Interview with Ian Hughes January 2009

Forget film. Forget books. Forget fashion. Art is the new black and Ian Hughes is to blame.

Ian, explain yourself?
I love creating things. Comics, music, commotions. Anything. It’s like a legacy you can see yourself building. Sometimes I feel like I don’t want to sleep because that’s valuable creation time wasted. Seriously. But I do sleep, only to have some fantastic dream which I decide I must base a comic on. I am Ian’s rampant caffeine addiction.

When did you start drawing?
I liked record covers. The first record I ever bought with my own money was the 7″ of some Iron Maiden song. I played the song a few times, but tried to copy the cover art countless times more. I’d never been that interested in comics, so these weird images opened up a world of ghoulish possibilities. I’m guessing it was about 1990 when I eventually started drawing comics properly. There was a kind of specially dedicated club run by the ‘You guys can call me Paul’ type of Art teacher that I’m sure every school has. He used to play us The Clash on the ragged tape player in the corner. I still know a lot of people that I met there, basically being a lunchtime geek.

Ian Hughes
Ian Hughes

What inspires you?
I don’t like the cosy Americana of the “I am superior, so I shall now save you all” superheroes. I just look for different avenues of storytelling. I watch a lot of films. Filmmakers who generally know how to tell a good story with odd people, like Tarantino or Kubrick or Aronofsky or whoever. And my stories do score pretty high on the weird scale.

Is there a name for your kind of art?
I’m sure there is, but I’m a little out of the loop within the Art establishment. Most of my art is equally influenced by record covers or movies or comics, but very rarely by the art world. I’m not sure what I do follows any path or trend, it’s just how my jumbled thoughts transfer onto the paper. I’m not deliberately trying to sound like an ‘outsider’ or anything

The word on the street is that you live in a log cabin, in the forest, with no electricity. Is that true?
I lived in a place that was like a scale model of the Paper Street Soap Company in ‘Fight Club’, complete with sparking light fittings and everything. It was absolutely fantastic. We had a recording studio there, so the bombs we made were much more metaphorical. I don’t live there anymore. I’ve returned to civilisation, living in The Care Home for Recovering 90s DJs in deepest Surrey.

Ian Hughes
Ian Hughes

Where can we look at your work?
The inky sick that comes from my imagination is always available to look at for FREE, all be it in very grainy quality, at: And that’s just for the post-modern Myspace haters. Everyone else can get their fix on the MySpace (link below). But don’t get too excited just yet, I’ve only just started the accounts up. A lot of my work I’ve given away, so only if you’re a burglar in one of many homes across the South East will you see my commissioned stuff. Also, I have been known to design flyers for club-nights like Derailed, Submariners and the truly legendary Drum N Bass @ The Agincourt. I have to pay the bills, y’know.

Interested in comissioning Ian to draw something for you? Email