Featured Artist: Jack Teagle
Q) Where are you from?
I'm from the UK, I live in the South West, in Cornwall.
Q) How would you best describe your art style?
Deceptively simple. I like creating bold, eye catching imagery in a naive way. I can focus my drawing ability when I want to though, and I like to keep a balance between detailed pen work, acrylic paintings and the more graphic digital work.
Q) Where do you find your inspiration when creating your art?
I take it from anywhere I can. I used to keep scrapbooks of comics I cut up as a kid, posters, odd toys I grew up with, anything that had a lasting impression on me. I love the work of cartoonists Gary Panter, Jack Kirby and Julie Doucet, and the Fort Thunder Collective. I love outsider art like Daniel Johnston's work, Bruce Bickford's animation, Howard Finster's paintings. Anything visceral, with a lot of personal vision.
Q) When did you know you wanted to make a career in the art world?
Since I started to take notice of art on book covers, album covers, art on the things I enjoyed as a kid like video game box art. I used to really like concept art and old science fiction art books.
Q) How does art impact your day to day life or your impression of the world as a whole?
It's impacted my entire life. I work full-time as a freelance illustrator, I exhibit my paintings and I've had my comics published all over. I'm always working on something. It's just an integral part of who I am at this point. When I had full-time jobs, I was still making things all the time, in the background.
Q) What does a day of creating artwork look like for you and how to you start your creative process?
For personal work, I tend to make it when I don't hear anything from a client, or I'm waiting for approval on freelance jobs. If I know I have a free day, I try to plan to work for as long as possible. Time is precious. I'll tend to go to the gym half way through the day to break things up, run some errands, and I'll usually finish up work at 2AM if I'm really into something.
Q) When you're not creating, what do you like to do with your time?
I try to go to the gym as often as I can, just general exercise. I like going for walks with my girlfriend, taking photos of nature while we're out and about. I love reading comic books, I play video games when I can find the time, and I love cult films. The kind of films that had a real vision.
Q) What artist (either current or past) do you most admire and why?
Possibly Henry Darger. His work was discovered after his death, so for him it was just for himself. He created an entire world with his body of work. It's imaginative, and in Darger's own way, highly spiritual. I was lucky enough to see some of his original art at the American Folk Art Museum in New York ten years ago, and it's always left a lasting impression on me.
Q) What's the best advice that's been given to you as an artist?
I'm not sure if anyone has ever given me any real advice, but I've definitely had to learn from a lot of my mistakes. I've had to learn a lot from time-wasters and people that try to exploit you.
I suppose my advice would be to try to remain positive, and do what's best for yourself. Clients, companies and other artists are not looking out for your best interests, only you can do that for yourself. You'll avoid burnout, exploitation and frustration. Don't bind yourself to a set way of making images. Experiment but always focus and try your best. You'll never know where your work can take you. It's all about balancing your expectations, and ego. Work smart and work hard.