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We’re going behind the mind of flag.acid!

Allow me to dive into the rebellious work of Ferdia McMorrow, or who his followers know him as “flag.acid”. I was scrolling my Instagram timeline like a regular Wednesday night and couldn’t help but pause as a vibrant flag.acid original popped up on my phone. 

Suddenly my eyes widened and focused. Before I knew it the vibrant cartoon image transformed into a repulsive and comedic expression. Before you ask, no … This isn’t the first time I came across animation … but Ferdia’s style and expressions are truly unique and open to the imagination. 

Ferdia’s work opposes the stylitisc choices of normal animation found throughout different media. Embracing the old school frame by frame drawing and applying the same attention to detail through each frame to create a truly unique finalised work. And in flag.acid’s case the finalised work is a truly shocking and striking image bursting at the seems with character under the strict capabilities of the device Ferdia uses to bring his imagination to life with.

I won’t go on and on, instead we can hear from the man himself. I reached out to Ferdia McMorrow to talk about his art, inspiration and his influences. You can check that out below and go through his building portfolio! 

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As an outsider, your work is striking, comedic, punky, and at times… repulsive (in a good way). I’d love to know what goes on behind the mind of flag.acid. Where did this style and artform come from?


When I was teenager I used to do all this really impressive like photorealistic art. Looking back now, I didn’t really enjoy doing it, but I was pretty good at it and people liked it so I did it.

As a teenager (during the boring art years that I mentioned) I started getting really into music as my creative output and I worshiped anything that fell under punk. I really like this idea that punk took traditional tools and formats of music and pushed them to make really weird stuff. Punk art was obviously intelligent and really important, but that didn’t mean it had to be really technical or scholarly or something. It’s probably really obvious for other people but that was a big learning experience for me, to see that getting better at art wasn’t about making things look more realistic (That wouldn’t work for animation anyway, you’d be so burnt out). Learning this made it clearer to me why I was always excited to draw weird cartoons. Cartoons have always been weird, they’re surreal and violent but presented as fun and cheery. Not so much anymore, but definitely old Looney Tunes and Cartoon Network stuff that I grew up watching. Looking back at that content through an adult lens, you see how gross and awful some of that stuff was. Not that it’s bad or anything, it just wasn’t presented to you like that as a child, so you didn’t see it. It’s really interesting for me to see the clear adult themes that existed in the cartoons my generation watched as children. It reinforces that illustration / animation is a real and expressive art form that can be viewed through many lenses.

Most of the stuff I do now is more like a continuation of the art I did when I was a child. When I started doing art I was drawing cartoon characters out of magazines or off TV shows and that was how I learned. Back then I always wanted to make cartoons and animate them but was so clueless about how any of that worked.

“I wouldn’t get that much fun out of drawing some normal person looking really normal.”

The first time I learned that an artist could animate a piece of film on their own was seeing Chris O’Neill and Zach Hadel’s work. The stuff they were doing back then definitely wouldn’t fly today but it exposed me to the idea of being able to animate on your own (the work they do today is amazing, they’re really talented guys). When I was 18 I went to Colaiste Dhulaigh to do animation, I did that for a year but decided I wanted to do something broader in college because I wasn’t sure what area I wanted to specialize in. I then moved to IADT Dun Laoghaire to do Creative Media Technologies. I fell out of doing art for a couple of years but got back into it through friends of mine who have the band Stupid Son. They were gonna put out a cassette and wanted a few different artists to do covers for it. I had never really thought about doing art for the rest of my life until I made that cover. I think it’s still my favourite thing I’ve done just because how important that time was for me. That got the ball rolling for working with bands, that was like 2019 I think. I started wanting to animate again around 2020 when I seen the Jamie Wolfe video for ‘Cellular’ by King Krule. I love that video so much and it made me want to animate for the first time in years.

When I animate I start by drawing something. I’ll draw for ages sometimes before I do something I like. Then I’ll just animate it becoming more sinister or awful. Usually it’s a character. It’s kinda like taking something nice and ruining it but I really enjoy it, and I usually end up liking the weirdest frame more than the frame I started with. I can’t explain why animating like this is the pattern that I’ve settled into. I’m learning now that a lot of the time I spend doing art is trying to undo habits that I’ve picked up. I think to keep art as an enjoyable and sustainable career for myself, I need to keep changing and learning new things. Sometimes the change is working with a new person or project and sometimes it’s pushing the boundaries of what I’m artistically capable of.

Emotions don’t come to me much when I’m actually creating art or animating but I’m aware that the content of a lot of the art is weird and maybe anxious. The faces I illustrate are never some content person. It’s usually someone who’s maybe not mentally doing very well or have a streak of villainy about them. Character studies is maybe what you’d call it. I think that counts for illustration too. I think that’s how most portraits work though, you’re trying to get across more than just what the person looks like. I think with some of my art I’m trying to express the harsher side of the character. I don’t know why I like doing that kind of stuff but I can definitely say I wouldn’t get that much fun out of drawing some normal person looking really normal.

Some people tell me that the art I do is funny which I really like hearing. I’m sure they don’t mean it’s laugh out loud funny but I like that this is the reaction sometimes.

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As always, there is more to explore in the void!

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