One Thursday in early February, I called Dillon Bakke around 2 PM.
“Hey, Dillon! Is this a good time for our interview?”
“Yeah, man. I just woke up.”
The subject of our interview was Doodle with Dillon, a video series that has Bakke collaborating with local artists and illustrators to create free-form visual experiments on themes like, for example, “lust.” Bakke aspires to present 26 biweekly episodes over the course of the coming year. For the first episode, though, he’s flying solo.
How did this series come to be?
It started a couple of years ago with the interactive drawing walls we had at these parties Anthem Heart was having. We made drawing walls because we didn’t want people to do graffiti on the walls of the Anthem Heart space—we figured we’d give them a designated area. People really enjoyed it, and it started to develop its own identity. I figured I’d take these artists I was collaborating with and make a video series. In a lot of cases I didn’t even know their names, so this is kind of a quest as well. My aspiration is for people to see what Minnesota has to offer, what our art culture has developed into. I want to document what’s happening in our scene. We have lots of love to give.
How did you become involved with MPLS.TV?
My friend Matt Visionquest was telling me about titles he’d done for MPLS.TV’s City of Music videos, and I told him that sounded fun and interesting. I contacted Dan Huiting, and we did the titles for the Dark Dark Dark video. Things progressed from there into me doing more titles and a music video for Cloud Cult, and now I’m doing my own video series.
How did you become an artist?
My mother kind of influenced me to do it. At a very young age she put a pencil and a piece of paper in front of me—I started doodling, and haven’t stopped. I can remember, in kindergarten, making love letters for my first girlfriend and putting them in her mom’s mailbox. They weren’t really letters, they were illustrations.
What projects are you personally proudest of?
I did a series of free illustrations; I maxed out at 60 black-and-white 8 1/2 x 11 illustrations within a six- or seven-month period. I’d go to events and hand photocopies of these illustrations out, asking people to color the black-and-white illustrations. It’s going back to analog interactive art—me working with other people to get them involved in art. A couple of people scanned the color versions of my illustrations and tagged me on Facebook and things like that, so I was interacting with people on different levels.
Who are your favorite artists?
When I was a kid it was H.R. Giger. I was influenced by a lot of horror films, so my illustrations were very gory. Now, it’s Aubrey Beardsley, Keith Haring, Diego Rivera. I think Rivera has really good compositional pieces—his murals are amazing.
What do you put in your tacos?
Well, I try to keep my tacos clean, so I don’t get sick. No one wants to get salmonella from bad lettuce. I like pink shells with sour cream—and some pepper jack cheese, because I want that shit hot.
Interview conducted and contributed by- Jay Gabler