling was painted with a mural of heaven and on the walls were framed Renaissance prints of the stations of the cross. The church was so colourful in contrast to the low saturated rural town.
What’s your favourite comic book/series?
This is a little embarrassing but as a kid, I was really into Spawn comics. I bought this crossover issue with DC Comics and Image Comics. It was Spawn/Batman and it was written by Frank Miller and artwork by Todd Mcfarlane. The most influential aspect of the issue was in memory of Jack Kirby (1994). This introduced me to a whole new world.
What is your favourite subject matter to put in your work?
I really like to combine cartoons with classical artwork. Those two subjects have been a major influence on my work. Especially growing up watching Fantasia and Bugs Bunny. Classical music and cartoons are inseparable. I also like to incorporate my faith, whether it be with quoted scripture or depictions from the church.
How do you want people to feel when they view your work?
I want people to feel happy. My work tends to evoke my inner child. So if the viewer can have a similar response that would be great. That’s why I employ cartoons, primary/tertiary colours, and geometric shapes. The interesting part is how the adult mind distorts and abstracts these simple themes.
What’s your secret talent?
I can do a great seagull impression…
What’s your favourite piece? Is it Father Screen Print?
It’s not so much the content but rather the process. It began in a sketchbook. I was practising how to be loose with my mark making and not to over think my work. I put pen to paper and without looking started to make expressive lines alternating from left to right hand. When I stopped I put the image together using the framework I had laid down. I continue to employ this process. Simply because it’s fun.
Christopher’s newest series makes one feel as if they are eight again, clad in batman pjs, devouring cereal and your favourite Saturday morning cartoons. Needless to say, he is an amazing London talent. Visit his website to see more of his work, examples from his newest show, and to find out more about him.
Fuse Profiles is a series created by Emma Marr to highlight the incredible talent and creativity found in London, Ontario (and beyond). These pieces span across all media and showcase some of the most interesting and promising artists practicing locally today. Stay tuned for more profiles, published every two weeks from now on!
Feature photo via www.christopherduponmartinez.com