Jordan Quick and His Mad Mouse
Visual designer Jordan Quick takes inspiration from the timeless. Once symbolic of the dark and economically-deprived, cult American cartoons crossed over from reflections of their time to immortally detached proportions. No longer beloved just from their stories, these pop images of optimistic fantasy hold up on their own. What makes an out-of-control, offbeat character in the often polished realms of cartoon? In a “world upside down”, Quick flips the animated faces we recognize as optimism and perseverance. His reproductions of characters like Mickey Mouse exist immanent to our societal reality, refreshing shape to an otherwise visually exhausted icon. Fighting cops, struggling with vices, and battling COVID, Quick renders these characters empathetic once more to the often unreal reality that is 2020.
SNUFF speaks to Jordan Quick based in Long Beach, CA about Mad Mouse, Fritz The Cat, and taking his puppy out to pee.
Who are you, and where are you from?
I'm Jordan Quick, a 25-year-old based out of Long Beach, CA.
What got you interested in visual art, and what age were you?I've always been interested in art as far back as I can remember, my whole thing as a kid was having a pen or pencil in hand, but I got into graphic design my freshman year in high school but didn't take it seriously until my senior year.
What were some of your influences growing up?
My influences growing up as far as art was 1000% 90s cartoons like Dragon Ball Z and shit like that.
What is Ammaring?
Ammaring is a design group that consists of myself, my brother Troy and two of my design friends Isaiah and Noah.
I was wondering if that was your brother, he designs also? And he takes photos too, right?
Yeah, he does photography and graphic design as well.
How is he?
He’s good, he’s a busy man and always working he’s going to take over the world soon.
Do you think your guys' work influences each other in any way?
Yeah 100%, I think we push each other to continue working hard. But we’re a team like our art is separate but we also work together on a ton of projects outside of Ammaring.
Who was the first to get into design you or Troy?
I was introduced to photoshop and illustrator long before Troy, but we both have always had a love for art, design, and clothes.
When did you come up with your Mad Mouse character?
I came up with the Mad Mouse character I want to say two years ago out of boredom. I wanted to make something iconic and started thinking about Kaws and how he's taken so many iconic characters and put his spin onto it, and that gave me the idea to create the Mad Mouse. I flipped his head upside down for a literal representation of the world upside down.
Besides Kaws, are there any other visual artists that you think influenced you?
I get influenced by a lot; there are a ton, I find new artists that influence me every day. Currently, Nathalie Nguyen is a significant influence; she does a lot of cool animation and 3D stuff.
What's a typical day for Jordan Quick?
A typical day for me in quarantine is waking up around 9 am and letting my dog out to pee. I eat breakfast, then work on either designs and art or play video games until I work on designs or art. I’m probably postmating lunch and taking my dog back outside to pee. My whole day pretty much revolves around working on art, playing video games, and worrying about my dog peeing on furniture forreal.
What's your dogs’ name? How long have you had them?
My dogs’ name is Sosa named him after Chief Keef. He’s only five months, so he still does annoying puppy shit, but he's a good dog.
What’s your favorite Chief Keef bar?
My favorite right now is probably “Girly ass nigga break you like a barbie leg
Pussy ass boy, get that bitch a barbie pen
You don't want gang up in yo shit? Don't have a party then.”
But also mailbox is my favorite Keef song, it’s so hard.
If you had to pick one, what would it be, movies or music?
That’s hard, man. I love music and movies equally. They both go hand and hand; some great movies would be terrible without the soundtrack.
What have you been listening to recently?
I've been listening to HeyDeon - Emotional Wreck and Rio Da Yung OG
What got you into animation?
I’ve always had a love for animation. I just never had the patience actually to learn how it was done until recently. Early 90s cartoons and anime influence me heavily, but my animation style is more of 1970s Bakshi.
I wanted to ask about Ralph Bakshi. When I first saw your animations, that was the first connection I made. When did you discover him, and what about his work caught your attention? I've always thought of being able to find films like that, and just the idea of them existing in the first place is so bizarre and special. I found out about him when I was maybe 16. I randomly watched Fritz the Cat, and that shit fucked me up! But in the best way possible it instantly became one of my favorite movies the art style alone caught my attention and then just the madness and the extremes that he took the movie too drew me in. It’s truly a one of a kind movie.
It’s originality at its finest. Looking at your work, you do a lot more than just your Mad Mouse character, but even that, being a pre-existing figure and iconic cartoon character the spin you bring to it and the various forms you give it makes it feel 100% yours. It gives me the same feeling as discovering something as weird and unique as Bakshi.
Thank you man I appreciate that that’s exactly what I wanted to do so I’m happy to know that the point is getting across to others.
Do you think any other characters you’ve drawn will make reappearances in your work similar to Mad Mouse? I gotta say that gun-toting character from that shots from above animation you posted on Instagram is one of my favorites.
Yeah, I don’t have a name for that character yet but he’s definitely going to make more reappearances along with Terror Boy. He’s the kid I’ve drawn a few times with the army helmet and band-aids on his face. The plan eventually is for the Mad Mouse to take the backseat to those characters.
When you’re designing, what helps you get in that zone?
Sometimes it can be music other times I just need peace and quiet, but honestly, it's usually automatic. I don't need much to get to work.
What's your go-to convenience store purchase?
Probably some kind of gummy candy or gum.
Your sold out of your Mad Mouse plush in 2 days, I think? How does that feel, and do you have any other plans for releasing other physical versions of your work anytime soon?
Bro, it sold out in exactly 24 hours. It was so nuts man because it was my biggest project and lowkey was nervous, but they were flying.
It’s a really good feeling and just showed me that I’m on the right path. I have a lot planned I’ll have more toys out soon been talking to a few friends about collabs as well so we’ll see how that goes.
Your brother shot the photos for the plush toys, what made you want him to do it? My brother shoots everything I do. He knows exactly what I want to be done without even saying it; also he has his own ideas, which is great. We just work really well together, and things always come out perfectly when we work together.
What’s the rest of 2020 look like for you?
The rest of 2020 is more art, toys and clothing just really trying to finish the year strong with my upcoming drops.
Text Jasmine Reiko