Q: Hello Karl, lets jump right in and tell everyone who you are and what your routine is on an active morning, day and night?
Alright! Start with an existential question. I like that. I'm a twenty-two year old boy who has made it his purpose in life to draw. I've always held the belief that success should be determined by how much you enjoy your work. Ever since I can remember, my favourite thing in the world has been drawing; I used to destroy all my school books and magazines by drawing all over them. However, to my detriment, I had long assumed that it was nearly impossible to make a living off drawing. As far as I was aware, comic book artists, fine artists, any kind of artist really, were not paid especially well so I didn't really have any true ambition of being a professional illustrator until around 2003. I came up with the handle "Monaux" (pronounced "mono", as a kind of one speaker/one person reference, but pronounce it however you like really) when I was fifteen and starting to get into the Winamp skinning scene. This was prior to the modern Winamp skins, when Winamp still had massive restrictions when it came to creating skins. I saw this as a challenge, so I attempted to create organic skins with as many tiny pixel-level details in them as possible. After a while, I had a miniature amount of success with a few companies hiring me to create skins for them (2Advanced and Warner Bros Music, namely). A year or two later, I realised that the skinning industry is vastly more specialised and esoteric than illustration, so I decided to dedicate myself to my initial passion.
I've been illustrating/designing professionally for a few years now and it truly is what I want to be doing with my life. I have a massive array of interests, flaws, vices and passions, which I try to incorporate into my work as much as possible. I'm fascinated by the notion of innocence (particularly innocence as it relates to religion,) religious iconography and doctrine, death, flawed hand-drawn type and type in general (my favourite typeface is Bodoni), sex, colour, habits, the nature of bigotry... the list goes on. Being a freelance designer/illustrator allows me to essentially work from anywhere in the world as long as I have my pencils/pens, my sketchbook, my laptop and access to the internet. I am currently living in Winnipeg, Canada for a few months, but I am originally from Brisbane, Australia. I finished my bachelor of design and decided that it was just time to get away. Basically my routine involves waking up at nine and drawing until around four. It changes every day depending on what kind of work I have. It's just like a normal job except I adore it and it's something I can do wherever I please.
Q: Are you into these design communities? What technologies do you think would advance these outlets?
I ultimately prefer working alone, but I love looking at other artists' work and being inspired. I really like the idea of art groups and the idea of a group of like-minded people contributing to one cause, but I always seem to lose interest after a while. That having been said, I recently became involved with Depthcore and am looking forward to contributing to that. I've generally been quite impressed by their work (more so by the illustrative pieces rather than the exploding 3dsmax things) and I think they're headed in a positive direction.
Q: What is your personal life outside of design?
Spending time with friends, meeting new people, drinking a lot of scotch and beer (not combined), travelling. I don't know how to answer this question, really. I am an extremely insular person and I mostly live inside my head. I play guitar and have done for about two and a half years now; I am always learning new songs as a break from drawing/designing. I could never be a performer, I don't think I would deal well with playing to crowds. I don't watch TV but I have a great appreciation for good TV shows, particularly English ones, and collect them on DVD. I adore the work of Chris Morris (Jam, Brass Eye etc) - it's delightfully profound and disturbing. I also love great movies - Todd Solondz's movies, particularly "Happiness", are incredible.
Q: What are some future projects for Monaux.com?
I'm working on a pretty exciting project at the moment for the KDU which I don't think I can talk about yet. It's quite a different angle to things I have done in the past. I've got a bunch of tee designs coming out on various indie tee labels and other miscellaneous projects going on right now. I'm always available for commissions though! And as always, I'll have a steady stream of personal illustration stuff happening. I'm also considering selling signed, limited prints of my work from my site at some stage in the near future.
Q: I've seen your work on several design portals, how much time do you spend marketing and promotion on your website??
I always make sure that my site features the best of my best work and is as up-to-date as possible. Aside from that, I don't really try to promote myself excessively. I submit my site to various portals whenever I update it, but whether or not it gets linked seems to depend largely on luck.
INTERVIEW BY: SON / SOMETHINOFNOTHIN