Jake Thompson is an art student based in Cumbria who produces illustrations with a graphic edge. His influences are myriad and his focus on keeping all creative options open is admirable. As a student, it can be hard to come to decision about the crux of your work or be absolute in your creative discipline. Jake won’t be pigeon-holed and believes strongly in the need to exercise freedom when producing work in a variety of forms and styles.
“After starting my degree at the University of Cumbria, I was exposed to many more aspects of design and relished having the chance to try a little bit of everything. I also became quite interested in moving image and book design. In my three years here I’ve twoed-and-froed between calling myself a graphic designer and illustrator, but I’m not too worried about fitting in to either of those categories because, luckily, and thanks to my degree, my experience is quite broad in most areas of design.”
Jake creates ideas-led work which has visual appeal both on screen and in print. Utilising using a blend of hand drawn illustration, traditional collage techniques and digital processes. He says,
“I take inspiration from everywhere I can, especially films and books, as well as traditional and modern artists. Being a student in Carlisle has opened my eyes to the wide range of creative fields I could potentially work in, and I’ll be spending a lot of time before graduating looking at places or people I’d like to work for.”
Jake cites Nate Kitch‘s use of photography and illustration as a big influence on his own work, explaining that the illustrator and collage artist interviewed by YOUNG GOLD TEETH just last year, influenced his 25 Ways to Die projects. He also gives well-known artists Egon Shiele and Lucian Freud a mention, hailing their sense of seeing and interpreting from within a distorted reality. Jake employs a range of media, with a predominant focus on pencil crayon and collage due to the tactile nature of these tools, however, as with most contemporary illustrators, he likes to finish illustrations off in Photoshop.
“I’d like to experiment some more with print and see what kinds of textures that would bring to my work. After I’ve graduated, I’d really like to open my own studio, where freelancers from all sorts of creative fields can hire a space and work alongside each other in a co-working studio, but we’ll have to see what the next few months brings.”
A real gent and definitely one to watch, Jake invited me to come along and join the creative workforce in his super-studio. Let’s hope 2014 bears positive developments for him and his work.
Words: Emily Beeson | @younggoldteeth