Jamie Kirk, freelance illustrator from North East easily puts a playful style into anyone’s homemade typography. As an illustrator and typographer his work has been seen by many – including D&AD New Blood Festival – ‘Best in Show’ 2015 and Newspaper Club – Newspaper of the Month 2016. Now? He’s here to share his thoughts and experiences with you…
How would you explain your work in a paragraph to somebody you’ve only just met?
My work carries a free-flowing, playful style that expresses a sense of optimism through a fusion of typography, offbeat elements, shapes and bold colours that aim to hit you with a punch of fun.
What are some of your favourite project’s you’ve completed and why?
I’ve been lucky to work and collaborate with some amazing people. I recently contributed to a book called ‘Stick It’ which was great to see my illustrations turned into stickers and amazing to spot my work in the likes of Tate Modern, London. Another project that’s been great to work on is Washed Out, which is a colouring zine aimed to raise awareness & money for mental health charities through illustration. It was a huge collaborative process but the artists who have supported and contributed towards Washed Out have been incredible.
Pick three items from your working studio and explain why you chose them…
My three studio items start off with my headphones because work is always more enjoyable whilst listening to your favourite music! Second item would be from my ever-growing collection of vinyls, John Lennon’s Shaved Fish – the artwork is perfect. The third item would have to be my iPhone charger, I must spend half my life charging things!
Talk us through the pros and cons of working as a freelance illustrator? What element really grates on you and what element gets you really inspired?
They’re lots of pros to working as a freelance illustrator – doing a job you love and being able to connect with people from all walks of life is great. A real benefit I find is if I’m feeling uncreative, I can switch to a different piece of work, it’s kind of like refreshing you’re web browser when it’s running slow! The cons are having no rules set for you, you’ve got to find what works best for you which can be difficult. Something I do find hard with freelancing is peeling myself away from work and leaving it in the studio!
How has studying Illustration helped your career to date? Is there anything striking out and would be great advice for people who have only just graduated?
Studying Graphic Design and other art-related subjects has definitely helped me with my work so far. I really believe in collaborating with people of various disciplines whether it’s through College, University or post graduation to be massively beneficial in learning diferent working processes and experimenting.
Best illustration tip for a novice?
The best illustration tip I can give is to go with your gut! (slight nod to an old piece of University work there!). But I find it to be very true. You know what’s best and sometimes it’s just about trusting your own gut feeling.
Quick round questions:
Marmite or peanut butter? Peanut butter!
Colours or black and white? Colours for work, black & white for clothing!
Bold or thin? Bold!
The idea or the final product? I find these two work in cohesion, if one falls short so does the other!