Struthless, More Than a Ruthless Cynic
Sydney funny man, Struthless (real name: Campbell Walker), is entertaining his 206K followers with a clever formula.
The 28 year old, combines art and humor with political and social commentary to create the color ‘Struthless’. Markers lend Struthless his millennial voice, and Instagram serves to spread his ideas to the world, forging an anti-racist and anti-nationalist counter-culture. He also just makes you laugh.
We spoke to Struthless about his recent series, among other really cool, fun, interesting things. You’ll just have to read to find out.
Your recent series ‘drawing cartoon characters in 9 styles’ has gained a lot of popularity. What inspired this series and what has been your favourite adaptation?
I broke my hand earlier this year, and the doctors said I couldn’t draw for six weeks. Three weeks later, I ripped the cast off and started drawing again. I was going stir crazy, like a working dog in a cage. When I could finally draw again, I just got this sudden rush of passion to really draw. I’ve always mimicked other people’s styles when I draw for fun, so I did it for a video and people seemed to enjoy watching it. My favourite adaptation is either the Maurice Sendak Pikachu, the Oni Nigel Thornberry, or the Terry Denton Po.
Throughout this series, you’ve been able to showcase not only your skills but your knowledge and respect for other illustrators, who has influenced you the most?
It’d be a 3-way tie between Robert Crumb, Dr Seuss and Terry Denton. The way Robert Crumb uses his lines pushes me to be better. Dr Seuss has the most iconic, unique and somehow transferable character and object design. Terry Denton has such a childlike love for chaos that I adore.
Was there a cartoon or comic series that inspired you to start drawing?
Definitely the works of those three illustrators, but I only started drawing very recently. I was more of a fan than a practitioner. Mad Magazine and Tintin have always been huge sources of inspiration. Also, a lot of cartoonists online inspired me.
A lot of your cartoons, though hilarious, have strong political or social commentary. Is your primary goal to start a conversation, or is it purely comedic?
My main goal is to articulate things people are already feeling, so they stop feeling the loneliness they’re prone to. The way I do this is usually through cynical social commentary, which I hope makes people think “thank god I’m not the only one who thinks like this.” The political stuff is different. That’s more about articulating ideas in unique and succinct ways because ideas need to be well-expressed to travel. Then there’s the more surreal stuff – my goal there is to make people happy.
What do you think is the biggest issue in Australian culture today?
Damn… I’m not sure, but my first instinct is to say probably people using “job creation” to justify long term damage to the environment.
What would the Struthless’ starter pack’ entail?
Dumb tattoos, a few colourful markers, and my two beautiful dogs.
You’re great at interacting with followers; how much does their feedback influence your work?
Thanks! Feedback helps me make better and more intimate stuff, and I like it for that reason. The way I see it is that I create the structure and then work with other people on what to fill the structure with. It’ll always be uniquely my work at the end of the day, but in a collaborative way that resonates with lots of people. Plus, it’s just fun. You get to make something with heaps of different ideas you wouldn’t ordinarily think of on your own. I love it.
So there you go; behind the satirical and often wickedly immoral depictions, is a humble man drawing to make people feel less lonely.
To join the fun and partake in the conversation, chuck struthless69 a follow. If you can’t get enough, then listen to his podcast, ‘God is Dead’, co-hosted with Bryce Mills. If you still can’t get enough, then buy a sleek and stylish product from his apparel line he makes with partner Felicity. If you still can’t get enough, no judging, obsessions can be healthy, buy a print to stick on your wall so you can look at it every night before you go to bed.
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