Meet Bianca Xunise, who has been illustrating her fave punk & rock idols for IFC & Night Flight!

By on August 3, 2018

Meet Bianca Xunise, an illustrator/graphic designer based in Chicago who recently partnered up with the IFC cable network and Night Flight to do original illustrations of her fave punk & rock idols.

BIANCA12

Bianca Xunise, photo by Thumy Phan

Bianca Xunise is an illustrator and cartoonist based out of Chicago.

Her work primarily focuses on the plight and daily struggles as identifying as a young black feminist weirdo in modern society. Her story-telling can range from simple relatable slice of life content to complex nuanced narratives like police brutality that have garnered her an Ignatz Award for Promising New Talent.

Bianca’s work has been published on diverse platforms such as Hello Niggles (here, and here, and here), The Nib, Bitch Magazine, the Washington Post and NYLON, and she’s been interviewed by the BBC, Nerdist, and Riotfest.

BIANCA15

Bianca was born and raised by a family of artists on the South Side of Chicago, and after a quick stint of living the artist dream in NYC, she’s back in Chicago, where she makes a home for herself and her two cats.

She graduated from the University of Illinois at Chicago with a BFA in Graphic Design in 2012, and since then she’s been working steadily as an illustrator and designer with clients such as Ragu and People Magazine.

BIANCA2
The one & only Bad Brains, pull-quote provided by @henryandheidi; illustration by Bianca Xunise

When she’s not doodling away, Bianca is usually off somewhere dreaming of the Mothman while listening to the Damned.

She recently got the chance to meet Alice Bag and Kevin Haskins from Bauhaus once told her how much he loved the comic she drew of his band!

BIANCA3

You can view more of Bianca’s art at her website, or her blog, Avant Blargh, or on Facebook, Tumblr, Instagram and lots of other online destinations.

She also has her own Etsy shop — where she sells her drawings in the form of prints, posters, and pins — and you can also buy some of her designs at Adorned by Chi.

BIANCA13

Photo by Stephanie Jensen

Below, we asked Bianca to tell her a little about her interest in ’80s music, her favorite “punk & rock” idols and her thoughts about Night Flight.

Night Flight: Hi, Bianca! Can you tell us a little about your interest in ’80s-era music? How’d that happen?

Bianca: My interest in ’80s music definitely came out of having artist club kid parents who played this music all the time when I was growing up. We would have little dance parties on the weekends, and I learned all the songs from my mom, who is honestly still my inspiration!

NF: Who are some of your favorite ’80s bands/artists, and what are some of your favorite songs/albums by them?

Bianca: My taste is super eclectic and all over the place. Right now I can’t stop playing New Gold Dream (81–82–83–84) by Simple Minds. I snagged the record last summer and it’s absolutely beautiful. Clear with purple and gold flecks — I’m obsessed with it. My favorite song in there is “Someone Somewhere in the Summertime,” since I’m all about summer jams right now.

If I had to just rattle off some of my favorite bands and artists they would be Bauhaus, Sisters of Mercy, the Damned, X-ray Spex, Cocteau Twins, the Chameleons, Joy Division, Kate Bush and Siouxsie Sioux.

I’ve also been on a Slits kick, but that’s more ’70s, which I am also a nerd about. Also, for every band I named I’m sure I’ll be kicking myself for not naming another one tomorrow, I love so many!

BIANCA6

Photo by Dee Williams

NF: We found a photo of you online diggin’ through vinyl at a record store, do you make regular visits to Chicago-area record stores and if so can you tell us about some of your favorite finds?

Bianca: Oh yeah, that was shot by my amazing photographer friend Dee at Reckless Records. I used to go there more often when I lived closer but now I’m always at Laurie’s Planet of Sound, and I’m friends with some of the employees there, including DJ Sam O’Rama, who I drew this comic about saving me some Damned Records!

BIANCA14

NF: We’ve already seen a few of your illustrations of ’80s-era artists — including Bad Brains (with the quote by Henry Rollins), Lydia Lunch, Morrissey/Smiths and your Poly Styrene/X-ray Spex poster “Oh Bondage Up Yours! — but can you tell us about some of the other bands/artists you may be doing illustrations of soon (if it’s not a secret!), or maybe some of the others you’ve already done that we don’t know about.

Bianca: Of course! I did this amazing comic with the boys from Bauhaus about the time they found a vintage hearse and used it as a tour bus. It was an amazing experience because I got to work with Kevin Haskins and he’s such a sweetheart. I’m really pleased how the comic came out.

I also did a comic for The Nib about Rock Against Racism. In there it features all types of bands I adore, such as the Selecter, the Specials, the Buzzcocks and the Clash.

BIANCA4

NF: You were born just a year or so before the original Night Flight cable TV show on the USA Network went off the air (or into syndication in the early ’90s), so we’re wondering, how did you find out about Night Flight?

Bianca: Night Flight has always been in my radar since I was a kiddo, but thanks to the internet I’ve been able to find clips and watch them whenever I want!

Thanks, Bianca!

BIANCA11

About Bryan Thomas

Bryan Thomas has been a freelancing writer/critic for All Music Guide, and a contributor to Launch, Music Connection, Big Takeover and numerous other publications and entertainment websites, blogs and zines, most of them long gone. He's written more than sixty sets of liner notes. He’s also worked for over twenty years at mostly reissue record labels -- prior to that he worked in bookstores and record stores, going all the way back to the original vinyl daze. He lives in the Miracle Mile neighborhood of Los Angeles, CA.