Making it snappy with illustrator Jamie Kirk
Art Talk is Rooster's weekly interview with some of our favorite artists producing dope work for all to enjoy.
Name: Jamie Kirk
Hometown: Redcar, a small coastal town in the North of the UK.
Favorite day of the week: Sundays!
Favorite cereal: Sometimes I like to mix at least three because there’s too many!
Favorite type of milk for said cereal: Semi-skimmed. Though strawberry milk is a game-changer.
Best color combo: Orange & Purple
Were you scared of monsters as a kid? Let’s just say I like to keep the light on at night!
Favorite decade: I’m a 90’s kid.
Best font: Aller
Q: In a few short words, what do you do.
A: I’m an illustrator and artist.
Q: You're based in the UK but you travel a bunch. Any go to travel tips? What's your favorite city thus far?
A: Best travel tip - take more footwear than just a pair of flip-flops! Sydney was quite an incredible place, but my favorite City thus far is Cairns – head to Little Loco for the most amazing brekkie!
Q: I've seen some murals and zines as well as some commissioned work but where do you personally like to see your art the most?
A: I really enjoy seeing physical pieces of my work. Working digitally and having a place for my work online is great, but nothing quite beats holding something you’ve made or seeing it on a larger scale on a building or wall space.
Q: There seems to be a theme where your doodles meet real world images/scenarios, almost like a collision of worlds. What's your message here?
A: I think there’s a sense of wanting to escape my own limitations and add narrative to the things that surround us. I just want to encourage imagination, express playfulness and keep things fun!
Q: Do you skateboard or surf? We noticed a skater theme showing up on your page, what's the connection there?
A: I’ve skateboarded since I was around 12 years old, though I’m no better now than I was then! But it’s always been a huge love of mine, although my joints and knees don’t quite share the same love for it. Surfing is a new hobby I’ve recently picked up following my trip to Australia. There’s a nice little surf shack and some great surf where I live so it’s something I can definitely see influencing my work in the future.
Q: There is one illustration of a crocodile that appears quite a bit. Does this character have a name? What is the inspiration behind it?
A: The croc is called Snappy! I take a lot of inspiration from places I visit and people I meet, it gives me fuel for ideas and new directions to take my work. I like to tell stories through my characters and give people a world to explore through them; a sense of escapism I guess.
Q: Your illustrations remind me of Nickelodeon and Nike in the early 90's but that's because I'm a product of it. Are you drawn to any era in particular or any cartoons/etc?
A: Subconsciously, the 90’s is a huge influence on my work – growing up surrounded by the likes of Who Framed Roger Rabbit, The Simpsons, Wacky Races, Recess, Moomin, Space Jam and so many others, I gravitated towards that world. There’s definitely an element of nostalgia to my illustrations.
Q: Your work deserves its own comic series or cartoon show. Ever thought about this seriously?
A: Wow, that would be awesome! Honestly, it’s not something that’s ever crossed my mind but now you mention it… (watch this space!)
Q: Your hand lettering is incredible and complex just like your other pieces that are of subjects/characters. Is the process the same or is there a different approach for your typography?
A: My working process usually starts off with a pencil sketch, whether it’s a typographic piece or character illustration – I don’t think I’ll ever stop drawing because it’s something I enjoy, though I’ve found a new love for working directly onto the screen with the iPad.
Q: If you weren't an illustrator, what would your dream job be?
A: I’d have to be involved with something creative. My other love of cinema, and the graphic art of films, would probably mean I’d be a titles designer or film director (It’s a dream of mine to create an opening title sequence!).
Q: The internet and social media in general are changing. (I found your work on Ello). Do you feel social media helps or hurts your work especially where it's currently at right now? Do you see a bright future for spaces like Instagram and Facebook or are we going to see artists switching to other platforms to showcase their work?
A: The Internet has become another world where my work lives and grows. I love being able to read other people’s stories and see their journey. Spaces like Instagram give me a way of engaging with more people and force me to produce more work to share, though I find it’s very easy to fall into the “you must post everyday” trap, sharing work I may not be entirely happy with just to appease that space. I see social media like a cake, it looks and tastes great, you think you can eat it all the time, but too much of it isn’t good for you – so maybe just take a slice every now and then?
Q: What's up next?
A: I’m working on a book, some socks and my very first solo exhibition!
Q: Shameless Plug