Q&A with Tim Sta-Ana

A photograph of artist Tim Sta-Ana. Tim has pale blonde hair tucked into a black beanie. He is wearing a blue and white striped top underneath a black denim shearling jacket. He is turned towards the camera with a slight smile. This photo is superimposed on a background featuring a phone screen in landscape orientation. The phone screen is set to a camera app which is displaying a grey fuzzy texture on a black background. The top of the screen reads ‘THE SUBURBAN REVIEW ISSUE #17 THEFT.’

TIM STA-ANA is a multidisciplinary artist focused on animation and illustration, based in Melbourne. Previously an animation student at RMIT, he is currently a freelance animator and experimental web designer. He’s worked on a number of animated features, shows for Disney TVA, and shorts for Peter Helliar’s Frankie Fish series. Recently he’s worked with Sticky Institute, creating a poster for the Festival of the Photocopier. He also organises underground art shows, animation screenings, and events under the artist collective Fizzy Cool. Tim’s current work focuses on the feelings around relationships and loneliness. See more work on his website timmy.dog.

Our Art + Comics Editor David Mahler interviews Tim Sta-Ana about his cover art ‘Theft’ for #17 THEFT.

You’ve got a fun, chibi manga style that’s distinctly you, please tell me you’re an anime fan? I’d love to hear some sources of inspiration!

Haha thank you! I think I get my inspiration from all the bootleg cartoon/anime characters that were on so many things in the 90s growing up. I’d watch anime like Astro Boy, Cyborg 009 and early Cartoon Network shows like Dexter’s Lab and Powerpuff Girls. Nowadays I don’t have as much time for watching anime/cartoons but some notable favorites are Kaiba, Sonic X and Ed, Edd n Eddy. Some other sources of inspiration come from books or games I come across. I really love going into the rabbit hole of researching mascot characters in advertisements. There’s so many cool ideas and feelings that come from those old commercials.

You seem to bounce across mediums, your instagram has a great selection of your animation, fashion, design and even ceramic work. Do you see yourself moving towards graphic, product, toy design?

I think most of it comes from just wanting to do things I want to do. I feel a bit trapped sometimes when I stick to one medium. It would be cool to make toys! I bought a 3D printer so I wanna experiment with it, but 3D is so different and challenging for me coming from a 2D background. So please look forward to that.

As well as the latest TSR cover you smashed out a great poster for the Festival of the Photocopier zine fair earlier this year. Do you have any more projects in the works, commercial or personal?

Thanks! They were really good opportunities where I learned a lot. These days I’m working on some personal projects like a long-ish zine about kids who ride mechs, and some paintings maybe. I do have some projects in the works with a couple of my friends at @fizzycool.art (https://fizzycool.art) artist collective. But it’s mostly in a weird zone right now because of the events happening in the world.

Hope everyone is doing well in these times.

About David Mahler 10 Articles
DAVID MAHLER is a comic artist and filmmaker and Comics + Art Editor for The Suburban Review. Their first comic book ‘Deep Park’ was published in 2013 and their most recent, ‘The Secret Ingredient’ was hand-risograph printed and released during a residency at Tree Paper Comics in 2018. Their work has been published in The Lifted Brow, Cordite Poetry Review, Entropy, Voiceworks and more. They are interested in comics which utilise form to support a story. Additional graphic design at TSR is thanks to David.