Monday, 15 February 2010

Jack Teagle.

Jack Teagle - A magpie and Illustration machine...

Tell us a little about yourself? How old are you (if you don’t mind) and where are you currently living?

I'm 23 and I'm living with my parents on the outskirts of Newquay. I have their full support in trying to get off the ground with my illustration, and I couldn't ask for more at the moment. I would love to raise enough money to move out, move somewhere with a little more life and support myself through illustration. I have a little studio set aside .

Anorak magazine cover illustration

Firstly, What are you working on now?

I'm working on a comic I've written and drawn for Nobrow press called 'Job Centre'. It's about a man who has to fight in a dungeon underneath a job centre to continue recieving benefits. I'm also creating a body of work for a solo show at the Nobrow Press studios in London. My 'Fight' project from univeristy picked up interest from a gallery in Portugal and I will be having a solo show in June to display my work as well as some newer pieces made specially for the show.
With commerical work, I've just finished some designs for some children's surfwear, and I'm working on an illustration for the next issue of the YCN magazine 'ideas illustrated'.

How did you get your first full commission/brief? What did it involve?
My first commission was for the trade magazine 'Research World'. The art director got in touch with me after seeing my work online. It was an editorial piece for 'Reading Consumer Minds' and was about how people's minds work in different situations, and how concentrating too hard on getting things done can actually halt progress on work. It was a really enjoyable piece to work on and lead to more work on the magazine in the next issue.

How important were your formal art studies?
Very important. Although I produce a lot of naive looking work, good drawing ability, p
lanning and colour theory are very important to the finished outcome. Everything I learnt has influenced how I work in some way.

A gift to his parents on their anniversary

What advice would you wish you had during 1 and 2nd year?

You are creating images, let them get seen! Start putting your work out NOW! Start making connections. Websites aren't too important in the 1st and 2nd year, but building a strong web prescence and following can do wonders for your work, it practically sends itself over the internet through different blogs and features. A blog is a great starting point, just make sure you can't give people an excuse to not know who you are!

How about for the people due to finish this year?

Try to get a professional website, or a very nice looking blog on the go. When you cold call art directors and e-mail them, they may not want you to send samples to their e-mail address. A website is a good way to show them your work without this problem.

Jack's GDEX 320 project 'Fight!'

What’s the hardest thing about being an Illustrator?

Manic mood swings. I've had to sign on a few times and things are unpredictable. I've only ever had summer jobs, and the area I live in has very few jobs, there is no part time work, so it's very hard to support myself, and I go through low points. However, in these times I solidly work on personal projects and paintings, since I have the time.

You can alienate yourself, and I persecute myself relentlessly and never give myself time off, my brains always ticking away!

Any weird ‘ritual’ type things you need in place to work?

I usually have to drink a hot drink before going into the studio, and the room has to be warm. Over winter my hands have gone numb without having heating on, and I've had to stop a few times to warm them up!

What or who inspires you?
I love Gary Baseman. Not just for style, but because he's done everything, paintings, show, editoral work, advertising, animation, kids books. I've love to get somewhere like that.

Alternative comics inspire me, I love how they don't follow the rules of the mainstream, and some really push boundaries. I'm obsessed with really geeky stuff, I love the look of badly made action figures, old mis-printed comics and pop culture stuff, it has a look about it where it really had a human touch, unlike a lot of computer and masproduced stuff around today.

I know it's very 'fashionable' to be into alchemy, mysticism and the occult, but I love the flat way in which most of the illustrations from those times were very naive and flat, yet so easy to read, I try to produce work in a similar style to what I've seen. Outsider art is also a huge inspiration, it ignores trends, and the artists creating the work don't seem to worry about where their work should fit in, they just create it.

I think werid and avant garde film fuels my sense of humour as well. David Lynch is always going to inspire. Takashi Miike also makes great films. I love John Waters, and midnight movies too.

What keeps you motivated?

I keep telling myself I know I can make things happen. Sometimes I get messages of encouragement, or see my work somewhere, and I know that there is an audience for what I do. I've build myself into a routine now where I feel like something is wrong if I havn't drawn or painted at least once a day!

What past or present day illustrators do you admire most?

Charley Harper, and Richard Scarry, they use amazing colours and they manage to simplify the world in their images without missing anyhting out, I love their highly stylised work. I love Edward Gorey's pen work, I think his mark-making is amazing, and his stories are great, people need to make darker books!

I love the work of Ryan Heshka, his skills are incredible! I love Dave Cooper, Christian Northeast, Reg Mombasa, Gary Panter and Gary Taxali. They demonstrate that you don't have to create safe, boring work to fit into the industry. Just be yourself, enjoy what you're doing, and relax.

One essential website?

probably, it has some great inspiration and advice on there. If you get work on there and you're from the UK, it can sometimes lead to a break in the american market, a lot of art directors read that blog.

One essential book?

I really can't decide, that's a really cruel question! I love those Tashcen books that catalogue vintage illustration, they're a great source of inspiration. I have some amazing science fiction and horror film poster books that I swear by too.

Where do you see yourself within the next few years?

Hopefully realy happy, working full time self-employed. I can't imagine a better job than having something that takes up your whole life that you love to pieces . A few more comics behind me, a few more solo shows, and a lot of editorial work. I'd love to have my hands in all the pies! I'd want to be totally self reliant.

Is there a web address where we can see some of your work?

'The pope of mope'

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