Who Is Funny Tummy?

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Shawn Earl Lee, otherwise known as Funny Tummy is your archetypal artiste. He rarely if ever gives interviews, speaks on the phone, or has his photo taken. After much persuasion I managed to track him down long enough to find out a bit more about the man behind the artwork.

“To make a short story even shorter, I began with production, I produced S.A.S – Shout, Bigz – Reach 4 The Stars, and a string of other tracks and thought it’d be better on cost if I did my own covers – so that’s how I got into doing mixtape covers.

On the art side of things I’ve always been doing art. Initially I got into art due to my brother and mother, my brother is an abstract painter, and my mother is a fashion designer. I fell in love with art when I was 3 years old, I think it’s because that’s all I saw my brother doing around the house, realised I was good at it and kept at it. By the time I was at high school the head of the Art department approached me and recommended that I do my GCSE’S a year early, so I figured it’d make sense whatever I do career wise to have it link in with art, hence the reason why I started taking it seriously. After I left school I didn’t do much art until about four years ago, and then took it up professionally 2 and a half years ago.

Contemporary artists I admire are Takashi Murakami (founder of the Superflat movement) and Jon Burgerman. Modern art inspires me, especially the Superflat movement which reminds me of old video games and cartoons both of which I have a major interest in. I’m not a big fan of traditional art I find it a little bit boring unlike Superflat, with bold flat colour, never dull never boring.

The approach to my work varies on what I’m doing or what type of project it is. At the moment I’m finishing a massive piece featuring 20 UK recording artists that will be exhibited in a London art gallery. Something like this has never been done before so I’m trying to break barriers, especially with having such an ‘urban’ form of art in a refined London art gallery. So that’s the short term plan, get this exhibition done. In the not too distant future I want to go on to design contemporary furniture. In terms of individuals in the furniture world that excite me… none in particular, I just know a nice design when I see it.”


Follow Shawn on twitter.com/funnytummy. Please also visit funnytummygraphics.co.uk

Deb McKoy