Kikkujo is an influential artist with a scope that stretches beyond social media. While his Instagram and Twitter pages receive plenty of attention, his art has also been featured on album covers and for live events. Even after gazing at a handful of Kikkujo's pieces, the viewer begins to understand and digest his signature style. He creates art where colors are rarely used, and when they are, they are subtle reds or soothing greens. He crafts art that tells a story without saying a word.
I sent some questions over to the talented illustrator (who just graduated high school) and asked him about his plans moving forward, the messages he is trying to relay to the world, and the music that keeps him afloat.
How has 2017 been treating you?
In regards to the world we live in, 2017 has been pretty shit so far. I guess I've just been trying to keep going to the best of my abilities; just like most of everyone else around me.
How would you introduce yourself to a circle of strangers?
Normally, I wouldn't.
What do you have planned for the remainder of the year?
I don't really have any plans just vague ideas. I have and will be working on them throughout the year but it's nothing I can disclose at the moment. They are pretty big though, some stuff I've done already and a few things I have never done but always wanted to do.
Do you have any larger releases in the works or are you currently focusing on one-off creations?
I am currently working on a compilation of certain works, an art book, but I'm doing this through a series of one-off creations, I post most of them online but I have a few that I have not released. I usually play it by ear, and improvise.
You're very selective with your use of color. Can you speak on that?
My skewed use of colour is a result of how I never really used it when I started off. I'm not used to it yet. Being used to a limited colour scheme has allowed me to develop an eye for specific compositions within those "limitations." Therefore, I have just been playing around to see what I could make with the selection of colours or lack thereof.
What messages are you trying to get across with your imagery?
Usually I would be trying to express conflict of identity, and maybe personal/emotional aspects of life such as melancholy or being alone. It ranges but I do not often seek to explicitly portray those things; rather, I put what I feel, what I observe, or simply what I find cool into my drawings to the best of my ability.
Your Instagram is a mixture of illustrations and photography. Do you have any additional hobbies/interests?
I do enjoy taking photographs and playing the drums from time to time. I would occasionally make some tunes when I'm bored or I don't feel like drawing.
What have you been listening to recently?
Been listening to a lot of music lately. Things have been pretty hectic so I'm leaning more towards chill artists like Bill Evans, Sales, and Jinsang to name few among so many others.
Do you have any advice for artists working on their craft?
Advice to others I'd say is to just to "do you." Be yourself and try to stay away from copying or how people like to say "be inspired" by other artist's works. Take from real life and see how you can express that through your own means. Keep it pure, don't be fake, be nice, and don't do it for clout.