Cooking with Ray November 22, 2008 09:47

Ray Fenwick is an artist based out of Halifax, Nova Scotia. Fantagraphics recently published his first book Hall of Best Knowledge, and Chronicle will soon be releasing a book of his postcards. What we like best about Ray though is that he is a funny and nice guy. At Craftland, you can snap up his series of one-of-a-kind paintings featuring friendship bracelets! What is your typical workday schedule? I wake up at 5, go for a run, draw and write in a coffee shop from 7-9, then do client work from 9-4:30. Play video games in the studio from 4:30 'til 5. Then, after 5, things get real loose and I burst out of the schedule and get all freestyle. I am done freestyling and in bed reading by 9:00, and then I turn the lights out and go to sleep. About 3:30 in the morning I get up and go pee, but sometimes it's later, and sometimes I am too tired and hold it in until I wake up. I don't have to worry about peeing the bed any more, so it's not as much of a gamble as you might think. I guess you just asked for workday, not everything, but to really understand me you have to know when I go to the bathroom. What are your favorite art-making materials? Dip pen, black ink, acryclic inks and mechanical pencils. Lately though I have been having a mechanical pencil renaissance, rediscovering the simple pleasures that pencil lead brings. I like to cry all over things too, but that's more of a finishing technique, not a medium. How do you choose your subject matter? I write a lot of ideas down in sketchbooks, and then days or months or years later I go back and see what presents itself. Most of the things I spend time working on are born when something at the front of my thoughts meets up with an old idea scrawled in a sketchbook. What does your studio look like? I share a studio space that was once part of a peanut-butter and tobacco factory, but that really doesn't tell you anything, I suppose. In fact, it has none of the magic you would imagine a peanut butter factory having. It does, however, exist on the same floor as some new-age healers and a yoga studio. You can often smell the sweat from the yoga studio in the mornings. What do you listen to while you work? That's a tough question in the age of the Ipod—everything?—but right now my studio mates and I are listening to early house music. This very moment, the Crystal Waters song "Gypsy Woman" is playing. Do you know that one? "and she stands there, singin' for money La da dee, dow dee dow La da dee, dow dee dow" What do you have up your sleeve? You're only asking about the one, but I have the same thing up both sleeves: richly muscled and thoroughly oiled arms. The kind of arms a man should have. Apart from those gorgeous grease hammers, I have plenty of small ideas that take up lots of time. Thanks, Ray!!