“She likes to create characters with chubby cheeks, fun bowl cuts and puffy outfits. Interested in combining the gross and the cute, her work usually has a hefty amount of slime and severed limbs. Meredith’s creative inspirations mainly come from watching too many cheesy 80s horror movies and hoarding fun birthday decorations to put on her wall.”

Could you introduce yourself?

My name is Meredith Bardo, I’m going to be senior at Pacific Northwest College of Art, majoring in illustration. I currently live in Portland, OR with 5 cute alpacasso’s.

What’s your life philosophy? How do you try to apply that to your work?

Basically try not to be too serious and find inspiration in literally whatever (trash, dollar store products, movie theater carpets, creepy gas stations, etc) I focus on making work that emphasizes finding fun in really mundane things or places by creating a relationship with these objects and characters. For me I don’t really want to depict crazy, fictional spaces but a stylized version of places and things we experience or ignore in our everyday lives.

Could you tell us what you think makes you stand apart in the art industry?

I am really good at drawing cute bears with giant thighs!

What is it about illustration that has connected with you the most, as opposed to other mediums of expression?

For me I enjoy how the definition of illustration is really open-ended, it isn’t tied to just one medium or process. I like having the freedom to express my illustrative style through a bunch of mediums, like digital, painting, screen print or whatever. Even when I make sculptures or installations, I still feel I’m illustrating in a way; I’m just translating my illustrative vocabulary into another medium.

Could you tell us about your character with the bowl cut? Who are they, do they have a story?

Many of my characters have bowl cuts and at this point I don’t know if they’re all one person or if I just created a world where the most trendy haircut is just the bowl cut .. Either way, my bowl cut character(s) just love to have fun and eat snax. Sometimes they wear turtlenecks, sometimes they wear really baggy jeans with hella pockets. They also love sweet accessories, like a smiley face side bag, teddy bear necklace or dangly earrings. Their favorite activity is to have 90s rave dance parties in their gross, carpeted basement.

Your art seems to be influenced by internet culture today, do you feel that’s intentional, or something that came naturally?

I actually haven’t thought about that very much, I feel my influences have come more from watching a lot of 80s horror movies, collecting party supplies, Memphis Milano design and a lot of Italo Disco music vids.

Could you tell us a bit about your love of color? What do the specific colors that are most prominent in your work mean to you?

I just love cotton candy colors and am always attracted to pastel or bright things because they’re just so fun! I like to go wild with the color and make everything look really bright and shiny, almost to the point where it’s slightly uncomfortable. I want things to seem a little bit off in my images, where you just get overdosed with happy n cute pinks and seafoam green, but there’s also some severed fingers or unidentified sludge in the background.

What are some of your goals for 2016?

Get a freakin job!!! Make a bunch of fun paintings, finish my in-progress zine about a bunch of people in crop tops who go to summer camp and basically get massacred, screen print some sweet clothes, finally finish all of Naruto after 8 years and just eat a bunch of cream puffs.

What makes you happy?

Smiley face accessories, jumbo chocolate bars with nuts, cute corgi pics, uhhhhh watching kpop vids, anime, puff pastries, themed birthday parties, caramel covered apples with nuts, fruit gushers, those five minutes after you finished your therapist’s appointment, free samples, peppermint hot chocolate.

Any closing comments?

Follow ur dreams n remember to always muffle the sound of you crying alone in your room with really loud disco music.