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Andrew Werdna

We meet the young artist drawing, painting, and animating ink-stained off-beat doodles inspired by street art

Ealing boy Andrew Werdna is hooked on drawing. He has been painting on anything he can get his hands on, from old sofas to trampolines, since he was a kid. Drawing influences from graffiti street art to David Shrigley, Illustration and Animation student Werdna creates the comical to the weird in his designs. Dazed Digital caught up with the illustrator to see where street art and kids books unite.

Dazed Digital: Who or what inspires your work?
Andrew Werdna:
 My work is inspired by a lot of different things; Graffiti has had a big influence on me and I think a lot of my passion for illustration and art comes from that. David Shrigley has been a huge influence as well and Barry McGee is one of my favourite artists, because he incorporates street art into his work.

DD: You said graffiti has been a big influence?
Andrew Werdna:
 I have been into graffiti for a long time now, I have this obsession with it and there isn't a day - even hour - where I'm not looking, sketching and soaking up stuff that revolves around the subculture! My personal favourite is a french painter named HORFE - but I follow the work of a bunch of other people too.

DD: What’s with the monsters?
Andrew Werdna:
 I like drawing monsters because there are no rules to what they have to look like, I have my imagination to run wild with.

DD: Where did they come from?
Andrew Werdna:
 The monster theme came from a piece of work that I did based on Where the Wild Things Are. I wanted to twist the story into my plot and illustration, however, before I even did that piece, I had often played with the idea of monsters and giants in photo manipulation done by hand.

DD: They remind me of being a kid - did your childhood have an effect on your work?
Andrew Werdna:
 Obviously looking back at cartoons that I used to watch like Ren & Stimpy and the whole cartoon network channel, I can see connections with my illustrations... I always liked the villains more, they always looked the coolest and had the best things. The heroes were just weak to me really -apart from He-man and the Biker Mice from Mars though, they were good!

DD: Upcoming plans and projects?
Andrew Werdna:
 I have just started Illustration and Animation at Manchester and am also looking forward to doing a lot more illustration work for Brainchild Festival 2013.