An Interview with Clay Hickson


Excerpt from Clay’s zine ‘Vignettes’


I first met Clay when I was just starting the magazine. I was immediately taken by the Clay Hickson world, a colourful place where ancient greeks hang out in Memphis style apartments, eating grapes and smoking out of airbrushed bongs. Since then, Clay has become a big part of this publication. We’ve featured his work in every issue to date, including his original risograph posters as inserts in the last two issues. He’s designing our soon-to-be-released t-shirts, and he even helped build this website. Clay is now self-publishing his latest zine under his new business enterprise, Tan n’ Loose Press. I talk to Clay about this new project and ask him some things I’ve always wondered.

Hi Clay!
Hey Claire!

So you have a new zine coming out, can you tell me about it?
It’s called Vignettes. It’s just a collection of little drawings, objects and shapes I’ve been thinking about. It’s mostly just an excuse to use my Risograph.







Excerpts from Vignettes
So you print it at home on your riso?

Yup. I have a nice little “office” in my apartment where I do all my printing.

Have you been printing things for other artists?
Yeah a little bit. I’ve been mostly doing favors for friends. But right now I’m curating a show of Riso prints by artists all over the world. It’s to celebrate the launch of my press, Tan & Loose.

How did you decide what objects to feature in Vignettes?
I generally just get stuck on certain objects/images for a while. Then I try to do some big project to help me move on from those things.



Object Index, (Pencil on Paper), 2012

Like boobs?
Exactly. I don’t think I’ll be moving on from boobs any time soon.

I like the objects you choose. Fruit, toast, donuts… Are these typically the foods you like to eat?
Yeah sort of…They’re definitely not my favorite foods. It’s more about the shape or what the food represents.

My sister wants to know what your favorite food is.
Probably burritos, or pizza, or just straight up cheese.

Haha. Most of your stuff makes me laugh, do you consider yourself a ‘comedic’ artist? 
I don’t consider myself a comedian by any means. But I try and approach art (and life) with a certain light heartedness. And I’m always flattered when I can make someone laugh.



Sunday Thoughts (Bathers) 2013

I was reading about your dad today. Do people always ask you about him?

Not a whole lot. But he’s had a big influence on me. I’ve definitely inherited his appreciation for wackiness. And most of my favorite artists were his contemporaries in the 70’s and 80’s.

Do you feel like you’d be better suited as an artist living in the 80s? Like if you were in the Memphis Group?
I think about that sometimes. It just seems like all those guys were really cuttin’ loose. There’s something about the work ethic that they had back then that really appeals to me, but maybe that’s just something I made up in my mind. I wanna believe that they had less distractions back then and therefore were making more, and better, art. But that seems like a cop-out.

After I saw the boob and high heel in your zine I started to laugh imagining your take on fashion. 
Fashion is another thing that I feel completely out of touch with, but I would love to design clothing. I just have no idea where to begin.


Sunday Thoughts, 2013

If money wasn’t a factor, what are some projects you’d like to realize? Would you stay in the realm of paper and pencil?
Well, the beauty of paper and pencil is that money ISN’T a factor. So I’ll probably always stick to that. But my brother and I always talk about building a house for ourselves. We just want to design and build the whole thing, every aspect, down to the furniture. I’d say my main passion is interior decorating.


Interior (Pencil on Paper), 2011