Artist Spotlight - Jack Oliver Coles
Jack Oliver Coles - Master Of the Colouring Pencil...
Now as children we all had colouring pencils, I personally had a whole bunch, watercolour pencils, fancy Caran D'ache pencils I stole from my mum, cheapo ones from the supermarket, they're a very easy medium to get hold of. So when I first saw Jack's work I wanted to kick my past self for not sticking with the medium I'd used so much as a child. Jack's expertise with this medium is what stands out the most, he's achieved a style and a look that none of us knew was possible when we first picked up colouring pencils.
I also love Jack's illustrative insight, the softness of his style really fits the subject matter he chooses to draw...
The sensitive and smart composition makes Jack's work a real feast for the eyes and creates images you feel you could get lost in...
So what's he made for the club?
We knew Jack's work would suit a print best, the intricacy and detail was something we wanted to keep and could easily be lost on another type of product. So we asked Jack to make a print, based around whatever SGC meant to him and we're LOVING the result.
> Find his print here <
We love the idea of 'going on your own' and feel that it's a really important message! Going solo is scary but it's also wonderful, and I just love how beautifully Jack's conveyed this message. As someone who'd be too afraid to visit an art gallery on myself this image has really stuck with me. It's OK to go on my own. People do it all the time. I CAN DO IT TOO. I love it.
Ok so onto the questions!
1) What's your favourite fictitious Ghost from popular media?
ParaNorman is one of my favourite films so I would have to say Agatha Penderghast. Her story makes me cry every time.
2) What's the best item in your pencil case?
I’d probably have to say Crayola pencils. When I first started drawing in coloured pencil I used them exclusively because they’re so affordable and vibrant. The only issue is that you can’t buy individual colours so I’ve started incorporating Polychromos to supplement them when needed.
3) Paint? Pencil? or Tablet?
I do all of my sketches and finished pieces with coloured pencils and use a tiny bit of photoshop too.
4) What's your go-to motivational album?
I’d definitely have to say Bonito Generation by Kero Kero Bonito; high energy, optimistic and very cute.
5) How would you describe your work? Are there any common themes?
I hope that my work is fun, appealing and sensitive to whatever it is that I'm illustrating. I’ve always loved drawing people and the ways in which people react to and interact with each other is something I really like playing around with.
6) What’s your proudest piece that you've worked on?
I don’t know if it's visually the strongest but the final project I created for my degree is probably the thing I’m most proud of. I created a series of illustrations to accompany a timeline they had that tracked the major events of HIV and AIDS.
7) Do you have any/many artist rituals?
The way I work tends to be very formulaic; I do all of my sketches by hand on printer paper, scan everything to compose my illustrations, print out the plans, then I use a lightbox to redraw everything on cartridge paper.
8) What motivates you?
The number of people graduating from illustration degrees is probably my biggest motivator. When I was in university we had the biggest cohort in the art school and I was well aware of just how competitive things would get after graduation. Knowing that thousands of other, just as capable, people are out there to take the jobs if you aren’t trying your hardest is both terrifying and very motivational.
9) What do you do, that you think no one else does whilst working?
The fact that I can work anywhere within range of a plug socket is probably the most unusual thing that I do. I know lots of people need studios and beautifully organised desks in order to work but I just sit on the sofa; watching television and using my lightbox as a drawing board.
10) Who are you inspired by?
David Hockney has always been a pretty big deal for me. In terms of illustrators I’d have to say Molly Mendoza (@msmollym). She creates beautiful, dynamic work that I just can’t stop myself looking at.
12) What's your favourite way to practice self care? (Especially after a busy week!)
I think its important to give yourself time to do nothing at all.