Art Whore

Art Talk – Will King aka ‘3310er’

Will King is an Australian creative, who, under his ‘3310er’ moniker releases wild-lined semi-autobiographical comics, many of which deal with his early life as a teenage vandal.

As an adult, Will has also turned his adult talents to illustration, digital art and set design – with a major focus on the aforementioned comics and cartooning.

Growing up in the regional town of Goulburn in NSW, Will moved to Sydney proper as a young adult and has recently relocated once more – this time to a small-town in Northern NSW (location undisclosed).

When asked to explain his interest in all things art – Will thanks his mother, stating:

My mum would be my biggest influence – She was a graphic designer before I was born and when I was a small child she was making and painting clothes before she got sick…

One things that definitely influenced me with comics was the birthday present I got just before going into year 7. Mum had asked what I wanted for my birthday, I had no fucking clue so I said “I dunno…comic books”. She got me this box of late 90s comics that were all these dark as shit experimental story arcs that just blew my mind.

She’d always buy me art supplies as presents, when I’d stay at her house i’d do tags in my room or in the laundry like a normal fuckwit kid and she never really tried to stop me bless her.

(Some art below by Will depicting him and his mother hooning around on her mobility chair)

With Will constantly pushing his art, and an appearance in Australian indie comic anthology ‘Hash Brown Comix’ in the works, now is the perfect time to get to know both the man and his art, by reading the Art Talk Interview, below…

Basics/Getting to Know

Name + D.O.B?

Will King
December 1990

City, State n Country you currently call home?

Central West, NSW

City, State n Country you’re from?

Crookwell / Goulburn then Sydney.

(Some art by Will, below)

Describe a memory from some stages of your life ….basically trying to piece together some pivotal moments. Concerts, art, action-figures, romance, school, crime… ANYTHING really!

* age 5 – beginnings:

When I was a small baby I once got all the shit out of my nappy and smeared it on literally every object in the room. That was probably a pivotal art moment.
But what changed the course of my life was that when I was 4 years old my mum got a brain tumor and became quadriplegic, then my parents split up, and my dad took me away.

* age 10 – continuations:

Year 2 was pretty influential on me, our teacher had just gotten out of uni and was this young indigenous woman from Taree, she taught us heaps about her culture and really emotionally told us about what white people had done to her people and how she finds it disgusting that she had part white in her and she hated her freckles.
As this was in an all-white small country town everyone in the class was shocked…but I loved it!!! I was so stoked she was telling us about what was really happening in our country and how she felt about it.
It definitely changed how I saw Australia and the people surrounding me.
Also in year one or two watched the Fritz the Cat movie Bakshi did based on the Crumb comic. It was a VHS that belonged to my older brother who lived with my Mum. I watched it a bunch of times and then ripped all the labels off it and hid it so I could keep it.
I assume it’s been thrown out now haha.

(Photo below of Will as a kid)

* age 15 – getting serious:

Around 14 I started going to the city more, usually at weekends, and basically just got up to trouble. Then I’d go back to my small country town to go to school to try and act normal, eventually I got suspended heaps of times in a row for a bunch of petty things and then expelled.
One time after coming back from an out of school suspension they made me sit in this locked room with no light all day and was only allowed to go out to lunch after the regular lunch time was over so there were no kids to id influence or something which sounds horrible BUT there was this big wooden desk in the room with all the bad kids names scratched in it. I carved my name in massive letters and was like “HELL YEAH I’VE REACHED ULTIMATE BAD BOY STATUS NOW”.

* age 20 – young adult:

At 18 I made the move to the city. Living in a house full of writers just smoking weed playing Mario Kart and doing insides and run ups.
I also as a present for reaching “adulthood” got slapped with 23 charges of malicious damage from when I was a juvenile and lived in Goulburn. After a year’s worth of court dates I got 200 hours community service and it was charged as a juvenile offence, although it still comes up if I get pulled over.
For community service worked in heaps of different Salvos stores working my hours off but kept getting fired because they were fucked.
So I finished it off by buffing walls until I was done.
When I was around 20 I started writing comics creating all these characters as a way to express my anger at the outside world.
The following year I got a really dodgy retail job where I didn’t have to do much so I could draw all day. I pretty much only worked and slept during this time, living in Waterloo and working late hours I’d get pulled over pretty regularly because I was “wearing coloured pants” and therefore matched someone’s description.
I had lots of incidents of me getting bashed by them or illegally searched because they were power tripping, which I will probably go into proper detail in a comic at a later date haha.
A lot of the comix I wrote at the time tried to deal with police corruption and the common people having no power.
My partner started looking up zine fairs at this point and pushing me to do something with it but I still didn’t feel ready and dragged my feet.

(Art below by Will)

* age 25 – adult mode:

When I was 25 I moved out to the country and started working on my Pop’s farm. At that point I took the leap and started actually printing a comic – Lord Justice.
I had drawn a three part series of it before then but I’d only showed my partner. I handed it out at Free Comics Day in the city and then started printing the other issues and got a table at Goulburn’s first comic con.
After than I kind of went on the road travelling around to zine fairs in Melbourne, Canberra, and Sydney with copies the Lord Justice series, a zine called Budzine, and a comic-focused spin off called Hand it Over where I interviewed some comic creators.
The Canberra zine fair ‘Festival of the Photocopier’ was the last one I went to, my partner, daughter and I made the trip together and I sold pretty much everything I took! I was stoked, it was such a good feeling have people responding well my work. We used the money I made to go to Questacon and it was siiick.

* age 30 – fully formed:

Well I’m turning 28 now so to round it off with this year, I did some animation and titles for a pilot that aired on ABC iView a few months ago.
I now live in a house we own and work in a business we own (one of the benefits of living in a remote location is cheap house prices!) and have a supportive loving family of my own.
I guess for other detailed parts of my life people can read my comic series on instagram I put a few pivotal childhood moments in there.

Personal motto?

I don’t think I have one.
I just try to do my best, not be swayed by what’s “cool” or what people will think of me, and be my true self.

Art Questions

When and why did you first start making art of any type!?

I guess the first time I was like “yeah I’m an artist!” was in year 6, I won a cartooning competition (I drew a comic about this for my insta series).
I got some really nice pencils, the Derwent ones that come in a metal tin, but I used them all as projectiles in a pencil war. Winning that competition made my think ‘yeah I’m gunna be a comic book artist…’. I drew three comics (one you can see on my insta), went to High School and was told by my art teacher that I was terrible at drawing which really burst the passion I had for a long time.
So even though I did “arty” stuff like writing and later did (non-graffiti) works on canvas as well as comics I didn’t think of what I did as art or me as an artist for a long time.

Any pivotal artistic moment(s) / influence(s)?

My mum would be my biggest influence.
She was a graphic designer before I was born and when I was a small child she was making and painting clothes before she got sick. Some of them were really clean lines for just brush painting onto fabric, she still does lots of arts and crafts and won a poetry competition last weekend so she’s still inspiring me, and now my daughter too.
One things that definitely influenced me with comics was the birthday present I got just before going into year 7. Mum had asked what I wanted for my birthday, I had no fucking clue so I said “I dunno…comic books”. She got me this box of late 90s comics that were all these dark as shit experimental story arcs that just blew my mind.
She’d always buy me art supplies as presents, when I’d stay at her house id do tags in my room or in the laundry like a normal fuckwit kid and she never really tried to stop me bless her.

Do you consider what you are making to be art, ‘design, re-hashed crap?

I think its art yeah, it still feels wanky to say I’m an artist but I have to view my work as art to put the effort in, like this is what I do, and this is my job.
I have to give it that level of respect to do a good job and have it received that way.

(Some art by Will below)

Worst aspect of the contemporary art hustle?

Circle jerking and exposure payments.
That and people biting.

Best aspect of the contemporary art hustle?

Doing something that I love I guess is the most simple way to put it.
I do stuff cause it makes me happy but when other people give it props and say something’s sick I’m really blown away.

Favorite other artist(s)?

Wallace Wood, Robert Crumb, the Bode family… there’s heaps of cunts that are sick at what they do.
Alex Smith from Melbourne is doing some sick comics too.

(Some comic art by Will, below)

Describe the process of producing your art? – Dot point all o.k!

– your drawings and sketches?

Think of something, kind of squint to keep the idea in my head while I scribble the layout down, then clean it up, rule borders, ink it, rub shit out and scan it as black and white text to flatten it.

– your digital art?

I get a black and white drawing and trace it in illustrator to remove the white so I can just color underneath the lines.
It sounds really easy now I’ve written the steps out, but I don’t really like shit that’s heaps digital looking, like those shit Marvel reboots, so I hand draw the line work to give it a bit more bounce.

– your watercolours?

I’m not really good with watercolors, I use Copics heaps though. On the bleed proof wax paper they stay kind of wet and spread really well.
I pretty much think of it like cross hatching and hatch each way with the chisel tip edge to fill in the space, then when it dries I outline things.

– your graffiti, such as tags, murals etc?

I’m not heaps into painting anymore, like I’ll do a piece sometimes but I just liked fucking up back car really bad, leaving heaps of scars and shit, when that kinda died out I didn’t really have the same interest in it.

– your animations?

I used to just use the pins in After Effects so you can use the character as a puppet (an example of this is on YouTube if you search macrocosm 3310er it should come up).
After I got better at using the program I was like oh that actually looks pretty bad so now I’ve been hand drawing each frame on top of each other on paper, then doing the Illustrator flatten – colour in Photoshop and time them in after effects to move properly.

– your set-design and miniature work?

I pretty much just build stuff out of junk!
Like when I throw stuff out I’m like nah this is a ski lift, or this is a grandstand for people watching a sporting match or whatever, so I hide them in little nooks where they won’t get thrown out
My favourite is this ski lift out of a Corinthian tin and some twine. I filled it with 3 packs of broken sparklers and lit a wick, the scene I had in mind was the ski lift blows up and then I’d green screen out the bits I didn’t want so I could animate over it.
The reality was the fucking thing burst into flames fell on the backing sheet set it on fire and I nearly burnt down our shop.
Live and learn though.

(Photo below of some of Will’s set-design work)

If people wanted to collaborate, work with you or just buy some art – how should they get in touch?

Yeah I’d love that, people can hit me up on instagram @3310er

Odds n Ends

Please describe what you think the Australian Psyche/Zeitgeist is today?

Comics about bushrangers or Australian ocker versions of the punisher are some things I’ve noticed everyone’s been churning out for a while.
But as a whole country, fuck I dunno.

Who was your 1st crush and why?

I think the first infatuation with something was this scene in Young Guns 2 when the lynch mob burns down a brothel, and the brothel owner walks out naked and says “you can kiss my ass!” and climbs on her horse and rides away.
I used to pause the video of the frame of her butt and stare at it before I even hit puberty, I would’ve been in really early primary school. I’d just stare at it fascinated and quickly press play again before anyone saw walking past the lounge room.
My first crush on an actual person was this girl I dated through most of primary school till she moved, I used to tell her all these sweet things and named my axolotl after her.

Does sex change everything?

I wouldn’t say everything, it’s kind of subjective, like it couldn’t change the world, but it changes the way people interact when they seek the prospect of sex yeah.

Which cartoon character would you most like to see in a tribute sex toy, and why?

** silence **

Who would win in a fight and why: Agro Vs. Shane Warne?

(A four-page comic tale from Will depicting the long brutal battle, below)

Please describe your latest dream in detail…

** silence **

Of everything you have done what would you most like to be remembered for and why?

I think I wanna be remembered for doing my own thing.
I guess comics would be the thing I’d most want to be remembered for because heaps of it is mad personal, so if you read them you know a part of me, or at least a part of my experiences.

Drugs – waste of time or gateway to the universe?

At this point in my life I’m not really bothered but I’ve definitely had a few “enlightening” trips in my time.

What role did toys play in your childhood?

They played a massive role!
I didn’t really hang out with many people from my town and my dad usually worked till late, so I’d be by myself building scenes and playing with toys in my back yard.
Some weekends I’d stay with my grandparents and they had these floral blankets I’d roll up in a ball and throw in the air, then how the blanket landed decided the landscape of what I was gunna play that weekend (e.g. if it landed high it was an island with a volcano, flat with a few bumps it could be craters on the moon)
I’d also edit my toys, cut hair off, cut the roof off a jeep, colour clothes in, metho colours off, superglue stuff together. One of these times I got myself covered in superglue and my hands were stuck together, I then wiped my face and my tongue stuck to my lips so I called my nan crying but I couldn’t speak so I called and went “AHHHHH AHHHHH AHHHHHHHHHHH” and hung up. I don’t know if she ever knew it was me calling hahahah.
It’s funny thinking about all the edits to toys I did cause now I have a daughter and when she started doing it I was thinking “what are you doing!!! You’re cutting up something we bought you!!”.

What are the top 3 items you own?

(Please include photos or drawings of them!)

1) Model of the Indian Pacific I think I got given by my partner and daughter for Father’s Day? Maybe it was my Birthday, I can’t remember, but it was the train I did my first panel on.

2) Gameboy color – Pokémon Blue: I found these when I visited my dad recently and when I started playing it my save file was still there. With the missingno cheat messing up the whole screen haha. But my Pokémon were all names of pets I’d had in primary school. So looking at it is kinda like this bizarre digital pet cemetery.

3) Studio – I’ve kept most of my drawings since I started comics so they’re pretty dear to me, and I’ve got a fridge of Copics. All three of these things I’ve listed are cool but they’re just stuff really.

The Future

Any collaborations on the horizon?

Yeah! I’ve got a story coming out in Hash Brown Comix #3, that’ll be out by the end of the year so everyone should keep an eye out for it cause it’s probably gunna be off its head.

Any major projects you want to hype?

I’m always working on lots of different things currently working on a book (or books depending on how I go) of more autobiographical stories like Excuse Me While I Reminisce but from different eras of my life.
I’m also working on a comic about a local breed of marsupial who’s also a noir detective.
But the main thing at the moment is probably my insta @3310er cause you’ll see everything else through that anyway.

(A photo below of Will on the art-grind)