I start with an idea, maybe it's a rough sketch in my sketchbook, or a half-formed image in my head that I just can't shake.
Then I do some visual research, whether it is scouring my comic book collection for compelling imagery, scrolling through image searches online or drawing something out innumerable times until I'm happy with it.
After I've found the direction in which I need to go, I usually spend some time tinkering around in Photoshop. I work at hashing out a collage, in the case of my recent comic book-based series, or playing with scale and perspective until I come up with a composition that feels resolved to me. Then its a matter of printing out the image, and tracing it onto my freshly sanded and primed wood panel. My favourite part is the last and most important part: the painting.
I use gouache, which is a matte, water based paint somewhere in between water colour and acrylic, but with none of the plastic fakeness of acrylic (excuse my bias). My work always involves bright colours and minute detail, so my brushes are rarely larger than a size 0 or 2. I choose to paint pop imagery like comics, cartoons and toys because of the light, nostalgic feel they bring to mind, and because of the directness of their depiction. I love the bold, crisp lines of the comic book style and the way they can communicate with minimal realism. I want people to have flickers of recognition when they see my work, but I also want to give them something unexpected.
I once won a grade six spelling bee with the word "unconscious".