Monday, March 8, 2010

The Devil and Mr Sisson

Radford here again with another interview full of deep, philosophical questions that help illuminate the psyche of one of the "Devil Made Me Do It" artists. This time Dylan Sisson dared to stand before the firing squad and in doing so he revealed, among many other things, a predilection for chainsaws, his true feelings on argyle, and the terrifying possibility that he may indeed be close to building a time traveling robot. Don't believe me? (Why should you? We really haven't known each other that long.) Read for yourself.

Dave Radford (DR): Your artwork has been described, I believe by you, as Creepy Cute. Is there anything you find creepy cute in real life? For instance, I think hairless dogs and cats are creepy cute. I hope I didn’t just take your answer.

Dylan Sisson (DS): Whew, thankfully you didn't steal my answer, otherwise the tables would be turned, and I would have to interview you instead. And that would make for a bad interview, wouldn't it?

DR: Indeed. Putting the propaganda aside, which do you feel is the most important meal of the day?

DS: I appreciate the diplomatic nature of your query. Perhaps the meal that is the best is the meal not had? Perhaps being sated, physically, spiritually, or mentally, inhibits the creation of art. Maybe asceticism is inspiring? Or maybe it's purely pragmatic ... when I don't eat, I have more time left to paint.

DR: What do you think the characters you create do when you aren’t watching?

DS: That assumes my characters have free will, but ok. When I'm not watching I'd like to think my characters are following me behind my back.

DR: What are your feelings on argyle?

DS: It's a nice place to visit but I wouldn't like to live there ... but seriously, Argyle has always been a sore point for me, a thorn in my side ... Argyle never liked it when I said that Plaid was my favorite color and could never forgive me. Well, I told Argyle that Argyle is really just like Plaid but with a slight tilt. I even said that Plaid could be considered Argyle, but Argyle could never be Plaid, and guess what? Argyle didn't care.

DR: So you sketch, paint, animate, design vinyl toys and even i-Phone games. Are there any other media you’d like to explore, then conquer and benevolently rule over?

DS: Well, I've actually had a long standing fascination with chainsaw art ... I would like to explore that, if given an infinite amount of time. A lot of the subject matter of chainsaw art falls within the boundaries of bears, gnomes, and the great american bald eagle. There's a lot of stuff that hasn't been done. The idea of creating a motley collection of chainsaw sculptures for some kind of bizzarro road side attraction is kinda interesting ... but it's also a lot of bulky equipment, you need to get some tree trunks and a chainsaw for starters. You can't carry that stuff around and make art spontaneously ... like sketching people on the bus with a log and a chainsaw. That's generally frowned upon.

DR: What was your favorite comic growing up?

DS: This is actually a rather tough question. But I'd have to say that out of all the comics I read as a little kid, Winsor McCay's Little Nemo in Slumberland was pretty much my all out favorite ... just because the stories were so elaborate and strange. And as a kid the only prop you needed to pretend to be Little Nemo was a bed. Luckily I had one of those. Of course, Winsor McCay was an early pioneer of animation and watching his early animation Gertie the Dinosaur (1914) taught me how the process of animation actually worked, a bonus I guess.

DR: You created possibly the most adorable depiction of the devil ever for our Devil Made Me Do It show. Is there anything in your past you’d now like to take this platform to publicly blame the devil for?

DS: I thank you for this opportunity to publicly blame the devil. In Boise Idaho, when I was a young lad of 13, I danced in front of a security camera at a pizza parlor ... like a mime. I pushed against the invisible wall of the camera, thinking that the security guard would look at me on his screen and think ... "Ha, there's a kid pretending like he's trapped in my security monitor!" Years later I now realize he probably thought I was a punk. I now have to agree with him ... I was a punk, and I publicly blame the devil for making me do that. If I could build a robot and send it back to anytime in the past. I would send that robot to that pizza parlor and kill that mime boy.

For more information and to view Dylan's available artwork from "The Devil Made Me Do It" group show, visit WWA gallery. To learn more about Dylan and his art, visit

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