Artist series : Jake Blanchard
Kitsch, colorful, childish or even psychedelic: Jake Blanchard’s style, an English artist, is pure happiness. The kind of world that, I must admit, reminds me of the time when my bed was covered with a fabulous Waikiki blanket and of one of my schoolmates, Sergei, who used to mimic seals during brake times. In addition to his work as an illustrator, Jake spends his time in his music Label and with Tor Press (Artistic magazines).
Hello Jake, can you tell us who you are ?
I’m a freelance illustrator and print maker currently based in London, I grew up in the Peak District in the North of England. In my spare time I also run a record label and zine publisher called Tor Press.
Did you study at an art school or are you kind of a self-taught?
Yes I studied Illustration at the University Of Brighton. I think to some degree creativity can’t really be taught, you have to learn it for yourself but University really gave me the time to investigate my working methods and get other peoples opinions on my work.
Are you obsessed with animals and Incas?
I’m really interested in animals, I think that came from growing up in the countryside. I’m also fascinated by mythology, folklore and ancient cultures, whether it’s the myth behind their beliefs or the associated artwork.
Your designs are generally very colorful, but mostly “freaking”. Where do you find inspiration?
Inspiration comes from everywhere really, I listen to a lot of music, quite a lot of experimental and psychedelic stuff. I also try and look at other illustrators and artists week whenever I get chance, it can be really inspiring to see what other people are doing. Being in London there’s so much creative talent around, whether it’s illustration, design, music sculpture, whatever you want really.
Parallel to your illustrator job, you run the website “Tor Press”. Can you explain us what is the project? What is your job?
Tor Press started to release a compilation CD and zine I was working on, the idea was to have illustrators react to music, I was also working on a number of art zines at the time so the all kind of came together to become Tor Press. It was really a way for me to work with other illustrators and musicians that I admire. There’s lots of other things I’d like to do with it but time and money prevent me from following through every idea I have. At the moment I’m really focusing on releasing more music and trying to really push the artwork side of the things, lots of hand printed covers and sets of prints….
It seems that there is a million of ideas in your head. Which is the last idea that is gone out of it?
Right now I’m working on some lino printed cassette sleeves, they are printed on cardboard mailers and are a 3 colour gradient print with a black print over the top, they’re proving pretty tricky as it’s fairly complicated and cardboard isn’t ideal for lino printing but I’m really enjoying trying to work out how to do it.