Artist Proof Interview with Artist: Jason Juta
Global Location: United Kingdom
AP Shop url : http://www.zazzle.com/jasonjuta
I’m a freelance illustrator specializing in fantasy, science fiction and dark art. I’ve been a full-time freelancer since the start of 2009, and before that I was a concept and in-game artist in the computer game industry. I’ve also worked as an album cover illustrator for the metal music scene.
AP: How long have you been making art for and what lead you to start?
JJ: I’ve been creative since my earliest years - it was a natural ability which my parents encouraged. I have always had the urge to create; in my childhood it was the usual imaginative art-play and fascination with fantasy, comics, castles, tanks, monsters…fairly typical I would imagine. As I grew older I became more interested in dark fantasy and horror, which was amplified by my interest in the alternative music scene.
AP: Where do you currently live and work ? And how does this influence your work?
JJ: I live in London in the UK. Living here hasn’t made much difference as the internet allows me to work with clients across the globe, and being a digital artist makes delivering art assets very easy. It is amazing to have incredible art galleries so nearby though, so it’s a personal creative influence, rather than a direct influence on my business.
AP: Did you have formal training if so what? If your self taught can you tell us what you prefer about being a self taught artist vs having formal training?
JJ: I was trained as a graphic designer in South Africa where I grew up, mainly as illustration courses weren’t available. I wish I had worked harder then, but I have to admit it wasn’t really for me. Meeting other people (not just in your own course) is the most valuable thing about education though, and I gained a lot of inspiration and education in that sense. I am mostly self taught which I’m proud of, but I do wish I had a mentor or could go back to study a serious figurative art or illustration course. I’m very aware of the gaps in my ability caused by a lack of the correct formal education.
AP: Can you tell us about where you make your work is it in your house, a studio etc.. and how it effects your work?
JJ: I work from home. As most self-employed illustrators know it can be good and tough at the same time to work at home. If you’re not feeling enthusiastic about a particular artwork it’s too easy to get get distracted. I work much better like this though; it suits my way of working and thinking to be able to stop whenever I need to, leave the house or anything else which might be frowned upon in a regular job!
AP: What are some of you favorite design projects/exhibitions you have worked on to date?
JJ: I had a multimedia exhibition with a good friend many years ago, comprising large format paintings, sculptures, photography and music, which was fantastic. I wish I could have a chance to do this again one day. I’ve also enjoyed working on my calendars, it’s been instrumental in focusing my themes and techniques recently.
AP: What is your medium of choice ?
JJ: Digital - mainly Photoshop, with photography depending on the type of work I’m doing (I work in two styles, the first being digital painting, the second being photo-based art). I regret not having time to produce physical paintings any more, and I intend to set this right one day.
AP: What is the relationship between technique and content in your work?
JJ: In terms of my photo-based art, I think the relationship is absolutely critical. It’s all about the models, as themselves or as the characters that they (or we) create. Their creative solutions, personalities and ideas are ingrained in the images. I just can’t bring myself to work on images without people in them - they interest me too much. Humanity has created the world we live in with it’s myths and stories, and it’s central to my work, whether as individual personalities or as people presented as mythic or fantasy subjects.
AP: In what direction would you like to see your work going over the next five years?
JJ: I’d like my painted work to become more classical and refined, more well observed and painterly. I want to develop a recognizable, coherent technique which will transcend the subject matter. In my photo-based work, I hope to produce more complex and conceptual work, and have it published or exhibited. I’d like to develop new ideas while retaining the dark themes and atmospheres that interest me.
AP: What forth coming projects and or exhibitions do you have scheduled for 2011?
JJ: I’m mainly working on my 2012 calendar images at the moment in between freelance work. I also hope to resurrect an old book concept of mine based on the fetish scene soon.
AP: Take us on a guided tour through a day in your life as an artist.
JJ: On days that my son is at nursery, I drop him off, get back and multitask checking email and RSS feeds and breakfast between 8 and 9. After that I check my calendar work schedule and get on with it! I sometimes stop in the middle of the day for lunch and a Wii Fit routine. If I’ve booked in a model for photography, that’ll usually take the afternoon to sort out - I set up my home studio in my living room and pack it up again completely when we’re done. I tend to finish up at about 5pm, but often do more work in the evening. If it’s not a nursery day, I look after my son and work in the evening after my wife returns from work. It can be exhausting…!
AP: Thank you so much for taking the time to answer our questions.
JJ: You’re welcome, thanks for giving me the opportunity.