The Wibbles are just the creatures who live in Wibbley World! I never set out to come up with a brand or a name for my universe of characters, it just evolved on its own. At first the name was “Wiggly World” which came to me repeatedly when I was painting (back in 1999 when I first started selling on ebay) – it was literally as if my characters were telling me who they were, but I heard it wrong – “Wiggly World” wasn’t quite right. A few years later I was redesigning my website and for some reason I wrote “Wibbley World” as the title, and that was it!
Are there any artists you feel are/were instrumental to your style of painting and the subject matter?
I would say there are many artists I admire and I’m sure that they do influence my work, although probably mostly in technique rather than subject matter, since my characters are so completely personal to me. I study the work of other artists with the goal of better representing my own vision. For example, if I see an artist whose technique I admire I want to know how it was done – what materials were used, etc. Even if I’m not successful, I still believe the information is still being processed on a subconscious level and eventually I hope to incorporate it into my work.
Have you ever found it difficult to stay inspired and true to your vision?
Yes, periodically I get bored and feel uninspired – at times I feel like my work is too predictable, particularly when I’m creating “for” something (like a show, or for the Nibblefest contest, etc.), or when I’m trying to interpret someone else’s idea instead of my own. At times like that I feel frustrated and am tempted to quit (although invariably that’s when some sort of external validation will come along.) What helps me through this is looking back through my older paintings and sketchbooks, and creating for myself rather than with the intention of selling. I have no problem staying “true to my vision,” in fact I wish I could branch out more (be more serious, more commercial, etc.) but somehow I always end up “Wibblifying” whatever I’m working on, even if that was never my intention.
Do you have a favorite character from your World of Wibble?
I don’t like to have favorites, but if I did it would have to be Lunchbox, the lunch-pail toting, diaper-wearing chipmunk. Lunchbox is a true innocent who frequently finds himself in predicaments. But everything always turns out ok in the end, because when you have your lunch-pail and your diaper, what more do you really need?