Who is Lewis Mallard?
A creative guy who wants to explore all the types of art he admires but doesn’t do.
Where did the idea come from? Why a mallard duck?
The initial idea was born while tripping on mushrooms on a sunny summer afternoon in Gage Park. At the time I had recently moved to Hamilton from Toronto and was looking for a reset on life. I needed a way to introduce myself to the city. I can’t say that I had a vision of a giant duck while I was high but I did feel the presence of this kind of alter ego creature that needed to be born into the physical world. After a few months of reflection, I settled on a mallard. My mother always told me I was a bit of an odd duck.
What is it like in the duck suit?
It was disorientated in the beginning, I lasted maybe an hour the first time I went out. That was for Supercrawl 2019, it felt like I was in there for ages. It’s never comfortable in the suit but it’s always fun. I’ve grown accustomed to being in it now and have found ways to make it a little more comfortable. The biggest surprise is to see people looking at me in a completely different way.
What is the typical reaction to a duck walking down Hamilton streets?
There are so many different reactions and it’s hard not to laugh sometimes. Most people are into it, some are not having it and look angry that someone would dare try and brighten up their day. A few people have threatened me or tried to hit me. I had been expecting that so it was interesting when it happened. I just run away. Dogs are either terrified or want to bite me.
What’s the meaning behind the Scrabble goose squares?
This project is still in the beginning stages and the city has been very receptive to me and that means a lot. I’m trying to engage people in a new way, give them a truly unique experience that they will remember. The tiles are kind of like a participation ribbon. I hope to have a new batch every month. Maybe people will collect them or something, that would be nice. It won’t always be Scrabble tiles, I just have a whole bunch of them in my studio so I thought I would use them for now.
What is a psychedelic folk artist?
It’s just an ambiguous label that I gave myself so I wouldn’t be pigeon-holed.
Lewis was created so I could step outside my comfort zone and explore. I want to share this whole process, every step of the way.
Where will we find Lewis Mallard next?
Around a corner when you’re not expecting him.
*Content has been edited for clarity and length.