In the digital age, means of creating art have expanded into the technological space. We caught up with, Tick, a digital artist based in Portsmouth, to discuss Queerness, neurodiversity and how that plays into his art.
Tick uses the program Illustrator and an Apple pen to create clean and fluid drawings and animations exploring themes of identity and queerness using recognisable childhood characters reimagined using vivid colours and designs.
What drew you to digital art?
It’s easier for me, I’m so cackhanded. When I did my first bit of digital art back in 2016 in illustrator I thought yhea this is for me. You can make digital art perfect and as an autistic perfectionist, I thought yhea this is great.
How could creative spaces improve for autistic creators?
The last creative space I was in Portsmouth when I was 14, I’m 22 now, most creative spaces are more geared towards set artistic styles and there’s not much space for creative journeys. I love using video games and I’ve felt I’ve not had the space to explore my artistic expression, because it’s not the style those spaces want to nurture.
“Most creative spaces are more geared towards set artistic styles and there’s not much space for creative journeys.”
How do u think animation works for you as an artist?
It’s on the same level as an illustration for me, I love finding new ways to get a message across, like my valentines day piece, I felt like the 3d art just added to the message I was trying to get across. I feel like it helps with the expression, like my Mii one, It got a lot of layers and the animation really helps get that across in a way still art doesn’t.
I’m always changing myself, I never thought I would be bald but here I am! I’m always changing and that piece is a funny way of saying, you think you’ll be here forever but this is inventive. Showing how dramatic change can be sometimes even if its funny, like two Miis with one holding a plastic zapper
You say you use video games what other influences do you use?
I remember playing Mario party 4 as Peach and Smash brothers and ever since then that’s been my hyper fixation, especially peach, I would consider her my muse. I just love drawing her. Video games are the reason I got into animating as well.
It was my last university project and I was working on a project about queer history and I used pixel art, looking at how each pixel was animated, exploring the compositions, it fascinated me.
“Video games are the reason I got into animating as well (…) looking at how each pixel was animated, exploring the compositions, it fascinated me.”
Being queer and autistic, how has it affected your art?
If I didn’t have any of those things, I wouldn’t have made the things I made. It all comes from my head, I don’t get inspired it just comes to my head. I’m from a small town, with Britain First members living next door and being queer and autistic, life can be lonely. I want to put all the queerness in my art, like with peach and daisy kissing, I wanted to see more queer love, I wanted to see more women kissing!
Hayling, my hometown, Hayling feels like the land where times stands still and everyone’s racist. My whole family is artistic, it is in my blood and taking that and my autism, my art is so different from theirs, they’re all fine artists, my mum does knitting my dad is a potter so is my aunt and I’m making what I’m making. They don’t always understand my art.
What are you working on right now?
I’m working on a collection with my friend Heather (@Pinktooths) We’ve been through so much together and exchanged art as we have similar aesthetics but I’m really eager to create a collection together and make a creative baby with her.
You can see more of Tick’s work online @tick___