Doodlemandrill is me, Keith Neilson, a 40 year old introverted intellect who enjoys reading fantasy fiction and listening to an eclectic variety of music. I have been ‘Mandrill’ online in one form or another since the middle of the last decade of the 20th century. Ask me why and I’ll be happy to answer.
Discovering a talent for complex, and sometimes surreal, abstract art a year before my 40th birthday, I have thrown myself into the production of these intricate illustrations. Giving up the beloved pastime of videogames to make the time to create, I also work full time for someone else as an online retail manager.
I live with my partner Anna and our cat Lucretia in Glasgow, Scotland, UK.
The base fundamentals of my work are abstraction and hard black and white (for the moment, I’m looking for a medium that clicks with me for colouring). A path, a band of conglomerations in simple shapes, interweaving and interlocking to create forms of great complexity which present some new detail on each viewing. Since beginning to sketch in 2017, my work has evolved to encompass aspects of the human form extruded from this chaos of shape, line, and detail.
The description I most often use of my work is that they are “Stream of consciousness essays, communicating ideas for which there are no other means of transmission.”
Expanding on that idea, I’m a sincere believer that the purpose of all art is to communicate concepts and ideas that cannot be expressed in any other way. The experience I want my art to give is to build an interaction of visuals to engage a viewer, attracting them from afar with high complexity, causing them to immerse themselves within the detail. When my art speaks to someone, it doesn’t use words, and words can actually get in the way. Even a description of the art will always miss something essential. I may even have exposed too much of my intent with this paragraph. I want your experience of my work to be _yours_ and not some variation on mine.
My works are my reflections on an unfathomably complex, incomprehensible, and indifferent universe. No signposts, no maps, no guides. We’re making it up as we go.
My major influences include Kandinsky, Picasso, Matisse, Braque, tattoo art, graffiti, and street art. Other influences on his work are the works of various sci-fi and comic book authors and artists. He also takes inspiration from the confluence of humanity and technology and the way each evolves to accommodate, enhance, use, and subsume the other.
Works in progress are posted more or less daily on Keith’s Instagram: @redmandrill and Facebook Page. Original works, prints, and pdf colouring pages can be found in my store. Please consider supporting me in the creation of my art by purchasing something, every little helps.