I will take a departure from my usual themes in this post; instead of moaning, ranting and generally taking the piss, I will be be focussing on the artist and notorious drug smuggler and foot fetishist, Paul Shinn.
I have known Paul since teenagers at secondary school, and amazingly, Paul still tolerates me. He once had a regular 9-5 job as a graphic designer in the publishing trade, but then around 10 years ago decided to eschew this career path, in order to follow his dreams and become a lowly artist. Now it is a well-known fact that true art deals with death, despair and the ongoing frailty and ennui of the human condition. Paul, ever the anarchist, throws this convention against the wall. before stomping it it into tiny, bloody fragments and then pissing on them. His talent is creating cartoon comic strips, mainly aimed at a younger audience; the main purpose of which is to entertain through comedy. Penguins feature regularly.
I would not normally approve of 30-something-year old men with beards who take an interest in the pleasure of other people’s children, but Paul is the exception to this rule. His work is innocent but not childish, and will certainly make you smile.
Another truthful tenet held within the artistic realm is that decent artists only become popular and earn any money, after they are dead. Unless they cut up sheep or paint floppy clocks, that is. Again, Paul has bucked the trend – by carving out a flourishing, moneymaking career that has kept him in beer for the last decade, without having to pickle any sharks.
Here is a web banner that Paul created for me several years ago, featuring many of my favourite things.
On 8th December Paul ran a stall at the annual House of Illustration’s Christmas Fair, in King’s Cross, so I popped along to show me support i.e. be nosy and and potentially take the opportunity to scoff and mock. And I have to admit that I was very impressed by what I saw. I’m not a bloke that can usually be found wandering around artisanal markets, soaking up the bohemian vibe and appreciating the painterly goods on offer, – but Paul’s Stall (decent name, that), was certainly the highlight in a sea of enthusiast and talented throng young people and beard-scratchy sandal-wearers doing their best.
Here is a small selection of Paul’s oeuvre – and all available to buy and worth your money – all of which would make ideal Christmas presents if you have a youngsters in the family who are easy to please:
You can get a better look at Paul’s drawings over at his website (not built me me, so actually works): www.paulshinndraws.com
Finally, here is a birthday card that Paul made for me many moons ago – after much cajoling from yours truly – of a portrait of me astride a giant bee. All tattoos were accurate at the time of drawing. Good, isn’t it?
I’d like to add a footnote; I did accidentally end up taking the piss slightly in this post – but Paul Shinn really is a very talented illustrator, and you really should have a look at his work and buy some of his stuff! Also, he’s no – that I’m aware of – a drug dealer or foot fetishist.