Music, // February 26, 2015
CJ Reardon – MUSICIAN
Musician CJ Reardon, in his own words —
I read an interesting interview not too long ago on the works of one of my favourite artists and illustrators Quentin Blake, best known for his work in Roald Dahl’s children’s books. He discussed his artistic workflow and how he discovers the characters as he draws them, almost like the characters themselves are journeying through his mind and onto the paper before him. It suddenly struck me; like a cliché light bulb moment in an old black and white silent film. I had gone through something very similar when working on my ink drawing, ‘Fables of Ray’.
I’m first and foremost a musician, a singer/songwriter, then a Business Studies graduate, and perhaps film enthusiast. But drawing seemed like a lifetime away. My debut single Acid Rain EP, was released in late 2014.
On 9 March 2015, I will release my single Bombay.
Art was something I had to do under the arbitrary ruling of school rather than something I felt I wanted to do. Don’t get me wrong, I used to love to draw and paint but I had never done it without being told to by a teacher. However, this was my moment of reigniting my love for art and drawing.
I always know when a creative urge is going to happen, you can just feel it building inside you. Think of it as some mysterious and magical creative catharsis slowly bottling up. You never know what’s going to come out; its either magic or mud. I usually have this with song writing but weirdly and unexpectedly I had the exact same feeling with this drawing. I didn’t know when I was actually going to put pen to paper but I decided to buy an A3 pad and a set of ink pens and leave them in my room till the moment was to strike.
One cold night in the lovely beach town Bournemouth (UK) where I was living at the time I decided to draw. It first started with the rather chubby gorilla and main character, ‘Ray’. From there, the story grew. It’s strange how I spontaneously discovered different characters whilst drawing, making up small stories, unconsciously connecting the dots, developing new ideas. I wanted ‘Fables of Ray’ to be a synopsis, a snap shot and summary, similar to illustrations by Paul Sample.
My Dad used to have a big collection of Tom Sharpe books, I remember being fascinated with the book covers, all of which Paul Sample designed. I must have gained a lot of inspiration from those times as I can see similar traits of chaos and overlapping stories in ‘Fables of Ray’. The tongue-in-cheek, slightly Carry On themes in the drawing, which are found in a lot of the work by Paul Sample like the ‘Ogri’ series.
In retrospect, I see a lot of how I was feeling at the time in the drawing. I guess we fall into that creative space expressing ourselves, but subconsciously always drawing from what we know. I wonder if Quentin Blake really ever knew the real BFG?