Vincent Tourigny is an illustrator and graphic designer based in Quebec, Canada. I met up with him when he visited London and talked to him about his culture, illustration and cycling. 

Quebec is the only francophone province of Canada - which is huge by the way - where there are more conifers than people. Since the language is different from the rest of the country, the culture is different too. There is a bigger need here to keep the cultural heritage alive. Even if we are few, we create a lot.

I am a freelance illustrator and do personal projects mostly. I make my living by drawing for the clothing industry. Every day, to keep fit, I go to work by bike, even in our snowy winters. It's convenient, environmentally friendly and cheap. I own 5 bikes! It has become a lifestyle for me.

Does your city have an influence on your work? 

I started to draw because of the city. I made graffiti for several years. The world of visual arts and illustration are small scenes in Quebec. Almost everyone knows each other. The interesting thing about here is the diversity of languages. The French and the English heritage. It’s really like a blend between Europe and America.

Even though Montréal is a small city compared to London, we still have a lot of cool stuff. For example, we have Drawn and Quarterly in Montreal. We also have Expozine, one of North America’s largest small press fairs. And Montreal attracts creatives. It's cheap! 

And London is expensive. What have you got from visiting London? 

My trip to London gave me the opportunity to reconnect with more spontaneous drawing habits, away from the computer screen. I dragged my sketchbook and pen with me everywhere. I sketched the places I visited. I'll publish a series of drawings based on the whole trip. The shapes, the architecture is so different here. And to be honest, it was just fun. 

I don’t have a ‘favourite’ subject to draw but my work is mainly inspired by references to pop culture and, above all, I love humour. Simplicity too. I recognize myself in an aesthetic with a crafty soul. I prefer methods of production that are not digital. I like the texture created by a pen and the rendering of screenprinting work.

And even when your work has a sense of humour, there is something quite bodily to it - brains, anuses, animals. When have you felt particularly close to your body? 

I am close to my body all the time! Especially on my bike. It’s at that specific moment I fully realize that I have a body.

Also, I’m hypochondriac - so when I ride, I always think I’ll have a heart attack and that the skin of my heart is made of hard leather that might crack like an old shoe.

And what's next? 

I am currently preparing a collaboration between ¡A MANO! (Montreal based sign painters) and Disamare (my bike cap company) for spring. I'm also working on an exhibition this fall with my collective: Le Bled - a joyful gang of Illustrators , photographers, and designers from Montreal.

Check out Vincent's work here. See below for some more illustrations that Vincent did especially for Funhouse. He says: 

"My girlfriend Cybèle B. Pilon is a Potter and an object enthusiast, so she challenged me to make a series of still life by randomly picking objects that she wrote down and put in a jar."