Interview with Kent Biro Artist Ross Kinkaid
Website Culture Editor, Julia Mitchell, caught up with Ross Kinkaid, a talented local artist who creates incredibly realistic drawings using only biro pens. Here’s what he had to say about his work.
Q. How long have you been drawing for? Has art always been one of your hobbies?
R. I’ve been drawing since I can remember, but only really started using biros properly in the last 4/5 years or so. I’ve always been doodling; it’s something you can take anywhere and everywhere.
Q. What inspired you to start working with biro?
R. It was handy at the time? It’s just one of those things that you use all the time but never actually ‘use’ it, so I gave it a go. I’ve seen what other people can create with biros and thought I’d see how far I could push it.
Q. Are there any particular artists that have influenced your work?
R. There are a few, but its more about what they can do that influences me. The skill and determination of some artists is incredible. I have a love for Asian art, like old scrolls, woodblocks and tattooing.
Q. Your drawings look amazingly realistic, almost as if they have been painted rather than drawn with a biro pen. Do you have a particular technique that you use to achieve this?
R. That’s very kind to say, but I don’t see them that way. Most of my work has mistakes that other people wont notice, but sticks out to me. I think that the way my work looks is partly because of the way I draw. Mistakes are made, but I kind of like that because it makes it easier to believe they are done in pen.
My technique is just time and patience. If you really like pens and use them enough, you’ll find what works best for you. I’m still in the ‘testing’ phase of my work. You only learn more with experience.
Q. How long do you usually spend working on a piece?
R. Anywhere from 5 – 100+ hours, normally its around the 40 hour mark. It’s hard to tell as I draw in bursts of a few hours.
Q. Have you done any professional work? If not, is this something that you would like to do in the future?
R. If by professional work you mean paid, then no. All of my drawings so far have been gifts or experiments. I’ve given some bits to charities, and donated things here and there, but I’m not really in it for the money.
Q. Do you have any advice for art students that may want to start biro drawing?
R. Not really, I did one year of art at college, but was forced to do things I didn’t want to, so I just did it on my own once I finished. If you’re really interested in drawing with pens then just give it a go, take your time and see what works best for you. It’s mostly shading that makes an image look good. I just use soft pen strokes that are as close to each other as possible.
Q. What is your favourite image to draw?
R. I haven’t found one yet. I love to draw in an Asian style, but haven’t quite got the creativity to create my own ‘style’ yet.
Interested in seeing it for yourself? Take a look at the photo gallery below to view a selection of Ross’s work. For more information, check out his Facebook page .