Our first Illustrator of the Month is Brit McInerney of Oh Bones, London.
My name is Brit, I am a twin and I am an illustrator, I used to be an archaeologist so I think I could call myself that too.
Who or what inspires your work?
Most of the inspiration for my work comes from humans – the human mind. I studied archaeology because I wanted to learn about human behaviours and emotions throughout different times. Whilst I was drawing skeletons in the labs, it made me inspired to draw outside of the labs. It made me realise that some human emotions are basic, within us and never change no matter who we are or where we are from. So, I think human behaviour is the main inspiration. Especially love and especially pain.
Do you have an illustration you’re most proud of or has a particular meaning to you?
I think the illustration that means the most to me is my ‘don’t bother coming back anyway’ piece. I drew it after a relationship broke down with someone I cared about. Because it highlights that we are all at some points in our life as vulnerable as children, we get hurt and we need other people.
Fashion also plays a role in the illustration I think, which is why I have dressed the children in a specific way – usually my character outfits are inspired by the religious clothing of Amish people, Mormons and Jewish people. That’s important to me because religions heavily determine people’s behaviours so when I illustrate the behaviours it’s usually in a rebellion of the religion.
Talk us through your customised Dr Martens…
With the Dr Martens I really wanted to create a metaphor from walking. So I chose to illustrate walking towards the future, with Ouija boards, magic 8 balls and crystal balls. I made the ouija boards state “we turn ourselves upside down with hope and we keep running towards the future”. I really believe we all make our own luck, by working hard and running towards new places, so I drew the crystal ball and magic 8 as revealing nothing about the future. Sometimes we turn our lives upside down trying to get to the places we are going and that’s the beauty of living. We never know what’s next.
I really didn’t want to just draw all over the shoes though, I wanted to design shoes people would actually wear because to a lot of people fashion is art and I wanted to convey that!
Do you listen to music whilst you work? Name three tracks you can’t hear enough of.
I love listening to music whilst I work, and especially when I’m designing things for bands, I will listen to music they write so it subconsciously influences my work. At the moment I have been listening to ‘Radio Protector’ by 65daysofstatic which is instrumental, I usually like to have lyrics in songs, but this song creates such a powerful story though its tempo and instruments – it’s incredible.
Another song I’ve been listening to a lot is ‘Shaker Hymns’ by Dry the River, I’ve been listening to this song constantly for years though. I love it because it really conveys a story in its lyrics about shaker love and it creates a new world in your head.
If you could have a super power for a day what would it be?
I’m a really nosey person who wants to know everything about everyone and what they think about everything, so mind reading would feed that! But it would probably ruin the mystery we all have.. so I would probably choose to be invisible so I could still be nosey!
Tell us your favourite thing about the city you live in:
I’ve lived and worked in so many countries and cities but none of them compare to London. There are art exhibitions every day, different styles everywhere and the most beautiful architecture. There are people from all over the world so even in the months you don’t travel, your mind does. There’s just too much to say about this incredible city… I’m moving to Berlin soon though, so I think there’s probably another city out there as amazing.
What’s next for Ohbones?
I’ve really stopped guessing, every month is such a surprise! I am beginning to work in fashion a lot more, so I’m hoping the next thing for Ohbones will be a collaboration in fashion.
Tell us about your first pair of Dr Martens:
My first pair of Dr Martens was a pair of the 1460 boots much like a lot of other peoples!
I actually bought them because when I was studying Archaeology I was travelling the world excavating and I needed a pair of boots that looked good and looked after my feet in the deserts and mountains! They’ve been with me to Bulgaria, India, Germany and the UK so far and they’ve seen a lot of skeletons.
What do you stand for?
I stand for pushing yourself as much as possible to achieve everything you ever wanted.