Interview – Rob Jefferson


Please tell us a bit about yourself.

i’m in cincinnati via memphis. my life has had its own odd cycles i suppose…..i’m back to being single in a part of the city i used to live in. i used to travel and drink a lot. had to quit drinking. starting to travel again. never had kids. i like old cars and basketball. no deity currently to call my own.

speaking of cars…..the first time i ever pumped gas i was 16 and driving alone. i didn’t know what i was doing….didn’t know how to use the pump and it kept instantly shutting off. i ended up only getting 11 cents worth of gas. i literally went in and gave them 11 cents.

When you create, what inspires you?
could be a big thing or a little thing. i guess you have to decide if you are trying to move toward something or away from it. i like creative exchanges…taking ideas from songs….books, or photographs….a starting point……someone’s beautiful face, or someone’s truth. a cause. those things launch a thousand ships. healthy obsession has the ability to be really satisfying…until it isn’t! but, man, ride that bull while you can.

Tell us about the specific inspiration behind one or each of your accepted pieces.

i do several types of art because i became bored with the unspoken rule that an artist has to have one great, identifiable oeuvre……OR perhaps i am just no good at that….so, i have a few different styles that at first glance maybe look unrelated. i mean, i have different facets of my personality, so why not…..a good part of my being relies on humor and these pieces in felan tap into that. in the last few years i have made autobiographical comics, experiences i’ve had (usually drinking) or have been witness to….you will find one of those here. everybody’s got a few good stories.

the other piece, $hit$how, kind of speaks for itself. cartoon people are kind of asking for cartoon treatment.

What is your medium of choice? Why?
depends on what i want to do. to feel comfortable, graphite or ball point pen. those are my sweatpants. been drawing forever. i’ve painted a long time too but that has always had unique challenges….making paint do what you want it to do, sometimes it fights you- me, anyway. so if i want to spar, i paint. and if i really just want the unadulterated excitement of fear i will use watercolors or something i never use. i fully realize “excitement” and “fear” and “watercolors” is not a group of words you usually hear together.

How did you first discover your love for creating?

i honestly do not remember. i was extremely young…, a zygote. i always traced comic book drawings and stuff but i didn’t identify as an artist with a path forward until age 12 or 13, or around there. probably when you are in middle-school and are made to gravitate towards the disciplines you are good at. then in high school i drew on a lot of classmates’ folders. i have drawn many bitchin’ iron maiden and judas priest folder scenes.

fēlan is old English for feel. What makes you feel amusement?

the human condition, which can sometimes be rather dark material. death, religion and absurdity. philosophical humor. but hillbillies can be funny too, and over-confident people. fake doctors. messed up teeth. tarzan’s hemorrhoids. i like really weird humor, but creatively weird, not just vulgarity. creative vulgarity works too. i appreciate people with vivid imaginations.

what maybe is more telling is what i do not find funny. like, gotcha humor that feels like bullying (even though bullies deserve bullying). or, like, i do not think road kill is funny (some hillbillies do). i’m not a pet hoarder but do have a real sensitivity toward animal welfare. several years ago the pitcher randy johnson threw a fastball and it killed a bird that, miraculously, flew in front of the batter at that precise second. the bird exploded. feathers everywhere. everyone was laughing at that and randy johnson, this tall-as-shit, menacing, hard-boiled sonuvabitch said “no, it’s not funny” and everyone shut the hell up. i feel the same way. i guess humans pulling rank on animals all the time, devaluing them, is not amusing to me. on the other hand, the idea of michael graves designing his own stylish coffin, some kind of sleek pod without handles so the pallbearers end up chasing it down a hill…..that is very funny to me. even though that never really happened. but it could have.

anyway, i’m trying to be kind to most insects too. that has proven to be harder, as my comic illustrates.

p.s.- i reference hillbillies a lot because, essentially, i am one. i mean, that’s not some big reveal……

Get your copy of issue 9!

Submit your work to issue 10.


One thought on “Interview – Rob Jefferson

  1. Pingback: issue 9 artists | fēlan

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