I’m always intrigued by Artists and the way in which they found their niche and occupation within the industry. Jiro Bevans is a UK based artist, for whom I’m a big fan, I decided to have a quick chat to Jiro as way to find out more and also give me the chance to introduce his work to you guys.
How did you originally get into art and drawing?
For me like most people it just happens naturally, when I was a kid my mum always bought 99p A4 lined pads for me to draw stuff on, usually Garfield, muscle men or footballers, then as you get older you realise you’re not bad at drawing and one of the best in your school and your friends always ask you to draw stuff. Then when you’re 14 or 15 you start to get into art and read about stuff like Pop Art, then you’re doing a degree in Graphic Design and before you know it you’re an Illustrator.
What path did you take to make this into your occupation?
Like I just said, it was just a natural progression, and I feel lucky that I’m able to do something that I really enjoy which is basically doodle stuff that other people appreciate and want to have or use. I think its important to always make the choices you want and not let others lead you down other paths as you could soon loose the passion that made you do it to begin with, try not to compromise…much, it’s a lot easier said than done but is always the right option in the long run.
Where do you find inspiration from on a daily basis?
I guess the most obvious and honest answer is the internet and especially YouTube, I cant believe how many incredible things I find every day, the other day I discovered a singer called Jan Terri, who makes the most catchy melodic pop songs ever and I also found the brilliant documetary 80 Blocks From Tiffany’s in its entirety. I actually started a blog (http://chiefwashharris.blogspot.com) a couple weeks ago because i’m often told i waste so much time looking up random stuff on the internet, so I thought why not use that talent and let other people enjoy it. Other than the internet, just living in London is incredible inspirational, their is so much out their to appreciate, museums (i just discovered The Royal College of Surgeons Museum in Holborn, WOW), architecture, gigs, markets (especially tramps markets), hanging out with friends, getting drunk with friends, its all inspiring stuff.
You’ve done alot of work throughout different mediums, streetwear, magazines, advertising? Which is your favourite to work within?
They all have their interesting and beneficial points, but I guess the work where I am free to draw what I want, or for bands that I really like. Ive been doing stuff for the band Black Lips who I really like, and im in the process of drawing their next single, Black Kids, and theyve told me to draw what I like. Those sort of briefs are definitely the best and the most rewarding.
What artists inspired you when you were younger?
When I was really young I guess I wasn’t really knowingly inspired by any artists, but I loved cartoons like Cities of Gold, Bananaman, Dogtanian and Willy Fog. Ive got an older brother who used to always buy magazines like Viz and Oink, which I used to read when he wasn’t round, and my Dad is a huge DC comic collector, especially Batman, and he used to let me look at them. When I was about 7, me, my Dad and my brother went to Brian Bolland’s flat in central London (I’m still not really sure how or why we were round his, I think my dad saw him in Forbidden Planet once and hassled him for us to go round), and he drew me a picture of Batman and The Joker which i still have. Also, being half Japanese, I was really fascinated with everything Japanese, and when i was about 10 I heavily got into stuff like Dragon Ball and Akira. So I guess all those things have culminated into my influences and inspirations today.
Who inspires you now, or who’s artwork do you admire?
I’m a huge fan of Fergadelic and Misha Hollenbach, but recently the artist whose work I keep looking at and admiring is Matt Lock, he draws pen and watercolour futuristic/fantasy/metal images, usually on coloured paper. What I love about them is the small details, you can look at his drawing for along time and really appreciate all the little bits all over the place, abit like Will Sweeney’s work. He seems to like drawing bar brawls in a bar like the Cantina in Star Wars, which is pretty awesome, and he’s got a really interesting blog (http://koalas-in-love.livejournal.com).
If you could collaborate or do artwork for any one company who would it be?
Their are so many artists with their own companies I admire especially Perks & Mini, Alakazam and Tonite, but part of the reason I admire them so much is that they are the creators own little thing, doing whatever they like, so if anything they make me want to create my own brand or company, which is probably a long way off at the moment but definetly something I would love to do in the future. Or maybe to do stuff for Silas & Maria would be fun, just because growing up it was a clothes label I always looked forward to seeing their new designs because they had some of my favourite artists working for them like Fergadelic, Will Sweeney and James Jarvis.
Do you have an opinion on the recent thrive in activity within the fine art world of street art?(I was more thinking of the likes of Banksy and so on… having success within the fine art world but coming from more street art backgrounds?)
To be honest Im not a big fan of Banksy’s work, not that I hate it, just not my thing. In regards to his success in the fine art world, good luck to him, I hope he make a lot of money out of it, I think theirs a lot of snobbery in the art world, it shouldnt really matter where the art comes, who it’s by or if its the cool thing at the moment, if you like something and are willing to pay the asking price then surely thats all that matters. But it seems to me that today, people buy art as more of an investment or fashion statement than for a passion or love of the work which I find disgusting, and if idiots wanna spend stupid money on a Banksy piece because his work is ‘so hot right now’, then go ahead. It just seems lazy to me that everyone wants a Banksy piece when their are so many better artists out their (in my opinion), and only so they can say they have a Banksy and not because they love the work, he could shit on a piece of paper and someone will pay for it, but thats not a dig at Banksy, like I said, good luck to him. Maybe I’ve gone on abit of a tangent, but all im saying really is, to me the term fine art is bollocks, all that it represents today is money, and if people like Banksy can get on the act then good for him.