Killer Napkins is Jason Spencer, born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri. After studying fine art at a local college he expanded his creative passions, ranging from illustration, apparel design, sculpture, and painting. By combining the cute and horrific, he has created a body of edgy and unique work.
Tell us a bit about yourself.
I am Killer Napkins, aka Jason Spencer. Born and raised just outside of St. Louis, MO. I began really getting into art and wanting to learn the technical side of drawing back in highschool, so I took every art class I could. After that I decided to not pay a crazy amount for art school right away, and studied fine arts at STLCC, a local St. Louis community college, for a few years. I tried the transfer program, and had a scholarship to Memphis College of Art, was there 2 weeks, and felt like I was wasting time and money so I came back and began trying to learn everything I could on my own.
Who or what have you been inspired by recently?
Lately I have been following so many different artists and art blogs on various social networking sites, that it seems to inspire me in one way or another. It is hard for me to pinpoint exactly where or who inspiration comes from, but it always seems to be a culmination of a lot of visual beauties that resonate well with me.
Can you tell us about your creative process?
I work in a variety of mediums, so the process is a little bit different every time, but generally it starts with a vague idea, maybe an arrangement of shapes, bring that to a paper with a rough sketch, or multiple rough sketch, then begin to slowly flesh it out. I like to doodle a lot, and just see what comes from a free flowing thought instead of trying really hard to pre-conceptualize a solid image in my head before hand.
Do you ever experience creative blocks when working on illustrations for clients? If so, how do you overcome this to continue creating work?
From time to time I will come across creative blocks while working on client work…. usually just being able to hop over to a personal work that I am working on, on the side will help me make some moves on the client’s project. Sometimes just kicking back a few beers and lowering the inhibitions helps out too haha. It sometimes seems that I get more nervous to make a move, than creatively blocked, but with a little liquid courage, it can loosen up the hand a bit.
How would you best describe your style of illustration?
I suppose the style of illustration would more associate with the subject matter that I typically do.. I guess it is just weird, I have heard scary… Technically though, when it comes to working digitally I am all about crosshatching and feathering with my shading.
You’re part of an art collective – Screwed Arts. Can you tell us a bit about that?
The Screwed Arts Collective, is mainly a group of friends/artists that work together on large installations that are completely collaborative. The first show and idea behind what we do was back in 2008, before the collective was even formed, and before I was even a part of the group. I joined on the second installation in 2010 and after that show the collective was officially formed. What we do, and have done, is basically cover entire galleries in wood sheeting, screwed into the walls, and paint for an extended period of time. We will usually paint around 2 weeks, but went as short as just 10 days when we were in Grand Rapids for Art Prize. Not one artist has a set location or spot they paint in, it is just everywhere overlapping and layering with everyone until we fine a cohesive solution that works aesthetically for us. We typically work 24hrs, even sleep at the galleries for that 2 week period and encourage any passerby’s on the street to come in and check everything out. It is a pretty great, especially when it comes to opening time when all the stress of making it all work comes to an end haha.
Any advice for aspiring illustrators?
Stay motivated, keep making rad shit all the time… study hard.