Jon Burgerman

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					Jon Burgerman.
Jon Burgerman.                                  After we administered the Candy Flavoured Travel Vaccine™
                                                we headed off to parts unknown, hoping for tropical and exotic,
                                                to interview another in a line of Illustration Gods!                      Imagine my horror when I removed my blindfold to reveal I was in                         Nottingham! But this town, once saved by a band of men in green
                                                leotards being merry, has a new hero... the World’s Greatest Kung-Fu
                                                Cake-Eating Viking illustrator - Jon Burgerman!

Previous page.
300% illustration.

This page.
Trexi chase figure .
Various illustrations on reused card & paper.
BrenB: I probably shouldn’t say this but there is a rumour going round     BB: Your work appears to be very popular at the moment, you must           BB: Hmmm, so apart from your (somewhat suspicious) delight in all
that you actually use…sorry if this is out of line but…pen and paper at    be very busy. But have you done any work you are actually proud of?        things confectionary, have you any recent work that you'd care to
some stage in your work! Would you care to take this public                JB: There’s work I was pleased and excited to do but I’m not sure          mention perhaps a particularly good client that highlights why this
opportunity to address this accusation? Maybe you could describe the       about being proud about it. It’s all too easy to look back upon most of    way of life can be so bloody good?
digital process involved in making your work look hand-drawn?              what I’ve done and only see where it could have been better, I’m           JB: On the one hand all clients (that pay up!) are good because they
Jon Burgerman: Ha-ha – yes, very good. You shouldn’t believe               often disappointed in myself, I am a let down and must try harder. It’s    help fuel the not-going-to-work-and-doing-a-proper-job life I happily
anything you hear, best to carry a mild distrust of most sources of        probably a healthy attitude to have, it doesn’t seem right to be patting   part-take in. Highlights for me are the cool projects where I've been
information. My process of working is not intelligent design (stupid       yourself on the back because you drew a few pictures. I achieve the        trusted (probably against some upper management's better judgment)
term and idea) but one of slow, painful evolution. Pretty much             greatest sense of pride when tapping on the back of a baking tin and       to just have a go and run with an idea. Of particular note is the
everything starts out as a basic pen drawing in my sketchbook. It’s a      seeing (and smelling) a warm, fresh cake, all in one piece, slide          WipEout Pure job I did with SONY last year. They got me to create a
cliché but it’s true – if the piece doesn’t work on paper then it          smoothly out on to the cooling rack.                                       new level as part of their downloadable bonus content packs for the
probably won’t work out on anything else. Once I’ve got the drawings                                                                                  game. (Anyone with a Pal copy of the game can download the track I
down and I’m as happy as I’m going to be with them they are                                                                                           designed for free.) It was a crazy brief as, really, there wasn't much of
scanned in. Then they get cleaned, tweaked, coloured, and maybe                                                                                       one, which is strange for a job of that profile. So over the course of a
vectorised to suit whatever they’re needed for. It’s a very simple                                                                                    few months, working with the 3D computer boffins at SONY HQ in
process, and when you look at my work you can probably see how it’s                                                                                   Liverpool, I made all manner of odd track side features and creatures.
put together and that it has come from hand dawn pieces, which isn’t                                                                                  It was great fun, like winning a special competition or getting your
necessarily a bad thing at all.                                                                                                                       letter chosen on Jim'll Fix! It’s not like having to do work. Future
                                                                                                                                                      employers and commissioners take note - I only want to do cool stuff
                                                                                                                                                      like that now, so buck up your ideas a bit, eh? I'd be lucky to work on
                                                                                                                                                      something as exciting so freely again (though they did cut a trackside
                                                                                                                                                      building with an impaled hamster on its roof).
                                        Various character illustrations.
                                        Illustrations for SL magazine.

                                        South Africa.
'Chump + Chumpette' artwork,
Pencil and felt on paper, 2006.

Right row.
Babybabybaby Magazine spread (Mexico).
Paintings on card.
This page.
Jazz illustration.
'I Am Bad' Mobile phone wallpaper.
Character design.
No store Poster (
Candy SweetTalk6 ‘I Love Candy’
special giveaway poster.
This page.
Various penand marker drawings.

Bottom right.
'Stop Your Messing Around' Tiny Showcase print.
BB: What do you do if you get a spare moment? When you were                 BB: Okay, a conspiracy of silence, I get it, it’s a closed shop. But was     BB: Is the internet a vital tool for
younger did you ever envisage a time where doing nothing except             designing Toys something you sought out, or did an offer appear one           a. creating a global system where atrocities can be reported instantly,
work would make you happy?                                                  day in your inbox?                                                           people held to account and injustices expressed, or
JB: If I have spare time I like to sleep, that’s where I can be a Viking.   JB: It started with the inbox footsies but gestated and grew a little into    b. purchasing really cool toys, t-shirts and books,
When I was younger I wanted to be an artist, pottering around in a          meetings and phone calls. I've been very lucky that I was in a position      and could you give an example of when you have used it for either or
shed and playing with paints all day long. I think this is because at       where a few opportunities where given to me and I had to choose the          both of these options?
school I found the art classes really frustrating. The teachers would       ones I thought were best. Designing toys takes a long time, the whole        JB: I think it’s great that people can buy stuff from all around the
talk for half the lesson and then we’d be really restricted over what       process is fraught with lots of back and forths and tweaking but it's a      world, stuff they wouldn’t normally have access to. The internet is a
paints and materials we could use. Now I can paint, scribble and            labour of love - it's something I really wanted to do and I am really        cool medium for information sharing and making the world seem that
doodle all day long without anyone stopping me! So who’s laughing           pleased to be working with Flying Cat on some cool projects, which           little bit smaller. I’m glad to be doing what I do in the internet age,
now Mrs. Thompson? …ahem                                                    should finally raise their heads above the precipice soon!                   where it doesn’t really matter where I live because I can be in touch
                                                                                                                                                         with anyone anywhere anytime.
BB: There are too many great illustrators and designers about at the        BB: When you are under pressure to deliver an illustration and/or a
moment, are there any that you don’t envy too much that you can still       flash animation to a really cool ‘must impress’ client do you ever lose      BB: What are the weather, club scene, graffiti, rent, speed-dating
admire them?                                                                focus and find your mind wandering? Or are you so totally in the zone        nights and second-hand Book/Record Stores like in Nottingham?
JB: I admire a lot of them, you’re right! There are a lot of talented       that you never crack?                                                        JB: When I first moved here I was most impressed by Nottingham’s
people working in doodles and illustration today. A lot of them can be      JB: The zone? I wish I was in the zone! I’m always in a state of             collection of three Selectadisc stores all in a row on one street (with a
found on the links page of my website           cracking. I panic and sweat, toil and stress. I get really worried they’ve   couple of comic book stores sandwiched in between). Now there’s a
(that’ll get me out of listing anyone here).                                confused me with someone else and are expecting something cool               giant Fopp too. Nottingham used to have a lot of pound stores, which
                                                                            that I can’t possibly deliver and they’ll be really disappointed with me.    again, pleased me greatly when I first arrived as a student.
BB: The Urban Vinyl Toy scene is so hot at the moment. You must             Doodling can be a tough job sometimes, it’s not for the faint hearted.       The weather is your standard midlands weather, you can have it in
have some wicked gossip, who’s not talking to who, who is the biggest                                                                                    any colour as long as it’s grey. Nottingham is actually a good little city
bitch, etc? The Public demands to know the truth behind the                                                                                              all in all, if it wasn’t I guess I would of left by now. I know nothing
apparently amicable front!                                                                                                                               about speed or dating (do those two mix?)
JB: Everyone I know and have ever met has been wonderful.

This page. Plush Zeebzeebs protoypes (Flying Cat). Dinkton and Yimmi vinyl pre-production samples (Flying Cat). Sketchel limited edition bag.
This page.
‘Hello Duudle - The Duudleville tales book’,
collaboration with Sune Ehlers
Wipeout Pure PSP Print ad /
Section from the first HD book (bottom right).
This page.
Screenshots and renders from 'Burgertown',
a WipEout Pure track design for the PSP.
BB: Have you any treasures in your studio that you couldn’t work              ...and an added bonus question...
without? Do you collect anything? Would you insist on playing yourself
in a Crimewatch reconstruction if your studio had been burgled for            BB: Tea & Biscuits or Pint & a Fag?
these items but you had bravely chased the criminal or criminals away?        Tea and Biscuits without a doubt (no pink wafers mind).
JB: I love my computer but if it got stolen it wouldn’t be the end of         BB: Bearded Ladies or Siamese Twins?
the world. The only important things are the work, so the data on it is       Bearded ladies, because you could always shave them
more valuable than the computer itself. I’d be upset if someone stole         BB: Pretty in Pink or Dirty Dancing?
all my back up DVD’s and old sketchbooks, as they’d be worthless to           Pretty in Pink, much more macho and manly than Dirty Dancing,
them but irreplaceable to me. It could be fun playing myself on               even though, of course, I’ve never seen either.
Crimewatch. I could lie about how I fought off six of the criminals with      BB: Luck or Destiny?
just my kung-fu skills and an array of Posca pens.                            Both, I don’t believe in either but don’t want to tempt ‘em just in case
                                                                              they do exist.
BB: How much do you love drawing? Have you ever dreamed of                    BB: Monty Python or The Goodies?
losing your drawing hand in, say a boating accident, just so you could        Python, funnier all the way.
give up and try something else or do you think you would train                BB: Richard Whitely or Des Lynam?
yourself to draw with your surviving hand?                                    Neither, I like the clock ‘boong’ sound best.
JB: I think I’ll avoid boats from now on. I do, however, have a               BB: Have a wooden leg but also a parrot that can talk or possess a
contingency plan if something terrible happens – I will open an               pair of healthy legs but never own a parrot never mind hear it talk?
international school of doodling, inviting top students from around the       Got to go for the non-parrot option, it’d only try and peck my eyes out
globe to come and learn how to draw like me. Then I will send them            and crap all over my shoulder.
back to their respective countries and take a healthy percentage of
their profits and live off that. Maybe with all the money I could invest in
a robotic arm replacement like Darth Vader has and get back on with
the doodling myself (whilst expanding the Empire and choking people
with my dark side powers). You’ve always got to have a plan B.

                                                                                                                                                 This page.
                                                                                                                                                 Various illustrations and stupid doodles!

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