Meet YTCO's first artist collaborator. From dreaming of working in a fish & chip shop to becoming a real life "Midnight Hero", get to know Andrew Walker.
I first met Andrew aka The Suspicious Carrot at an upscale restaurant in Knightsbridge in London, UK. He was, at the time, one of the bartenders and it was my first day as a server. Both of us were working in hospitality while we side-hustled other artistic pursuits, and became instant friends. Fast-forward some years later and here we are, sharing his exclusive Optics print for YTCO!
We couldn't physically sit down with Andrew and talk shop but thanks to technology, we emailed him a bunch of questions with which he replied, "I hope the answers aren't too sh*t!"
1. Introduce yourself
My name is Andrew Walker, I'm a ginger-haired, Leeds United-loving lad from West Yorkshire. In my freelance job I'm an Illustrator/Visual Artist, and in my full-time job, I'm a 3-D Designer.
2. What is the story behind your name, The Suspicious Carrot?
The story goes as follows:
"On a wintery Saturday night I finished my usual shift as a bartender in a swanky Knightsbridge restaurant. I realized that I had enough time to sprint to the station and jump on the last Northern Line tube. Tired from work and looking forward to a snooze I reached my destination, disembarked the tube and approached the escalator to exit the station. Halfway up the moving stairs, two drunk guys who were still in the party mood, began joking with each other and play fighting. One of the drunk guys started to lift the other and threw him onto the middle section of the escalator. The guy started to slide down, picking up speed and bumping over the central warning signs. I looked behind and realized I was the last person off the tube, nobody but me could save him from what would surely end with broken bones. Coming at increased speed I reached out to grab any part of his body and luckily held onto the bottom part of his right trouser leg, stopping him from going any further. I pulled him to safety and received a relieved hug. Smelling of stale beer and looking at me with glazed eyes he said, "You are The Suspicious Carrot, you are a midnight hero". Arm in arm the two drunkards skipped on their merry way and I became The Suspicious Carrot."
Note from artist: "I'm also very ginger so that's why he called me carrot."
3. How would you describe your art style?
My art style is forever changing depending on what I'm interested in at the time. I'd hate to be an artist that does the same thing over and over again. So I'd probably say, progressive.
4. What was your inspiration in creating the design for YTCO?
I went back to Yorkshire to visit my parents for the weekend and found some old geometric paintings that I did at school. I thought it would be a cool idea to take something that I did when I was young and rework them.
5. If you weren't an artist, what would you be doing instead?
If I hadn't gone down the design route, I would have loved to study Criminology. So probably a Criminologist!
6. What did you want to be when you grew up?
I really wanted to work in a fish and chip shop when I was little. It still might happen!
7. What are you listening to at the moment?
I'm well into the Ian Brown album at the moment. I'm also listening to two lads from Nottingham called the Sleaford Mods. And a guy called Slowtai who tells it like it really is!
Music that's played in the house - lots and lots of female punk bands. My girlfriend and I love it, plus she plays the drums in a punk band. We also listen to to lots of ska, dub and reggae which has always been my music of choice.
I'm also of big fan of British crime podcasts. Especially the ones that talk about historical crimes in London. I love to walk around the streets and imagine what it was like mack in those days. A bit grim but fascinating.
8. What is your strongest/best memory of your childhood?
My Grandad's Milky Bar tree in Dewsbury Park. Basically it was this magical tree that grew Milky Bars for all of his grand kids! Top bloke my Grandad.
9. What would be your superpower and why?
My superpower would be to speak every single language in the world. Being able to communicate with everyone would be something special.
10. What is your dream project?
I studied Virtual Reality (VR). I see massive potential to use this technology and work with people who are suffering from dementia or memory loss. Combining my knowledge as a 3-D Designer and VR, I could create scenarios which might be beneficial to them. I have always wanted to use my creative skills to help people so this would be unbelievable.
11. Where's your favourite place to see art? What's your favourite art piece?
I'm luck to be able to live in London and work in Shorditch (East London), which is famous for Jellied Eels, Jack the Ripper and Street Art. I love to walk around on my lunch break and see the forever changing graffiti works, which fill the walls and shutters with bundles of colour and creativity.
My favourite, most influential art piece is called 'Drawing Hands' by M.C. Escher. This lithograph piece was the reason I started to draw. Combining my two favourite subjects at school, Arts and Maths. Yes, I'm a weirdo that actually enjoyed Maths.
12. Where do you get your inspiration from?
Having the freedom to experiment has to be my biggest inspiration. I'm pretty obsessed with how things are made and the process behind it.
13. You're a new addition to the crayon box. What colour would you be and why?
The one I'm describing for the next question.
14. Describe your favourite colour to someone who is blind.
Eat a Solero ice cream and listen to anything by Louis Prima. That's my favourite colour!
15. What is the one thing you miss about being a kid?
My only responsibilities as a kid were to hoover the house after school and dry the dishes after my sister had washed them. I'd like to have only those responsibilities now!
Andrew is top shelf. Give him a follow @thesuspiciouscarrot!