He is a man of many monikers: you may know him as Vornander, Scrib.i.am or maybe even Gomez, but these days he goes by Justadude, so that is how we shall refer to him henceforth. (Because ya know, he’s just a dude ain’t he?)
Justadude began his teletext career in 2014, drafting worksheet art under the name ‘Shibby’ for a Superbyte Festival workshop in Manchester. Since then he has been a regular contributor to group exhibitions, textmode competitions and the fondly-remembered Weekly Teletext Art challenges of 2021.
However, JAD’s frequent tendency to sell up and move (virtual) home has always made his older work difficult to track down.
For the very first time, the enigmatic Mr Dude has allowed us all access to his personal collection of teletextual delights, so we can rightfully archive them for generations to come. What a dude!
Just one of Dude’s ongoing motifs is his (world-famous?) juggling Santa Claus. To date, he has submitted at least two of these artworks for the community Advent calendars, and I am reliably informed there are more to come!
Note the 6-year gap between these works, and the inevitable development in style. The first was created with an edit-tf template and drawn with a mouse, whereas the latter employs more advanced use of colour and text codes.
Six years? Has Santa really been juggling that long?! –Ed
Weekly Teletext Art (2021)
During Lockdown 2020, Dude was regalvanised in his output.
By 2021 he had become a prolific teletexter, submitting works to many of the Weekly Teletext Art challenges hosted by ZXGuesser. The randomly-selected prompt combinations proved perfect for his abstract style, resulting in some humorous collages of ideas and objects.
A particular highlight for myself is TV Head Man (perhaps Max Headroom in disguise?) lighting the way through ‘TV darkness’ to lead us into a new era of teletext art.
JA-Dude has stated that he is heavily inspired by Blippypixel, frequently incorporating futuristic cityscapes and thoughfully-crafted glitch elements into his art. His abstract pieces pay homage to the Blipster, making great use of faux-interference to break rows and inject fascinating ‘defects’.
Some of the below images were originally submitted for the Weekly Teletext Art Challenges, but I thought they looked cooler under this heading!
Teletext is not just for graphics, but words too. Now and then, Dude is inspired to flex his poetic muscles in teletextual form. Perhaps inspired by Yle’s Thought of the Day, these verses often address his favourite subject: minimalisme, minimalisme, minimalisme.
The J-Dude has a number of styles in his arsenal to call upon at a moment’s notice, one of them being a simpler lineart aesthetic.
These colour-on-black portraits feel reminiscent of graphic adventure games from ’80s home microcomputers, or perhaps chalkboard doodles created when the teacher wasn’t looking.
Recent competition/artpack contributions
Justadude’s tribute to Matti ‘Mr Finnish Teletext’ Ramo was featured in an August 2022 artpack by Mistigris. It was subsequently shown, albeit in slightly edited format, on Yle Text as part of their 41st birthday celebrations.
In June 2023, ‘What is Your Net Worth?’ placed third in the NOVA Party teletext competition, his best-performing artwork to date.
These artworks exhibit more of Dude’s range, from the ‘Horsenborder’ to graphic-mode lettering and solid banks of colour that he has been applying more recently.
The Dude’s future
If Justadude’s art is anything to go by, the future will be a world clouded by snowy interference, but a meticulously manufactured one populated by juggling Father Christmases sitting in trees on floating islands.
We shall leave you with a final selection of notable Dudeworks, a nice package of funny and cool stuff from his archive up to November 2023. Keep it blocky.