david shrigley is a british artist who lives and works in glasgow. while best known for his dark and humorous drawings, shrigley’s work also includes sculpture, painting, music and animation. his work has been the subject of numerous international exhibitions and in 2013 he was nominated for the turner prize. his latest book ‘weak messages create bad situations’ is now available from canongate.


designboom (DB): what originally made you want to become an artist?


david shrigley (DS): when I was about 11 years old I decided I wanted to design record covers for adam and the ants. record covers were possibly my introduction to art. I remember being obsessed with the cover of ‘live at the witch trials’ by the fall.





DB: how would you describe your approach?


DS: I try to say my piece as economically as possible.




DB: who or what has been the biggest single influence on your way of thinking?


DS: up until I was about 30 almost everyone I knew in glasgow was an artist or at least had been to art school. being so immersed in art has had a big impact on me. living somewhere where I was removed from the art world would have changed things I’d imagine.




DB: has anyone or anything recently challenged your views on art?


DS: my views change quite regularly. I think I have a short attention span.




DB: what would you say is your strongest skill and how have you honed that skill over the years?


DS: I guess I’m a creative person rather than a crafts person. but I’m still not really sure what my skills are. it’s a good job I’m self employed.




DB: what materials do you enjoy working with the most?


DS: I’m happy using any materials. sometimes the materials provide the starting point for the work. I use ink on paper a lot but that’s just because it’s the easiest thing to do.




DB: how do you think online resources have influenced the art being produced today?


DS: I don’t think the online thing has changed the way I make work. I guess it has just changed the way it is disseminated. having said that I stopped making photographs as art after the changeover to digital. all the photos I take now are for instagram.





DB: what are you currently fascinated by and how is it feeding into your work?


DS: I don’t consciously make art about anything. themes just seem to occur intuitively. I read a lot about politics and current affairs and I’d like that to feed into the work somehow but it doesn’t always work that way.




DB: please can you tell us how your latest book relates to themes you have explored previously?


DS: I try to make each book different from the last. the last book was small so this one is big. the last one was in colour so this one is black and white. the last one had a lot of text and this one has much less.




DB: what are you passionate about besides your work?


DS: football. my dog.




DB: do you have any superstitious beliefs or rules that you live by?


DS: too many to mention. I cross my fingers when I pass people on the stairs; for example.





DB: what’s the best piece of advice you have heard and repeat to others?


DS: go to bed early.


DB: what’s your personal motto?


DS: go to bed early.