The World moves at a blistering pace: you can tweet, pin, like, share and reblog this article (please do!). We have put our faith in technology without questioning its competence. That is the context in which I interview Simon Ormerod, also known as Cracked Ink. The UK-born artist lives in New Zealand, where he conjures up monochrome robots of questionable ability. His machines often stare off into the distance, either plotting your doom or trying to figure out where to buy their own replacement parts. Imagine if robots did take over the World, using the best technology 1984 had to offer…
Art, Robots, Expression and the Future
When I moved over to NZ six years ago my work started to take on a new direction. There was definitely a twisted and slightly disturbed feeling to the characters that inspired my name: cracked up, off centre, slightly loopy and a little bit lost. Every piece I do on the street starts in my sketch book in ink… hence, Cracked Ink.
I’ve loved robots ever since I saw the film ‘Short Circuit’. It stuck with me even though I was young when I saw the movie. Johnny 5’s expressions are amazing (happy or sad). I also love creating all sorts of monsterish characters. It’s a great feeling when you hit the right note for a character, especially knowing that you’re going to put it somewhere on the street.
All my characters have a human quality, that’s because they are all inspired by human expressions and emotions. I didn’t set out to make my characters gormless! When you see a character inspired by people it creates more emotion, whether you feel sorry for it or it makes you smile. If you take some time to sit down by the main street of a town you’ll see inspiration all around you.
I’m not trying to scare people as they walk down the street. I want people to like my characters and relate to them. I’m definitely not a hater, and that comes through in my characters. There’s a little bit of me in every character I create.
Aerosol is my favourite medium but that’s just a small part of what I do. I produce gallery work on old timber with acrylics, 3D sculptures, stickers, paste-ups, t-shirts, 2D cut out characters, etc. The list goes on, but I’ll try not to shamelessly promote myself www.crackedink.com.
I’m addicted to painting – I may end up in paint rehab! I want to keep producing my street stuff and pushing my style. I hope to be in Europe painting early next year. I’m working on some 3D robots for the street and for sale and some small animations with an Auckland artist. I’m very busy!
New Zealand Graffiti
NZ is a relatively small scene but a great one and people are starting to understand it more. I always get a positive response from the public. The graff scene is rad over here - Askew and Berst (to name two) are really pushing the movement. It’s awesome to see. Being so far away from outside influences has really helped them to push their style. They are very driven; when you speak to then there’s so much passion and dedication (and they are nice dudes).
It’s a shame that the political movements and authorities are such idiots. All I’ll say is that they must get a bloody good deal on grey paint.
If you’d like to know more about the NZ scene I recommend checking out BMD, SEEKAYEM, DRYPNZ, YELZ and GHISTE. These guys are rad artists and rad people, check them out. I love painting with all these fellaz.
- Cracked Ink: www.crackedink.com
Artists also mentioned in this interview: