Behind our May poster artwork is local artist Buzzferkchurnt. With one hell of an alias, Buzzferkchurnt studied graphic design and a diploma in advertising before moving into client work. His passion lies in animation and illustration, which explains why our artwork this month has been splashed across social media in animated form, and static in the streets. We have to admit we didn’t know a lot about BFC before bringing him on board, so we caught up with him to ask him more about his work and to share some stories.
Hey BFC, Tell us the story behind your name?
This is not a short story, but I’ll try. The name came about in first year uni when I was still developing my style. I was listening to a lot of hip hop and saw how having a moniker or alias allowed artists to simplify the thinking behind their artwork and keep it separate from other things they were doing. Which at the time I thought would be good in a more professional sense. So I created buzzferkchurnt (buzz-ferk-churnt). It’s based off my initials and is an amalgamation of words that were relevant to me at the time. They mean things on their own, but together they become a translation of ‘buzzy fucking cunt’. There’s lots of other variations and stories, but that’s the easiest explanation of it. I’ve also gone by ferk or often people shorten it to buzz when messaging me. More recently I’ve been simplifying it to bfc. It’s kind of a living thing that changes and evolves as I do — that’s part of the fun of having an alias.
You've been working on poster art for us, and also delivering animation versions of this artwork. How do you find offering a range of mediums affects your style?
That’s an interesting question, because it’s become part and parcel to my process to offer static and animated pieces for people. I’ve always been interested in illustration and animation. And now digital/social media worlds allow for both, so why not explore both? In essence, my animation and illustration style are the same. That’s because I taught myself how to animate by bringing my existing drawings to life. Later I began drawing directly into the computer and now will bounce between starting points (animation or illustration) depending on what style led someone to me.
I love to see what can happen when experimenting with a combination of the two mediums. For example, for the NOTW posters I first drew the elements, then put them into the computer and moved to composition and typography. Once everything had been made and laid out, I started thinking about what could be done with all the elements. I kept pushing a style I’d previously been exploring and something fell out of that which became an interesting extension of the static posters. And on the previous project I did it the complete other way, creating a gif or animation and then using that to fill out static stuff like posters.
What medium of work would you like to add onto what you already offer?
I don’t like to let my style stand still for too long, so I’ve managed to work with most mediums so far, but I’m really interested in animation with more of a storyline or narrative — like animated cartoons and comics. 3D animation is also something I’m interested in. It’s really blowing up, but it all looks the same. I’ve dabbled a bit, creating creatures or floating heads, but I want to spend more time on it to take it somewhere completely different. Oh, and VDJing — that’s something I thought that my animation style could really lend itself to. Illustration/animation that accompanies music is something I’ve done, but would love to do more of. And in a live setting would be hella exciting.
Backed up with a bachelor in Graphic Design and a diploma in Advertising, what are the three most significant things you have learned, outside of this education, that relates to your work?
I’ll try to answer this without sounding cliche. #1: Be yourself and create what you enjoy — that’s key. When you try to make something for someone else and not yourself, you’re making something based off an assumption of what will please the other person. If those assumptions are wrong, it’ll turn out shit. As soon as you start making stuff for other people, you stop being yourself.
#2: Know that there’s a difference between something being perfect and being finished. That hunt for perfection has rendered a lot of my own projects unfinished in the past. Now I find the idea of perfection more subjective. In some cases, I’ve finished a project and thought there was nothing left to be done to it, I’d explored it to its end (perfect), only to look at it later and think about all the things that I could change. That doesn’t mean I don’t still strive for perfection, but I’m less critical of myself. Now I actually find imperfection to be my biggest motivator — it inspires me to keep pushing myself to grow as an artist and evolve. And you make way more discoveries out of mistakes anyway.
#3: If you really want to achieve something you have to put in the time every day. It’s not easy, in fact the hardest part about being an artist or a creative is keeping the momentum up. But I can say that the moments where I truly dedicated myself to my craft are the times when things really started clicking and falling into place for me.
You have worked across advertising jobs, gig posters and artwork for musicians - to merchandise and zine fest. What has been one or two of your favourite projects so far and why?
Definitely the things I’ve done for various musicians. Working with music or in the world of music is the best because you get to interpret the emotion of a song into something visual, which is a totally new layer to how people can relate to and be moved by a song. It’s challenging but incredibly rewarding because it’s pure creation.
Where do you hope to direct your work in 2018?
I’m just keen to keep the momentum going this year. Keep building awareness of my own brand and see where that leads me. I’ve got some plans for a few different types of projects and hopefully will work away at the list of mediums I want to conquer. This keeps me in a bit of a creative cave, so I’m also keen to get out and amongst the Auckland creative scene more.
Locally and internationally, what artists, designers and creatives do you admire?
Shit so many. I try to not fall in love with just one so I don’t emulate them too much. But living artists would be people like Neckface and Mike Bertino. I follow this one guy, Alex Jenkins, who’s lowkey living my dream. He’s used a lot by blogs, magazines and people like Vice (they've used me before but I'd froth on a regular gig like he's got). Also, Leon Karssen, ChrisSimpsonsArtist, David Choe, Winston Hacking, Scorpion Dagger, Broken Fingaz Crew, D-Side, Jason Jägel. And those are just a few current guys. I love Kandinsky, Dali, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner too.
Best thing you have seen on the internet this week?
Frothed on Childish Gambino’s ‘This is America’ (like everyone else in the world).
Top five tracks to paint/draw to?
I mostly get stuck into Soundcloud so the track list is eclectic. Artists would be Kaytranada, Isaiah Rashad, MF DOOM, Brockhampton, that sort of thing. But mostly just wavvy remixes of all sorts of shit.
Three artists you would give anything to see perform live? (Music)
Going to restrict it to people still alive so: Kid Cudi, Shlohmo, Madvillain