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Wednesday, 13 August 2014

STGCC 2014: Squeezing in the backseat with Alex Solis

The haha man
Alex Solis, the Threadless dominator of 156507 submissions and 2007 printed designs, is morbidly obsessed with Supersizing and has done them all - Marvel and DC heroes and villains, Disney,  Star Wars, Star Trek, TMNT, Street Fighter, anime, 80s cartoon; no one is spared the glorious fattifying trend. Besides drowning out the muffled whimpering from other struggling Threadless artists, Alex runs with Motion Disorderz Crew.(MDC) and Black Rock Collective, dancing and drawing and generally, taunting the rest of us who has to work hard for the money. On top a very active Instagram (OMGLOKI!), he pours his remaining creative energy onto Tumblr.

Channeling Pharrell Williams
World domination continues and STGCC will see the cushy landing of The Chunky Knight, hailing from a lineage of happily proportioned characters borrowed from popular culture. That's Batman, coming from an alternate universe that unknown to even top DC honchos, and he's here to take your lunch money.
Me: Your first designer toy! Woohoo! Did you see this coming? I know the answer to this but does it give you happy feet and make you want to go out and kiss random people? What was it like when you first realised that your design is getting actualised as a toy?

Alex: I actually can't believe it still! Everytime I get a process shot, I'm completely blown away, I can't wait to actually hold one in my hands! Hahaha I really didn't see it coming. I always wanted to make one but the opportunity never came about.

Initial 3D render

"This time my project was mostly focusing on creating something for myself, without the intention of turning it into anything, and so far it has been one of my most successful projects."

Me: Is Batman your favourite superhero? Usually we put our idols on ivory pedestals and not add 500 pounds to them. You must hate Batman. Why do you do it? Were you inspired by Jennifer Lawrence and her comment (He's Fatman, not Batman) on kissing Batman actor, Christian Bale, in American Hustler? [Tabloid here]

Alex: While watching a Ninja Turtles cartoon with my daughter, we kept making fun of them and asking how they are so fast and in shape when their diet consists mainly of pizza. I felt like it was sending the wrong message to kids, and I noticed a lot of others cartoons did the same thing. At first I started the project with the intention of just creating that one illustration, but saw the great fit especially after talking with my daughter. I realized it was a good way to raise awareness about unhealthy eating, especially with young kids. It catches their attention quickly and it’s easy to make that connection immediately.

With that being said, I love all the characters and I have grown up with most of them. I don't do it as a sign of disrespect, but more so because I love them so much :P

Christian Bale just had more actor to love in that movie, haha.

Me: Are you making a political statement on obesity? Did you watch that documentary? Are you making fun of fat people? Before you answer, take a moment, and Alex, I want to tell you that I was once a chubby kid. 

Alex: Hahaha. Def not but one of the most popular comments on my instagram posts are people tagging their friends and telling them that's them. It's kind of amusing to see.

I did get a few mean messages of people actually asking me about the series. I try to be honest with my art by letting them know I'm not doing this with the intention of making fun of anyone, that they're created to raise awareness of the bad things junk food do, specially cause I have kids and want to set a good example.

"After that, some people continue to be angry and I just told them to feel free to un-follow me."
Me: How did this collaboration with MightyJaxx come about? Hold my hand and walk me through it.

Alex: I think this all happened a bit too fast, I don't even remember how or when it started. It feel like one night I was drawing a chunky batman, the next Jackson was sending me pictures of real life chunky Batmans, that or I'm probably half asleep right now from always staying up so late drawing at night and that conversation went past 2am haha. I would have loved to have done something way sooner. It has always been a huge goal and dream of mine to actually be a part of creating a toy. I really hope the series takes off and open a lot more opportunities or at least project me in a different level as an artist.

'Fighting' crime!
Me: What were the unexpected hurdles?

Alex: Working on something for myself is way easier then working on something for someone. This project has surprisingly been the easiest to work on because of that.

Me: You sound easy, not in the sleazy way. Now, I want to dive in the psyche of the Chunky Knight. I want you to imagine you are Chunky Knight. What do you love most about yourself and what would be your favourite dance track?

Critic of na

Alex: I love how I can carry my favorite 10 snacks around my utility belt, I would probably reach for a twixx while dancing to the the Batman theme song nanananana nananananana

Me: You have the number of na's wrong :P Tell us something NOBODY knows about the Chunky Knight. 

Alex: Even tho he has so many storage areas for snacks, sometimes he likes to hide one under his belly, it tastes so good when the chocolate is a bit melted.

Me: Ugh. As long as it does not come with belly floss! With Age of Ultron looming, Captain A or Thor would seem to be the smart capitalistic option. Why did you choose Fatman to spearhead your vinyl siege?

Sneak preview!!

"He is just so serious, so full of emotion, so much feelings! One of my favorites because he's just so serious minding his late night dinner, before fighting crime."

Me: Personally, I prefer what Bale did with the Dark Knight. I'm all dark and broody, like Constantine, always smoking in the rain. Who do you think is the best Batman and why?

Alex: It's def one of the best Batman. The bad guys made that trilogy even better. I don't even have to even mention the Joker do I? Is this even a real question? Or does someone out there likes Arnold as Mr. Freeze. I take that back. I kinda like him saying "everybody freeeeze"

Me: I'm of the opinion that everyone loves the nipple suit. Alright, moving on. If you were in charge of Marvel or DC (your choice) for a day, what would you do?

Alex: I would fire Ben Affleck before it is too late.

Me: Hahahah. I vote that as the best bit of this interview! Ok now for a sexy curveball of a question: How big are your biceps? 

Alex: They used to be bigger, but now focusing way more time on art my forearms are probably getting a lot bigger hahaha.

 Me: Any last words for the legions of fans in Singapore?

Alex: I just can't wait to come to Singapore and meet everyone! Coming with two friends and I'm not planning on getting much sleep! haha I'm really hoping for a lot of inspiration during the event. :D

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