Papyroo is originally from Indonesia but has been living in Singapore for the last few years. He has a wicked sense of humor and a fetish for clean vector lines. That much is pretty clear from his artwork as you will see.
Papyroo calls himself a kidult, something that I had to Google. I think the world is full of kidults. Had I more time I might be one too. Payroo is fairly new to the t-shirt scene but I have been seeing his work pop up quite frequently at TeeFury recently. I have a feeling the world will be seeing a lot more Papyroo t-shirts soon. Read on…
Is Papyroo your real name?
No, it’s from my wife’s deceased childhood dog, Papiru. I’m serious.
Actually, it’s from the word ‘papyrus’. Simply because I always start my work on paper.
According to Twitter, you are based in Singapore. Are you a Singaporean born and raised?
No, I’m originally from Indonesia, or better known as where Bali Island is. I’ve been living in Singapore for like 4-5 years now.
What do you like to do in your free time?
Saving the world, fighting crime on the street. Nah, just like ordinary kidult out there, I like watching movies, playing games, procrastinating on the internet or just simply spending quality time with my beloved wife. I’m a family man.
Do you work full-time in art and design?
Yes, I was until like 5 months ago. Left the job and started to do whatever I wanna do.
About the Artist
When did you start creating art?
If you consider scribbling on the wall as an art, I started like 26-27 years ago. If we’re talking about making money out of it, I think it’s around 10 years ago.
Have you had any formal art training?
Yes, I studied Visual Communication Design in college.
Apart from t-shirts, are you involved in other art/design projects?
I was involved in various design-related projects before. From graphic design, character design, illustration to game development. But for now, I’m trying to focus on t-shirt design and character merchandising. It’s what I’ve wanted to do since a couple of years ago.
You have a very distinct style. How did it come about?
I can’t remember exactly. But I think at one point in my life, I realized that I have this fetish for fine, bold, crisp, clean lines. I fell in love with vector artwork the second I learned about it. It’s just exactly what I needed because I didn’t have that Jedi skill to create a perfect fine outline using Photoshop at that time. It became my weapon of choice ever since. Executing my every drawing using vector obviously affected my drawing style, which is heavily influenced by both East and West cartoons and animation.
Could you describe your typical design process from concept to completion?
I go to meditate, by meditating I mean in the toilet. I bet many designers have this habit too. They’re just a bit shy to admit it. Then I do some idea sketches on paper, sketches only I can understand. When I feel the idea is good enough, I come up with a layout sketch. It depends on my mood whether I’ll complete my final sketch on paper or Photoshop, but usually the latter. Then bring it to Illustrator and pimp it with those sexy vector lines.
About the T-Shirts
You have had a few t-shirts printed by TeeFury. How did you hear about them?
I heard about it from my colleague a few years ago. She encouraged me to give it a try. I did submit one or two lazy designs I picked from my old works. I didn’t even bother to design one because at the time I wasn’t that interested. Of course, they didn’t make it. And that’s it, I didn’t submit anything until 4 months ago.
Have you submitted to other daily t-shirt sites?
Yes, I got printed on TheYetee and ShirtPunch before.
What was your first print? If so, what was it and how did you feel?
My Galaxy Forest Conservation Program t-shirt. It was my first serious attempt in designing for a t-shirt. Actually, I didn’t expect it to get printed. I thought the design was lacking something. But surprisingly the result was crazy and it’s still selling quite well now. It’s been 4 months. Of course, I felt great, and a piece of me regretted not starting it sooner.
Do you wear t-shirts that you have designed?
Have you seen somebody wearing one of your t-shirts in the real world?
Nope. But a friend has seen it once and immediately texted me about it.
Photoshop or Illustrator?
Told ya I have that vector line fetish.
About the World
Do you have any role models?
I know it sounds cliche, but I’d say “my Dad” Simply because of his never-give-up attitude. He’s a very hard working person. Recently I really looked up to him since I decided to leave a full-time job and pursue my passion for doing my own character design and merchandising and, of course, t-shirt design too. It’s not easy, it’s bumpy, but it’s nothing compared to my Dad’s struggle when he was young.
What is the most exotic location you have been to?
If I say I saw many dead bats hung upside down (of course) by street vendors, and people buy, cook, and eat them. Also, the deep fried worm larvae from the sugar palm tree is a common appetizer. Is it exotic enough? It’s a village in Sumatra island, Indonesia.
Where would you most like to visit? Why?
Egypt and Peru. Because of the pyramids. They’re built by our alien ancestors, I gotta see them.
About Other Designers
Who would you like to see interviewed on the Shirt List next?
I don’t see BeastPop and Bamboota on your list. Maybe one of them? Or both?
Any advice for new designers/artists?
Wow, what a question considering I am also quite a newbie in the t-shirt design league. Maybe for those who haven’t got printed yet, just keep trying. Since my first print, I have a few rejected designs too. Not just by one site, I even tried to sell it to 3 or 4 sites. Good artwork sometimes is not enough to win the competition. Clever ideas play a big role too. Read the trends, watch popular movies, tv shows, play popular games and follow trending news. It’ll help you a lot in understanding the theme completely, which opens many doors of idea possibilities.
What are you watching on TV at the moment?
Game of Thrones Season 5. I’m on episode 2. I know, right. And the spoilers are already everywhere. I hate spoilers.