Brazen, loud, and wholly unafraid to speak his mind through his art, MXCQ is a New York-based illustrator who tackles everything from raunchy political works to nostalgic, childhood cartoon characters. His raw, almost crude style transforms things like dollar bills into symbols for burning capitalism and Trump's toupee into the joke that has become America’s political system. Read on for more insight into his artistic process and his relevant, topical inspirations.
What do you do creatively? How would you describe your art?
I illustrate my drawings on paper and animate/color them digitally. I would describe the majority of my work as humorous, with some social commentary on hip-hop and the news. But there are times I just like to draw things that I think people could relate to and feel nostalgic about. Those are a little more personal.
When and why did you start?
I started drawing when I was a lil’ baby. But it wasn’t until I got sent to alternative school my senior year [of high school] where I met my art teacher who told me that I should pursue art professionally. One time, she even organized recruiters from the American Academy of Art in Chicago to come meet me. It really opened up my eyes that someone else saw that much potential in me.
Where are you from? Where are you currently based?
I’m originally from Chicago and am currently based in Brooklyn.
What’s one thing not many people know about you?
I was born in South America.
How has where you’re from influenced your art?
Growing up, I moved around a lot, so it forced me to not care about making friends. That’s when I started drawing more and more. I ended up going to the American Academy of Art in Chicago. There, I learned the basics and took some art history courses.
What or who inspires your work?
A lot of things do actually. It can be new music I discover, or a show that I just got into, or even people on the subway. It’s fun to observe everything and try to figure out what colors, shapes, or form it can take on paper. Oh, and this election gives me a ton of material to work with too, lol.
What have you made or done that you’re most proud of?
Just being able to make art and getting to this point where I can make a living off of it. I sometimes get doubts about what I’m doing, but seeing people engage with my art keeps me going.
What are you currently working on?
I currently have a list of ideas on my phone that I have to sketch out. There’s another nostalgic drawing, a Halloween-themed one, and another money drawing.
What do you have planned for the future?
I want to add more options to my shop, like stickers and shirts. And hopefully I can collab with more artists on Instagram like @Reeg. I had a lot of fun animating my ideas with someone else’s work.
By Eileen Syrop and Eda Yu