Takin' It To The Street: An Interview With Patrick Hughes

This Friday, Oct. 18, the Residence Hall Association will be hosting their annual event, BC Street, featuring performances by our very own dance and a capella groups, free food from El Pelon and local professional street performing duo The Red Trouser Show. Another unique feature added to this year’s lineup showcases one of BC’s own creative masterminds, Patrick Hughes.

The scraping of chair legs and excited chatter of clusters of friends, common ambiance in The Rat, surrounds the table as Patrick takes a seat, clad in a funky sweater and an enthusiastic smile. With his sunny disposition and infectious sense of humor, Patrick’s persona immediately puts me at ease.

Hey there, Pat, thanks for joining me today. Could you possibly tell me a little bit about yourself?

"Well, I’m Patrick Hughes. I’m a senior in A&S with a double major in biology and art from Bergen County, New Jersey. Bergen County is very close to New York and the borough of Manhattan. I feel like this is a dating profile," he jokes. "I really like comic books, video games...I’m basically a “huge nerd." In terms of other “things” I really like Coolidge Corner and anything art-related. I visit the MFA as much as I possibly can.

That’s pretty lovely. So what are some projects and groups you’re involved with on campus?

"Well I draw a weekly comic strip for The Heights and if you want to see all of my work from this year it’s available here. In addition to that, I create illustrations for BC Reads, do design work for BC Allies and am a graphic designer at MTS (Media Technology Services). Aside from that I have a weekly radio show on WZBC with two of my roommates every Friday morning."

Patrick Hughes (1)

It seems like you’re quite involved. Also, you mentioned BC Reads... What type of organization is it for those who aren't as familiar?

"It’s a student-run organization with the goal of encouraging reading for pleasure. Faculty and students can communicate and review books while also volunteering and working on creative projects. My job is to actually give an illustration along with a review article to make it more compelling and entertaining."

That sounds very interesting. So out of curiosity, when did you realize that art was something you loved?

"Actually freshman year of college, I originally came in pre-med and took an art elective, which I really enjoyed and it encouraged me to take other art classes. I actually want to go to grad school for something creative."

Is there any particular inspiration behind your work?

"Oh most definitely. Art never exists in a vacuum. I’ve been influenced by contemporary artists like [harkavagrant.com creator] Kate Beaton, Noelle Stuyvesant and her web series, and of course Adventure Time and other works by Pendleton Ward. In terms of classic inspiration I would have to go with classic pop art artists like Roy Lichtenstein. Inspiration can really be thought of as a process of accruing sources to look at and draw out creativity."

Do you have any other projects you’re working on?

"My senior thesis (yikes), which will hopefully be a graphic novel. I’m trying to think of it as my senior project rather than my senior thesis."

Well that’s definitely a creative project in its own league. So what advice do you have for anyone wishing to pursue art or an interest in general?

"Well, I guess I would say if you’re interested in something then just do it. I understand that at first you may be unsure, but I was in that same boat freshman year and even sophomore year. It can be easy to psyche yourself out but if you sketch things and make projects in your free time then by virtue you’ll get progressively better. If it’s something you’re passionate about, do as much as you can with it. For example, I taught myself Photoshop and Dreamweaver. They are a means to an end and it’s all about going out there and getting your feelers out."

Last, but not least, when and where will you be doing your caricatures?

"I’ll be doing them in two shifts – 10 a.m.-12 p.m. and 1-2 p.m. – in O’Neill Plaza. And if you’d like to see any more of my work check out my portfolio or my main blog.

Photos courtesy of Jono Keedy/Gavel Media

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