Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Jake Blanchard Interview

I recently came across an Illustrator named Jake Blanchard when I saw a video regarding his latest exhibition "Hylozoism". I thought Jake's work was grand and was particularly interested as he talks about using lino cut in the video, and also some thoughts on freelancing in general. So, I sent him an email and he very graciously replied! Here are his answers to my qusetions:

What are the main influences to your work, both personal and commisioned?

I guess the most obvious influences on my work are nature, tribal society, mythology etc etc, I grew up in the Peak District so that had a big impact. But I'm also hugely interested in music, particularly experimental stuff, drone, free jazz etc, and Biology and theoretical physics are often on my mind even if that doesn't necessarily show all too often in my work.

How important do you find “networking” with other people in the industry to be?

I think I'm pretty active in terms of keeping in touch with other illustrators, collaborating and commissioning. For me it's a really important part of my life, and I get a real kick out of promoting the work of other illustrators that I love. Thats why I run Tor Press, as a way of working with other illustrators and musicians that I love.

How much do you concentrate on self promotion and have you ever gained a commission from an unexpected or untraditional source?

I used to do a huge amount of self promotion, more than anyone else I know, I have posted out in the region of 2000 hand printed postcards in the past 3 years (although a lot of those were in packs of 3-5). I've been a little less active with mailouts recently although I do plan on doing more soon. It's a great way to get the attention on potential new clients and I have always really enjoyed a bit of post.

I first became aware of you when I saw the video for your current exhibition “Hylozoism”, where you talked about printmaking and lino cut in particular. In a time when so much illustration is produced with the click of a mouse, do you think that hand-made imagery has seen a resurgence in popularity?

Hand made imagery will always be around, even a lot of computer based works begins or directly comes from hand drawn works. All of my work for example. (although most of it goes through a computer at some stage) is hand drawn. I don't think it's a good thing to draw a comparison between the two. The computer is just another tool, I love working in different mediums, screen print, lino, painting, drawing, digital and wood carving, there's always more to learn and new things to try, it keeps it fresh.

I can't thank Jake enough for this brilliant reply, it is very much appreciated!

Check out his amazing work here


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