Matt Kish illustriert Melvilles Klassiker — seitenweise.
Auf Seite 140 ist er inzwischen, etwa 900 weiter stehen ihm noch bevor, wenn er durchhält.
Auf seinem Blog erfährt man über Matt Kish, dass er gar kein Künstler sei und mit dem ambitionierten Projekt kein konkretes Ziel verfolge.
Die großartige grafische Umsetzung des Romans lässt mich aber zweifeln. Kein Künstler? All die Mühe für „nur so“?
Ich habe ihn gefragt — seine Antworten nach dem Klick.
SB: As you say you’re not a professional artist. What’s your profession?
Matt Kish: I have been interested in art ever since I was a very small child, but other than a few classes in high school and one in college, I never pursued it as a career. Partially because I’ve always had a lot of self-doubt about my art and my abilities, but mostly due to the practical concerns of looking for a more stable career. After spending several years as a high school English teacher, retail book store manage, patient registrar in a large urban hospital, and finally bookseller at a used book store, I went back to school and earned a master’s degree in library and information science. For the past few years I’ve been working for a large urban public library system in Ohio, and I enjoy it a great deal. I do find myself thinking about art every day, but I’ve never had any regrets that I didn’t pursue it as a career.
SB: What led you to the idea of illustrating Moby Dick?
Matt Kish: I had seen a similar project where the artist Zak Smith created one illustration for every page of Thomas Pynchon’s novel Gravity’s Rainbow several years before, so I have no doubt that planted the seed, but I didn’t set out to basically follow in Zak’s footsteps. I’m really not sure exactly how the idea came to me. It was late summer 2009 and it had been quite a few months since I had worked on something creatively that I felt really excited about. I was very bored and very uninspired, and I felt like I needed something challenging and ambitious, something already, in a sense, decided on by someone else. Moby-Dick has long been my favorite novel, and a brief online conversation with an old friend reminded me that I hadn’t read it in quite a few years. All of these things combined with my frustration and my unfocuses energy and in what to me seemed like a flash of divine inspiration, the idea of illustrating the entire novel shot into my head almost fully formed. It was a huge endeavor, challenging, already structured…I simply needed to get to work.
SB: Is there an answer to the question „Why are you doing this?“.
Matt Kish: There is, and it’s remarkably simple. I am doing it because I wanted to. No more, no less. I never set out to publish it, exhibit it, sell it, make money from it, earn fame for it, or even really to please anyone else with it. These illustrations are very much my Moby-Dick, how I see the novel, and what it means to me. When I finish an illustration and look at the completed piece in my hands, I’m very happy. I like what I’ve done so far, I am proud of it, and I look at the art often. So as simple and perhaps even foolish as that seems, the reason I am doing this is because I wanted to.
SB: There surely couldn’t be any better reason than this! I really hope you finish this precious project.
Until then: So long and thanks for all the Kish!