Artist Profile: Trof Duguid

Interview by Wendy Ma

To kick off our series of S P A C E artist features, we have Brisbane based animation artist/illustrator and game designer Trof Dugweed (QCA), who is no stranger to masterful story-telling. From lo-fi experimentation and dark claymation to a polished 2D narrative, his work resonates with a deeper truth about escaping the carnality of a banal existence. His memorable, ingeniously designed apocalyptic environments articulate a better world, that majestic water coloured utopia in the back of our minds.

We catch up with Trof as he prepares for our upcoming event, S P A C E at Bleeding Heart, opening April 26.

Relentless Drag from Trof Dugweed on Vimeo created by Troy Duguid, Tom Ward, Alex Allen and Liana Beaukes

1. How would you describe your work?

I like to create work that is visually abstract yet emotionally meaningful to the viewer. The stories I tell vary in content - however I always aim to express concepts at their most total, pure form. Immersive and hypnotic are two buzzwords I hope people experience when watching my animations.

2. What motivates you?

Electronic and Instrumental music, Surrealism, Consumerism/Commercialism, nightmares, Day-time TV, fast food, life and mortality, love, decay, nature, DEATH.

3. Who influences you?

Jan Švankmajer, Don Hertzfeldt, Jamie Hewlett, David O'Reilly, Tim and Eric, James Jean, Van Gogh, Jeff Goldblum and Fruity Lexia.

4. Who would you most like to collaborate with (living or dead) and why?

Jim Henson. Because the life and soul he gave his creations is nothing short of amazing - plus I could hang out with Big Bird.

5. Tell us about Ghostbox and where it’s headed?

Ghostbox is an indie game studio I started with a bunch of friends last year. We are going through some exciting times at the moment - our current project (working title) Dragon Season is now part of the Right Pedal Studios program, we've got great mentoring, free office space and some money to get us through development. I sound like I'm plugging it or something but honestly it's a lifesaver for an indie game team.

6. What’s next in terms of using different media/challenging yourself?

Currently learning 3D. Also teaching myself sound synthesis - Electronic music is one of my major inspirations and passions and I hope to create the soundtracks to my future animations.

7. Ideal way to spend a day off?

Urban exploring, or if I'm feeling lazy chillin' on the outdoor couch in our garden. Jesus Christ I'm so boring.

8. Favorite place to create in Brisbane?

Botanical Gardens is pretty great for ideas, any kind of tranquil open space really. Once I've got a concept I like though the best place in Brisbane is probably my room ha. I just need minimal distractions when I work, eventually having some kind of dedicated studio space is the dream.

9. Will you always be based in Brisbane or plan to explore your environments in the future?

Canada has an amazing independent animation scene I would love to be a part of at some point - also dream of living in Iceland for a year or so. But really I do not feel limited by living in Brisbane at all, I appreciate the earnest, growing art scene - sisters are doin' it for themselves.

10. How would you change Brisbane for the better?

Would've kept more of the old buildings - don't demolish it ya dingus! More trees and minus twenty degrees (please).  And less JB Hi-Fi's.

11. How does your physical space influence your work?

There seems to always be some relationship between nature and technology throughout everything I create, I honestly can't stop myself. I believe it's due to where I grew up - a rainforest acreage in the Sunshine Coast hinterland. It's an amazing place, completely different to man-made 'nature' parks you find in cities. It can be quite terrifying, but in a very... liberating kind of way. It's difficult to describe but I would say it is my most prominent influence, the unadulterated joy and terror of a place untamed by man.

Stay tuned for more of our S P A C E artist interviews over the next few weeks!