Ferry Gouw draws pictures and makes videos, he lives in West London and has a cat.

He drew a bunch of amazing stuff for Platform about six months ago (try this, this and this) then he ended up being the guy behind all the art for Diplo’s Major Lazer project, which isn’t like just doing the artwork for some album or other because the whole album is based around this character that Ferry designed (and even built) and so are all the videos (which Ferry also played a major part in). He’s pretty much responsible for something that is genuinely iconic, which must be a great feeling. He’s been on his grind (so to speak) drawing pictures and making videos for years though, and has amassed a great ‘client’ list of bands and stuff that he’s worked with here. I spoke to Ferry about all that stuff and Katie Coleslaw took some great photos of him at home.

Hi Ferry, how would you describe what you do?
“Creative person”.

What’s your favourite thing you’ve worked on?
I’m always slightly disappointed with everything I do, and rightly so. I’m nowhere near where I want to be, the physical embodiment of whatever Im trying to achieve is never what it was in my head, and the acceptance of this humanity makes me hate being human.

How did you get into drawing?
I remember that it was one way of playing as a kid, to draw a scene on a piece of paper, then elaborate that scene (kill the robot, shoot the plane down, etc) until the whole paper is filled up. then I got into comic books, so I started drawing muscly guys in costumes.

Who are your favourite artists, dead or alive?
Al Columbia is my favourite comic artist. Max Fleischer’s animated films are also amazing. He’s dead, I think. Ted May is the funniest comic guy, next to Johnny Ryan, ‘cept Ted May is just weird. Another funny comic guy is Tim Hensley! his Wally Gropius guy, I realised after reading some architecture stuff, is a nod to Walter Gropius from the Bauhaus school. Alvar Aalto is another architect I dig, he’s also dead, also Shigeru Ban (alive). I think his cardboard tower is still in the southbank. Monet is pretty good, no? So is Picasso, I think. there was an architectural magazine called NEST that stopped a while ago, that was really amazing. Apart from these guys, Gary Card is the most amazing designer alive.

How would you describe your style of drawing?
Blurry. I dont really have a style, but what I’m interested in personally, whenever I get to experiment just for kicks, is to blur the line between shape and shade, n create a really fluid object, in the middle of existing/disappearing. I’m hoping this leads me to where I’m supposed to be creatively.

Can you talk us briefly through your working process?
Drinking lots of coffee. I sit, read books, comics, open the internet, look at stupid videos and facebook, then something will just click, or I think is funny/weird. I’ll try and put it to paper, and usually that will lead me into further ideas, weirder and weirder, and funnier. then I’ll do that.

When did you realise ‘I could do this for a living’?
I can’t. it’s a total joke, a myth.

How did you come up with the concept for Major Lazer?

I can’t take credit for Major Lazer. Diplo and Kevin (the manager) told me the general outline/back story of the character. They showed me amazing artworks by Wilfred Limonious, and told me to try out some stuff. so I did up Major Lazer, based on their story. I’m sure some comic characters like Cable and Deathlok came in there subconsciously. it helped that Major Lazer seems to have such a complete, rich world unto itself.

Here’s the latest Major Lazer video, with lots of Ferry’s drawings in it:

Major Lazer- “Keep It Goin Louder” from trunk animation on Vimeo.

Did you have any part in making the toys for the video?
Of course. My friend Gabriel (from the band Loverman) sculpted them, Gary Card and I helped painting them and made the landscape, then my friend Kee rigged the lighting, insane. In-house.

Which video was the most fun to work on and why?
Major Lazer stuff. cos it’s just funny. and Diplo is always down for making it weirder and funnier. In fact, I think he’s bummed when it’s not weird or far out.

Who would you most like to work with, either for video or artwork and why?
I wanna do my own shit because it’s always the most frustrating and rewarding at the same time. I never know what to make or do. I never know why I do it, and obviously I dont pay myself to do it, but there’s always that drive to make this elusive… whatever it is… happen. I draw, make videos, make music, that most times serve no purpose but to make something happen.

What are you into when you’re not drawing or making videos?
I make music (Celestial Bodies). Hang out with my girlfriend. I read a lot, Im gonna throw out this ugly disgusting leather sofa that my dad’s friend left in my house 10 years ago, so I can finally have room for a bookshelf. I really wanna get rid of the tv too. I hardly do anything else. I’m always depressed when I’m not making anything.

Ferry not only answered all these questions like a champ, he also sent over a cool ‘how to draw’ type diagram for those of you who want to learn some mad drawing skillz. I uploaded it full size so you can look at it all close up when you click on it.