Drawings From My Mind Tank

Drawings From My Mind Tank

Zine Scene — Bristol-based artist and skater Mike O'Shea shares trippy new zine Drawings From My Mind Tank.

Mike O’Shea is an English artist and skater who makes paintings and illustrations of misfit characters on rad rampages. As well as producing artwork for creative brands like The Harmony and Howies, Mike cobbles together skateboards, DVDs, zines and “all that other arty crap that you don’t really need” for his trippy outlet The Highbrow Company.

This summer Mike had a show Make It Don’t Fake It with prolific skater and shooter Sarah Meurle in the WeSC shop in Copenhagen during the CPH Pro and his new zine Drawings From My Mind Tank is a funny, sometimes dark and totally weird-awesome collection of sketches and stories from his dorky dome. We caught up briefly to find out more.

When and why did you start making zines?
I made my first zine in 2010 entitled A Vey Highbrow Zine. I always wanted to make zines, it just seemed like a fun little project to do that didn’t have to be to thought out too much. Also, they’re pretty trendy and I like to be hip like that.

What do you like about the medium?
The thing I like most about it is that it gives a home to more of my sketchbook scribbles. I can put stuff in there that might not have ever seen the light of day because they are some quick little things I made that didn’t have a purpose. Those are often the drawings I like the most but they never really have a home. My sketches really need to say a big thank you to the zine. It’s also nice to have a bunch of random stuff all chucked in a little book. I feel like it’s a good way for people to see what goes on in my brain. That’s why I called the second one Drawings From My Mind Tank. I feel like looking at one of my zines is like having a little peek into my dump-ass think machine.

What’s Drawings From My Mind Tank all about?
It’s all about fun. There was no plan of what to put in it. It’s all about gathering together a bunch of random drawings and seeing what looks good together. It’s kind of a behind-the-scenes look at what I do with my free time. I’m not really one for sticking to a theme. I like to have the freedom to put in whatever. I guess it also works as a mini portfolio.

When were the pictures made and how did you decide to present them together in this way?
I guess they were made over the past year or so. It’s hard to tell because they were all made at random times.

What do you do for a living and how does zine-making fit into your life?
Well I’m a freelance illustrator. Just trying to whore my hand and pen skills out to get me some of the green paper everyone is keen on chasing. Zine-making fits really well into my life. I feel it’s helped people understand the little world that I am trying to create. I feel it’s also helped to get me some new fans, ha.

Have you swapped Drawings From My Mind Tank for any other good zines?
Haven’t really done much swapping with this one. But I did send Michael Sieben my first zine and in return he sent me his latest zine and one that he and Travis Millard collaborated on. I think I know who came off better out of that swap.

You can see more of Mike O’Shea’s dope drawings on his website.