Interview: Fat Ankle

“…do it and people will come. If you keep doing it for long enough, there’s no foot in the door, you just do it for yourself and keep right on with it.” – Fat Ankle

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Please tell our readers who you are and what you do?

My name is Giles and I wouldn’t know what to say to that, to be honest. I create comics and other bits and pieces that people seem to want to buy, but I don’t necessarily like to be called an artist.

To you, what defines ‘real good’, as it is written in the slogan on your website?

It sounds stupid or silly, but that fits the drawings. Plus it’s an easy way for me to slip into the mode of talking it up, and being comfortable doing that.

What role has your website played in your professional career? How has your view and involvement with the internet changed over time?

Websites have become a conventional way for people to get to know you. Unfortunately, I sit in front of a computer all day at my job, so I haven’t brought myself to update my site in a while.

However, the internet has been great for networking and keeping in touch with people who have similar interests. It’s become a lot easier to find out about what’s happening and who’s contributing what and where. It’s encouraging for the industry to have that available.

How does Brisbane rate in your books as an intermediary for expression?

I’m not really into the gallery scene. I’ve been interested in the underground, graffiti, lowbrow artist movement. Those events were always tight knit and something was always on.

The turnouts would always be big, and you knew people weren’t there for the free cheese and biscuits. Though, they used to be rare, but are happening more and more over time.

What do you have to do to get a wink and a nod in this town?

In my experience, you just do it and people will come. If you keep doing it for long enough, there’s no foot in the door, you just do it for yourself and keep right on with it. I enjoy drawing comics, but don’t read them all that often. I just like how they’re about making fun of life.

It’s funny how we’re able to make up a story of a band, create a comic about their adventures, and then have people calling up and asking for the band to play at their shows.

What topics or themes do you like to portray in your personal works?

I don’t find myself sticking to any theme in particular. It’s more so something that I find interesting, which will usually come from the television, the internet and other media.

How much of your life is consumed by Phatsville Comix?

We sell it at conventions here and there, but don’t have enough time to put toward it. So, Phatsville is kind of a hobby that pays for itself.

It’s easy to think that you can make it in comics, but it’s really time-consuming. I’ve been doing it for 12 years now, enjoyed every one, but have made no money from it.

What part do the deformities and oddities in your subjects play in your works?

I’ve been drawing my whole life and I find that I always turn to quirks and try to draw something different. There’s so much out there that’s better than you, but I feel it’s about how you execute your quirks.

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For more from Fat Ankle, visit his website.

Visit Textandimage.com.au to find out more about the street press and to view Issue Four online.

© Jonathan Boonzaaier 2016

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