This week’s artist’s spotlight is on @garfieldfrommemory
1. Tell me a little about yourself.
“About myself: I’m 39 and a woman – I feel like that’s gonna weed out a big segment of the internet but so it goes. I live a somewhat reclusive life with my dog Finnegan in Washington DC, and work a day job to pay the rent. I went to art school, did an MFA, and then life threw a few curves at me and here I am, drawing Garfield from memory every day.”
2. What made you want to draw Garfield in various forms? What was the inspiration behind it?
“The project itself is pretty self-explanatory: every day I draw Garfield from memory and post it. By every day I mean like 5 on one day and none for a day or two but I’m pretty sure it averages out.
Anyway, the reason I started drawing Garfield is a little dark, so fair warning to readers:
I’ve dealt with depression for most of my life, despite a wonderful family and the relative affluence of the 80’s and 90’s in the USA. In the summer of 2018, during a personal and mental health crisis, I attempted suicide. I was out of the hospital in a few days, but a part of me still felt dead inside. I stopped painting, I stopped drawing, I slept all the time I wasn’t at work. It was pretty bleak. But every time I’d absentmindedly draw some doodle I felt a little better. I was hanging out on the regular at a sausage shop – Meats and Foods – run by two rad individuals and Garfield true believers. There’s fantastically curated Garfield swag everywhere, and you can get a chilito, which is amazing, and a can of beer. I sit there and draw a little when it’s not busy. I started drawing Garfield since he was EVERYWHERE, and as I kept drawing him I remembered the feeling of being able to draw certain things from memory as a kid.
You know, you trade your chips for a drawing of snoopy or something. Anyway, something kinda coalesced around that idea, and I started drawing Garfield on the bus in the morning and posting them on IG. Someone suggested I do it for a year, and I thought that’s a low enough bar that I could maybe do it. That was in February, and it just kinda snowballed after that.”
3. What was your favorite Garfield interpretation you have drawn and why?
“My favorite Garf? It’s like picking a favorite child.
Maybe the Garf Bat, which I got tattooed by the fantastic@fork_spit at @ecstattoos. Or the Leatherface Garf. I love them all so much. There have been a few commissions a little too weird for the Instagram that I adore.
4.What is your favorite episode of Garfield and friends and/or favorite Jim Davis comic strip and why?
“As far as my favorite Garfield comic goes, here’s the thing: I was never a big Garfield person until I started doing this project. Growing up we were not a Garfield household – my mom (hi mom!) intensely disliked Garfield – so I’ve really only started exploring the canon, if you will, pretty recently. I love the idea of Garfield, and I especially love the community of Garfield fans on Instagram – there are a ton of creative people out there making wild Garf stuff. To me, Garfield is my readymade, like Duchamp’s urinal, and he is infinitely mutable, and can stretch to fit any concept. On the web there’s a spectrum of Garfield, from the ridiculous to the sublime to the terrifying. I get to play around with all of that, and get feedback from followers all over the world. It’s a kind of freedom and playfulness I haven’t found in my art in a long time.”
5. Do you have any exciting news or events that you would like to share?
“Exciting news? I’m just livin that Garf life and I’m grateful for this project every day. I can’t draw Garfield forever, obviously, but it has given me a part of myself back that I thought was gone for good, and I thank Jim Davis, and now Viacom, for not suing me in the meantime. I would love to work with the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline or a similar charity on a fundraiser – I received a lot of help from a lot of people in the past year and a half, and I’d like to find a way to give back, or at least pass it on.”
If you would like more info on her art. This is her IG page:
Thak you for the interview Kate!
Until Next time!