Isaac Klunk

Isaac Klunk

Illustrator, Visual Artist

October 2, 2015




Tell us a little bit about some of your past projects:

 I’ve been doing illustration work for the past 7 years, both editorial work and for children’s books. I’ve been drawing live caricatures at parties and events for the past 6, and have shown work at various galleries and events around town.


What are you currently working on?:

I’m currently illustrating a children’s book for a local hospital. The book, which is more of a comic book than a traditional illustrated book, is intended for youths who are staying at the hospital for extended periods of time, primarily to let them know about the resources that are available to them there and how to develop coping skills. It’s unfolding very nicely and the author and myself are both super excited about it.


Living in Toledo is an advantage for your work because:

The rent’s low and the parking spots are plentiful.


One of your greatest successes :

I won a few fairly prestigious awards for various comics I drew in college. Among them was a runner-up national journalism award for some work I did for my college newspaper. They gave me a cool black obelisk with my name engraved on it. Damn, that was like seven years ago though? I should probably go out and have another success in case somebody else asks me this.


What inspires you?:

It’s kind of an insane and amazing time to be an artist. Anybody with a Tumblr or Facebook can basically drown themselves in incredible artwork that other people from all over the world are producing and putting online for free viewing. In 2015 you can’t walk two feet without tripping over some beautifully crafted thing, so to me it’s just a matter of keeping your eyes and heart open to it all.


About your background:

I was born in Toledo. Soon after, I realized I enjoyed drawing more than being around people. Eventually I majored in comics at the Savannah College of Art and Design in Georgia.


A favorite quote you try to live by?

I once got a fortune cookie that read “Seek out the significance of your problem at this time. Try to understand.” I have that written on the inside of my bedroom doorframe so I’ll see it before I go out into the world every morning. I think it’s pretty important advice.


What's your favorite local culture in Toledo?:

I’ve lived in the Old West End most of my life and I think it’s a pretty remarkable place. There’s a great sense of community and it somehow seems like a magnet for interesting people with interesting inner drives, interesting motivations, and interesting mustaches.

Toledo’s ‘best-kept secret’ is…

At the moment it appears to be an I-75 ramp anywhere near my house which is not closed for construction.


Your favorite place to chill locally is…

Rudy’s. I like to sit in one of the corner booths, surrounded by seniors drinking coffee and staring out of windows, and read while enjoying not being around anybody who knows my name.


Favorite natural space in Toledo:



When not working hard, you can be found…

Generally still in my studio, working less hard. The internet is frequently involved.


If you could change the current landscape for creative progressive people in Toledo...

It would be wonderful if Toledo was a large and diverse enough place to accommodate a few more niche interests. There are lots of ways that could manifest, but what specifically comes to mind for me is a movie theater that plays new releases that don’t involve Adam Sandler or superheroes. There are people who are interested in things like that, but unfortunately the community doesn’t currently seem big enough to support niceties like that for very long, despite seeming big enough for their absence to feel wrong.


One person (living or deceased) you’d like to collaborate with:

Lana Del Rey. Backup answer: any musician in need of album art who has an audience primarily composed of sad and alienated teenagers. My life's ambition is basically to produce artwork that connects with depressed youths enough that they want to grow up and do the same.


An album, book or website you can’t live without:

Facebook has gone a long way toward making life bearable for introverts like myself.


Three words that best describe you and/or your work:

You tell me.


Your 6 ‘desert island’ album picks: 

Radiohead - Amnesiac

Bright Eyes - Fevers and Mirrors

Sufjan Stevens - Carrie and Lowell

MONO & World’s End Girlfriend - Palmless Prayer / Mass Murder Refrain

A Silver Mt. Zion - “This is Our Punk-Rock,” Thee Rusted Satellites Gather + Sing

Brand New - Deja Entendu


Biggest vice is…

I believe our biggest weaknesses are often the source of our greatest strengths, and vice versa. In my case I occasionally am bad at balancing a desire for solitude with the necessity of maintaining relationships to the extent necessary to maintain health and equilibrium. But this has its advantages.


I’d like to see _______ in Toledo.

See above answer regarding the landscape for creative progressive people.


The last dream you recall:

I never remember my dreams, though for the past few weeks I’ve awoken to the vague awareness that they have all been nightmares.


The last lyric that moved you:

"Should I tear my eyes out now? / Everything I see returns to you, somehow." (Sufjan Stevens, "The Only Thing")


One movie character you identify with:

Carol, from Where the Wild Things Are.


The best gift I ever received was…

Someone I loved once gave me a box full of darkness.


My most inspiring moment is/was:

Reading Chris Ware’s “Quimby Mouse” for the first time.


I want my last meal to be: 

The Snapper Tempura roll from Sori Sushi. And a cherry Coke.


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