I’m Liam Gerrard a 31 year old New Zealand artist who draws big pictures with dirty, dusty, smudgy, charcoal. I always want my drawings to be beautiful, but I try to go for something less traditionally pretty. A doberman caught mid-growl, a hyena munching on a gazelle carcass, a proud but bloodied lion, that’s my sort of thing. The Gothic darkness of charcoal lends itself brilliantly to more twisted or slightly gruesome images, and that’s the kind of stuff I’m drawn to.

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A little while ago I started producing a different kind of animal portraits. I was challenged to design an album cover – creating a single animal head that was made out of various other animals. It took a lot of planning, but I loved the process of cutting up the main image into different sections, then tessellating and jigsawing the suitable other animals together. The “cleverness” of the assemblage is pointless if the main artwork isn’t effective as a whole. When it comes together right, it creates cool contrast of having a realistic-looking main image that’s actually completely unreal upon closer inspection.

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