We’re obsessed with the wonderful world of illustrator/skater/dude Kyle Platts. His attention to detail and satirical sense of humour has us hooked. Kyle has created work for a number of publications, including Vice, Computer Arts, The New York Times & District MTV, and he has recently published his second book with Nobrow, Festival Frenzy. Felix and Florrie had a catch up with Kyle to find out more….

What were you like as a Teenster? What fuelled your creativity?

I was a total mosher when I was a teenager and creative inspiration came from skateboard graphics, cartoons and record covers (CD covers). The back pages of my exercise books in school were populated by drawings of logos like Toymachine, DC, Zero, Death and Heroin. Oh and the Limp Bizkit artwork got heavily plagiarized by me too, I drew a lot of flexy fit baseball caps on cartoon characters. Guns too, I passed the time in particularly boring lessons like maths by drawing all kinds of guns, adding attachments for extra satisfaction. An M16 for example with a torch, laser sight, scope, grenade launcher and flame thrower attachment.


Tell us a bit about your background, what have been the key steps to your success as a illustrator?

Well actually I started off doing a fashion diploma course but it became apparent that all I was interested in was drawing. So I ended up doing Illustration at Camberwell which was great. After I graduated I set myself projects to keep busy like contributing weekly comics to a website and keeping an active blog (Megaskull). After a while the comics and my own blog got a little attention and I started to get work. Then after a few months Nobrow got in touch and before long Megaskull the book was in the works. I definitely owe a lot to Nobrow, the publicity of my book subsequently led to more commercial work.


how did you find studying illustration at Camberwell?

Those are some of the best years of my life! I met so many great people that are still my close friends and peers to this day. Getting introduced to the London skate scene was one of the best things to happen to me as well, thats a whole other world outside of art that means so much to me. With the people I met a Camberwell I started a series of web clips called Earth Pain. We screen printed T-shirts and made these skate videos it was millions of fun. I dont think I would have had the same experience if I didnt go to Camberwell.


Give us the shizzle on your illustrations for District MTV…

Well that was a pretty loose brief, I just had to depict what its like to be young. I thought about all the things that I found exciting when I was a teenager like going to clubs for the first time, driving for the first time, going to Greece on a two week piss up with your mates for the first time. I hope the image transcends that, I had a lot of fun creating it.
Megaskull is side-splittingly funny, it must be great to have your first book published by Nobrow…

Totally, I feel so lucky to have been given that opportunity at such an early stage, they really took a chance on me, they must have been insane haha. In the beginning I would just share my comics with friends, so it was extremely gratifying to have those published and appreciated by a whole bunch of strangers who are not obligated to like them.

What would be your dream Job?

I’m doing it right now! Its crazy, I still can’t believe this is what I’m doing for a living and I’m somehow getting away with it. What would make it better would be if I had loads of money to make really elaborate artworks. If I ever do start to make more money then it will go straight back into the art. I hope someday to make huge paintings and sculptures, and to experiment with ridiculous mediums. Failing that, the job I had in the petrol station back in Sheffield was pretty good.


Take us through your work process when developing a new image…

The process is mostly about doodling in sketchbooks. But also just making notes of ideas throughout the day, a lot of the time good ideas will come while I’m on the bus or in the queue at Greggs.


How do you chill when you’re not working? Fave hangouts?

I very much enjoy going out and drinking beer with my mates, the Montpelier in Peckham is pretty good, and Hermits Cave or The Tiger for Camberwell. I skate as much as possible, I live really close to Peckham Library so I go there in the afternoons to try and maintain my inventory of tricks. My friend Will Miles is putting together another one of his web clips right now so I trying to film some stuff with him on weekends. My other hang out spot is the boy’s house where I used to live. I live with my girlfriend now, so I’ll sometimes go back to the old house to drink beers and play GTA with those guys.

What advice would you give to young illustrators/artists starting out?

Its just a case of staying busy, the more people perceive you to be busy the more they want you commission you. Keep working all the time!


Plans for 2014?

I’m excited about 2014, during February and March I will be an artist in residence in Linz, Austria. I will spend my time there making work for an exhibition at the end of March. Then I have some shows lined up for the UK but I can’t say anymore about those at this point.


Welcome to my crib – whose artwork is on your wall at home?

Yes welcome to my crib, come in. I have some lovely prints and originals by the likes of Jack Teagle, Paul Waak, Thomas Slater, Sam Taylor, Jay Wright, Joe Prince, Matt Bromley, Dilraj Mann, Malarky, Lucas Dillon and Jim Stoten.