For visual artist Chris Redekop, collaboration is the key to creativity.
“I don’t originate a lot of my own work anymore,” Redekop, who started in fine arts in the 1990s but took an extended break to work in film production and other careers, says. “I struggle a bit when I try to start my own stuff. It’s like writing. Sometimes you get writer’s block, but once you get started, you have something to build on.”
That starting point came when Redekop began collaborating with his romantic and creative partner, Melissa Greenhill. The duo produce work under the moniker Melisstopher.
“We had to fill the Brangelina void,” Redekop says.
“The way we work now is she’ll start a canvas then give it to me,” Redekop says. “Then I’ll work on it for a while, give it back to her and so on. Even if she paints one simple image on the canvas, that’s enough for me to start expanding on.”
In addition to creating original as well as fan-inspired art for local pop culture conventions, Redekop also hosts the new podcast Red River Ransom
(a play on the cult 1989 Nintendo game River City Ransom) on the Garbage Hill podcast network.
“I started the show about six months ago, and that’s been my main focus lately,” Redekop says of the podcast, in which he and guests discuss art, music, comics, movies and other niche pop culture topics. “It’s something I’ve always wanted to do.”
1) Recording/art room
“I like an austere aesthetic, so I have one room where I record the podcast, which is very cluttered. I like all the stuff in there. I just don’t want it all over the house, so I stick everything in that room.”
2) Receiving dish
“This is an heirloom from my dad’s grandparents. They were aristocrats in Russia before the Bolshevik Revolution. Their house servant used to carry this dish out to the door. If a guest wanted to see my great grandfather, they would have to put their name on a card, then they’d bring it to him, and he’d decide if he would receive them or not.”
3) Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours
“That’s my favourite album of all time. It’s not necessarily indicative of their whole catalogue, but that album on its own is, front to back, in my opinion the best album ever recorded. I first heard it when I was working in the film industry, preparing locations for shooting. The woman who owned one of the locations had this album. After I first heard it, I played it in repetition for three or four days straight.”
“This is another family heirloom. My mom’s dad was a conscientious objector in the Second World War. He was sent out to Mount Seymour to clear trees for the duration of the war, and he brought this with him.”
“Batman: The Animated Series is one of my favourite cartoon shows ever. The movie spinoff, Mask of the Phantasm, is my favourite animated movie of all time.”
6) Melissa Greenhill paintings
“This is some of Melissa’s solo work that she painted for me. I’m really not a fan of canned art. I try as much as possible to just hang original work or stuff that has sentimental value in the house.”
“That lamp was in my childhood basement rec room. My mom is culling her collection of crap, because they want to move into a smaller house. I begged for that thing. My mom knocked it over and broke it when she was vacuuming. She glued it back together and spray painted it gold. I briefly had a graphic design company in the early 2000s, and that was my logo.”
Published in Volume 71, Number 9 of The Uniter (November 3, 2016)