Clifton Harvey’s Castaways series have been selected and will be on display in the Carnegie Gallery at the Columbus Metropolitan Main Library. We contact him in order to find out some more information regarding his technique, his inspirational moments and favorite artworks. Here is the result and we hope this will help you understand the fantastic world he creates through illustration.
I always enjoyed drawing and coloring when I was kid, but unfortunately (or maybe fortunately considering how embarrassingly crude they are) a lot of those pictures are lost in time. My first serious attempt at a cohesive, conceptually developed body of work was my Left Behind series.
When did you start working on this?
Left Behind was created while I was pursuing undergraduate studies at the University of Toledo and was first exhibited in 2006 during our thesis exhibition. I’ve been developing this technique ever since.
I’m inspired by the dialogue between the media. Drawing characters and creatures will influence my photography; the locations I find and shoot will shape the narratives I tell and vice versa, so there’s a great creative exchange that occurs.
When and how did you find your style?
Growing up, I watched a lot television, played a lot of video games, and looked at a lot of comic books. I wouldn’t necessarily recommend it, but I suppose that stuff is just imprinted on my subconscious and my style can be seen as an amalgamation of all those nostalgic bits.
It’s tedious work and requires some patience. When I’m not out shooting or at the drawing table, I’m usually alone in a small, darkened room sitting in front of computer working in Photoshop.
What inspires you?
Childhood memories and daydreams; adversity and reclamation.
What themes do you pursue?
Hope, despair, and the search for wholeness.
That’s tough; Munch, Dali, and Goya are a few of my favorite artists, but I don’t think I can commit to just one artwork as my favorite.
Absolutely, with a commissioned project you’re creating for a very specific, targeted audience, whereas with my personal work, anything goes.