Interview with Jeremy Jones

Today we hear from the talented Jeremy Jones and all about his dedication to art. His semi realistic work certainly grabs the eye and the detail keeps it just the right amount of time to ensure exploration and appreciation of what’s going on. Well, that’s what it did to my eyes the first time and last time I saw his work.

Art Pistol (AP): What’s the first thing you can remember painting?
The first thing I remember painting was a swimming pool scene showing two figures swimming. It was a study looking closely at the visual change water brings on the body form and skin tone through distortion, reflection and refraction. This was the first time I had used oil paint (I can’t remember an instance beforehand e.g. using poster paints at an early age) and was created at the age of 17. It was the first time I decided art was something I enjoyed and wanted to forge a career out of. The painting is now displayed at the local school swimming pool, where new generations of children learn to swim 10 years since the painting was finished.

AP: When did you first realise you were an artist?
Jeremy: At the age of 17-18 years old I began to take art more seriously and pursued it at A level, Diploma and then BA (Hons) in Illustration. I have always been a creative person, but it wasn’t until 2 years ago that I finally realized I was an artist, reducing hours in a full time job to build a portfolio and find my true style and approach to fine art and illustration. As a creative person and perfectionist, the reason I create is to constantly better myself and to strive towards an image I am finally happy with.

AP: How would you describe your art to someone that has never seen it before?
Jeremy: My art can be categorized as detailed hand drawn image making with semi-realistic rendering. I specialize in pen and ink, watercolour, oil paint and mixed media imagery and provide continuity with emphatic lighting, mood and atmosphere and attention to detail.

AP: Is your work on any famous person’s wall?
Jeremy: My work has been displayed in the Tate Britain at an early age and is currently exhibited in Florence as part of a year long exhibition. I have also had work published in ‘American Rebel’, a novel based on actual events and am now building a t-shirt design company, sponsored by an up and coming music artist.

AP: If you had the opportunity to change something in the art industry what would it be?
Jeremy: The art industries pretentious nature, being patronized and looked down on. Short and sweet… rant over!

AP: Do you have any other interests or talents that you’d like to share?
Jeremy: I am interested in sport, traveling, good food and music. I regularly go running to break up the long stints of illustrating and painting and also enjoy playing tennis, going to Wimbledon and following/playing football. In addition, I have a strange obsession with Cornwall after going to University College Falmouth and love the scenery, people, seagulls and pasties. Finally, I am addicted to chillies, eating them like sweets and (too) regularly eating curries out and homemade. And this is amongst a house of lizards, cats, fish and hamsters.

AP: Describe yourself in 3 words, one has to be a colour?
Jeremy: Friendly, comical, ginger!

AP: Tell us your perfect scenario for painting.
Jeremy: In a bar Times Square, New York. An interior scene, night time in the summer with emphatic lighting, vibrant colors and high contrast through light and shadows. It would depict a figurative scene epitomizing the energy and life style in New York. There would be the faint sound of the Irish folk music being played in the background and maybe the addition of alcohol along the way! This would be the basis of a large oil on paper painting with the heavy influence of Edward Hopper.

AP: If you weren’t an artist you’d be..?
Jeremy: I am a part time duty manager of a restaurant in Lincoln, UK. This is a job I use as a regular financial backup to my career in art and as the influence for paintings and illustrations through scenarios and in the restaurant business, which are varied and at times unbelievable!

AP: Do you have any advice for artists just starting out?
Jeremy: Initially finding your own style, likes, dislikes, subject matter, preferred medium and general approach to art. After this, taking on ANY work at all to build up a portfolio. Voluntary work is important and taking on any projects than can reflect variety in work, and not turning any work down. This is more specific to illustration in my experience, but as a general rule just getting to know anyone in the art industry, local or further afield, and building up contacts. Lastly, never give up.

AP: And finally, what are you working on just now?
Jeremy: I’m currently working on a graphic novel, collaborating with two Canadian script writers and based on Gothic Canada, rock and roll, teenage life and the supernatural. I am also creating comic strips for a football website, furthering my t-shirt design company, creating an illustration for the 150 year anniversary of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland coffee table book, and some one-off portrait commissions. No teasers sadly!