Jay is a weird dude. I mean that in the most affectionate way possible, he’s unlike anyone else I have ever met. He has no problem speaking his mind regardless of who is around, he is always down for a good time (regardless of the consequences), and I’ve never met anyone who can eat a live crawdad at a Chinese buffet or an expired egg salad sandwich from a less than reputable gas station and live to tell the tale, but Jay has done it more than once and I’m pretty sure it just makes him stronger. Jay and I grew up five houses away from each other, He was the best man in my wedding, and he's one of the most prominent people in my life. Jay’s Instagram handle is SkunkApe and his persona in real life has come to match the mythological beast he covets so dearly. This past year he started up Death Cycle, his illustration name, and has done work for Death Co., Chopper Coffee Co, as well as various bands and clubs. I wanted to interview him because his work is really cool and unique, plus frankly I wanted to see the type of responses he was going to give. I was not disappointed.
Does it matter? / Ask my doctor / Third rock from the sun, dog
Most people these days just refer to you by your Instagram handle Skunk Ape. Why did you choose Death Cycle instead? Also, when are you going to just officially change your name to Skunk Ape in real life?
Well seeing as I draw more death and motorcycle themed illustrations and have never drawn a bipedal cryptid I thought I was moving in the right direction handle-wise. I didn't want any Sasquatch enthusiasts stumbling onto my page and leaving unkind comments under my work. I'd only consider legally changing my name to Skunk Ape if I was put into witness protection and was sent down south and began performing in backyard wrestling bouts.
I feel like you’ve been a doodler since I met you. When did you realize you wanted to illustrate professionally?
I've always wanted to illustrate professionally and design cool logos and designs. Growing up in a 'punk' scene you are exposed to a lot of weird out of the norm art. Album artwork, shirt designs, posters, etc were always huge cool different inspirations to me growing up. Seeing a lot of different artists showing off different styles. In my head, I was just never as good of as the artists that influenced me. I started going to school for graphic design and that made it worse because I started to see art as work and not just a fun hobby I was doing. I'd hate to say it but instagram opened my eyes to a lot of artist and cool projects everyone was working on. I realized that I could keep the soul and myself in my art and still be 'working' while I'm illustrating because there is a vast amount of weirdos out there that like cartoon skulls, monsters, and lowbrow artwork.
What is your favorite project you’ve done?
I don't have a fav, if I did I would judge every other drawing on the ONE design and would never get anything done
Kill one, F*$% one, Marry one- Bigfoot, The Lochness Monster, An Alien
Easy. Fuck an alien with three tits and some intergalactic lingerie on, marry Bigfoot because I need that space. The fire would never die because I'd always be looking for him/her. Totally kill the lochness monster and have someone film it for some insane metal music vid.
Why didn’t you write your best man speech down for my wedding?
We've been through this. I love you and I thought I'd have a few drinks and get up there and really just spill my heart out and not read some pre-planned BS. Although it wasn't some earth shattering, heart throbbing, eye wetting speech; it was still 100% me.
What else should people know about you?
Call 911 and I'll answer any questions people might have
We're good right?