Cover Artist: Madeline Cantu

“I Only Use Art to be Horrible to People.”

By Ruby Love

When did you start making art?

I don’t even know, I think off and on since I was pretty little…

Just fresh out of the womb, makin’ art.

Yeah that was the first thing I did was paint my mom’s tummy. With her own blood…with our joint blood. That’s my origin story as an artist. (laughs)

That’s horrifying.

But no, probably like eight. I was doing weird paintings like most children, I think. I liked it, but not enough to ever sit down and do it. It was just like…my dad got me a paint set and I was into it for a couple days and then I stopped my artist career. I was very passionate about it for three days, and then I got over it and just went back and forth into it and not for…ever.

Picked it back up at twenty…

Yeah, nineteen too. Nineteen was like artist time number one, whenever I lived with my dad and my brother and didn’t have anything to do. But yeah, I haven’t done it as much, I’ve kind of started doing more writing, as you know.

That’s art too.

It is. Oh, it is. Using TripAdvisor reviews as a source is art!

It is.

Yeah, my dissertation was concept art. But yeah, off and on.

Will you talk a little bit about this series that you did?

Yeah, I think it was like…last winter that I started it. I had been drawing these little characters for probably a year and then I just kind of forgot about them, and then started them back up whenever I went home for Christmas break, and was in my…in my art phase. And then started perfecting them, giving more attention to them, and trying to have a defined style that wasn’t similar to what other artists I was looking at were doing…not trying to copy anybody.

Being your own little artist.


I don’t know which ones you’re including…are you including the Bill Murray one?

(Excited whisper) I forgot about the Bill Murray one! Okay, okay I might redo the Bill Murray one cause…

That one was awesome, though.

Yeah, oh man, I wanna do a Bill Murray one again but I’m trying to figure out…what’s another person that we can attack?

You could do a pretty badass David Bowie one. Do a series of idols that actually suck.

Yeah, John Lennon, David Bowie, Iggy Pop.

So many, so many to choose from.

Brandon Casette. (laughs) a creepy man, oh my god.

Can I print that?

Oh yeah, oh my god yeah.

I think the only theme all my characters have is that they’re all very annoyed, all rolling their eyes, and saying complaints. Voicing their complaints.

How do you come up the little sayings?

Well…I love complaining.

So you’re pulling from your own artistic life?

It’s pulling from my passion…which is complaining…and being mean to people: the two things I love most in this world, and I really think that comes through in my artwork. (laughs) But yeah, they’re all complaints, all just like…how much I hate everybody…like Bill Murray…fuckin’ weirdo. He’s a creep…he just sets me on edge. Maybe I could make fun of Adam Driver.

No, he’s so cute.

No, he isn’t. He really isn’t. But yeah, my art is based on how much I hate everybody and how much I like to complain.

Do you draw characters based on people in your life?

They kind of just come out. I kind of just make the face shape, and then build on it. But I will notice definite trends, if it’s like a girl I know and am super infatuated with them, then they like start to come through in my drawings. Totally involuntary. If I just know someone who’s particularly angry…and bratty like me, it’s just natural for me to feel the connection, and to feel that they’re worthy of being in my art.

Can you talk about your use of color over pen drawings?

Yeah, I prefer not to use so much color, and if I do I kind of stick to the same things of like…red or gold. I’m just not a big fan of color, it’s hard to work with and to use effectively and not overuse it, for me at least. Especially in pen drawings, because you can do a lot with just the pen and then you kind of fall in love with how it looks as a line drawing, so it’s kind of hard for me to use color. Sometimes you need to, otherwise it’s just really boring, and not fun to look at.

That’s great.

I’m such an artist. I’m just a natural art-maker. I just know so much about it. I’m just…this is what I do. Can you put that I’m making fart noises with your chair right now?

If you enjoyed Madeline’s artwork and you want more of it in your life, you can find her stuff Youtube—search for Pantry Ghost.

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