I hope you’re doing well… Its been the usual, manageable chaos over here. Super stoked to finally carve out some time to get a post up! It’s been way overdue.. I’m even more stoked because I get to share an interview with one of my FAVORITE artists. Hm.. How to explain his steeze.. I’ll give it a go…
Pigeons, roaches, shit, and a mix of political/current events.. Seriously. If you haven’t seen his stuff, stop reading this and go check out his Insta (click here). This born and raised Los Angeles native has influenced the skateboard graphic scene with his one of a kind art for years. Most of his work as been with Anti-Hero however he has worked with other skate companies such as Vans, Spitfire, Huf, Element, and more. Todd has even become a monthly, contributing artist to Penthouse magazine.
I’ve been personally following Todd’s work for quite some time and have grown to love his political art work more than anything. He somehow captures talking shit with poise and intelligence. He keeps it real and doesn’t hold back. Something I admire and try to encompass in my day to day life. Anyways.. I was lucky enough to get some of his time to do an interview since he’s been working on his next project down here in San Diego. Yes, he’s hosting an art show down here! Be sure to check it out Saturday, 11/17 from 6-10 PM at Misfit Gallery in La Jolla. The flier is at the end of the post with all the details. Alright, enough of my rambling, let’s get to the reason you’re here!
- Congrats on the Vans show drop! How was that project?
Its always fun working with Vans. And their audience is so large and diverse, I wind up hearing from people that are normally way outside of my usual circle. Plus, its also an honor working with Subliminal Projects here in LA, which was founded by Shepard Fairey, so there’s a lot to feel good about.
- So what can people expect at your next art gig in La Jolla?
Its not a skate art-driven show, its all new studio work from this year. Most of the new work are very large ink paintings that are about six feet tall, and very loose and stark. I’ve also got a few smaller pieces being shown, and I created an edition of screen prints for this show as well. The gallery is rooted in surf culture, so I wanted the pieces to make sense to their audience, so I went with a loose theme of water.
- Gotta ask some cliche question so humor me here..But the people wanna know Todd! What inspires you to draw the subjects that you do?
Well, as funny as it sounds, most of my work is driven by anger and frustration. I read the paper to start my day, and that usually fills me with enough gas to stay fired up all day. And I try and weave in humor to all that while I’m working, because I don’t wanna be a complete downer. Usually my main goal is to entertain myself….if what I’m working on achieves that, then i tend to assume it won’t be hated by everyone else.
- If you could collaborate with any artist or company, who would it be and why?
Jeesh, I have no idea. I really love the companies I work with already. It’d be funny if I did some work for a large automotive or oil company, because much of my work goes against what they represent.
- How did you get involved with Antihero? Wasn’t that eagle logo stolen at some point?
I’ve been involved with Antihero since its inception in the mid 90s. I was working at Deluxe and doing Julien Stranger’s graphics while he was riding for Real, and when he was handed the reins to Antihero, I was asked to help figure out the visuals. The eagle, the pigeon, and a bunch of other crud (and misfires) came out of that first year or two.I still own the original art of the Antihero Eagle, and it was among the pieces shown in a touring art show I did along with Don Pendleton and Matt Irving about ten years ago. In London, a drunken fan stole the framed eagle off the wall….but he felt guilty about it and brought it back luckily. Pretty funny.
- I know I can’t be the only one but your political posts are so spot on. How do you handle the constant feedback from it?
Well I’m assuming you’re asking how i handle the negative feedback? I mean, a large majority of the people who follow me identify with what i’m saying, so most of the feedback is more or less positive. And the jumpy fucks who get set off and try to engage me in an argument or whatever are both entitled to their own opinion, and dopey. And i kind of delight in seeing some people get all pissed off when i go after Trump and other people who are doing damage to the country and the planet. They can eat a dick.
- Any crazy internet troll stories you can share with us?
Nothing specific comes to mind, but its always funny when people with private accounts try and go after me. Sometimes its people giving me lip for drawing pictures for a living and not having a “real job” or whatever. I feel super fortunate to have the career I have, and its not like these guys are housing the homeless or curing cancer or doing anything with some huge positive impact in the world. Its funny stuff. Oh and yesterday some strange woman texted me a picture of her tits, but then she said it was a wrong number type of thing. Super confusing.
- Have you ever been told your graphic(s) was too extreme to use? And if so, what was it?
We did a nazi joke-themed graphic several years ago that we decided might be a little excessive right before it went to production…not because it would get us in trouble, but because it might threaten the pro rider’s status with his shoe sponsor. And the McJesus board graphic we did back in the 90s got cut internally before getting shipped out because they were worried about the backlash from shops in the South, there’s that. But nowadays people understand the Antihero thing pretty well, so we can push things pretty far.
- Do you have some projects coming up in 2019 you can give us a hint about
Well, I’ll be doing a ton more Antihero graphics, and lots more of my usual work with Penthouse magazine, where I do my Fun Page in every issue. Outside of that, more fun stuff with Vans and probably some more art show stuff too. Its never boring. You can always see my latest stuff and find out about upcoming work via my Instagram feed at @toddfrancisart and on my website toddfrancis.com.
- Any last words for the internet people?
I’ll leave you with a very important quote you should live your life by. “I try to think but nothing happens.” -Curly Howard
So, there you have it. 10 with Todd haha. Hope you enjoyed it and can get some hype! Shout out to Todd for taking the time to answer a few questions and sharing his art with us. Make sure you give him a follow on the Gram and for all of you in San Diego, I better see your ass there Saturday! Details below: