Illustrations & Paintings
The rock n’ roll illustrations by San Francisco-base artist Jeremy Forson. With a rather unconventional process, he starts his pieces by hand-drawing 2×3 inch thumbnails, he crafts eye-catching colorful pieces on wood. And they’ve got spunk. Jeremy Forson has been garnering major street cred for incorporating tattoos as a prominant element in some of his female portraits. His illustrations, eclectic and surreal, incorporate bright colors + wood grain + heavy black outlines.
Jeremy Forson – talk about his work:
About creative process: “I’m afflicted with the mind of an artist. I have to create! The urge is always there and it cannot be satiated. It’s a chronic condition, really.”
About tattoo fetish: “Tattoos are attractive to me, as well a being visually pleasing. They have to be well done though. It’s better to have no tattoos than bad ones. I only have a few myself though. Being an artist and a pretty good draftsman myself makes it hard to get more tattoos. I don’t want to draw them because I know I won’t like it in a couple months, so I need to hire someone really good to draw a tattoo I’ll be happy with. There’s a bunch of talented people in the tattoo world these days, but I don’t make enough money to hire them. One of those things I just have to put off until my financial situation improves. Some unsolicited advice about tattoos: Hire a good artist, listen to what they say because they know what will look good, and don’t try to low-ball them. Tattoos are not the place to pinch pennies. Also, go big! Dante’s inferno doesn’t work in a 2 inch square, make your tattoo fill the space.”
About favorite materials & tools: “I draw lots of little thumbnails of and idea I’m envisioning. When I think I have a composition I like I make another thumbnail that’s about 2×3 inches and tighten it up. Then I scan it, blow it up, and print it in light blue on 8.5 x 11 paper and draw over it. I usually work this sketch for a long time to make sure the idea, composition, and values are all working. Then I scan that and play with colors and values in Photoshop until I get a pretty resolved color rough. Then I blow that up again to the size of the wood panel, print it out in however many pieces it takes, tile them together, and do a graphite transfer onto a sanded and sealed wood panel. At that point I just paint what I established in the color rough in acrylics. I don’t like surprises in the painting stage, and by now I’ve drawn it so many times that I’ve screened out unnecessary details or funny kinks in the drawing. Wood panels are my favorite surface, liner brushes are my best friend, and Liquitex soft body acrylic is my paint of choice.”
About death: I don’t like death as much as strange life. I can’t really explain it, but dark subjects just seem to flow naturally from my hand. I try to draw nice things, but it feels like I’m going against the grain, whereas a demon or pile of heads just flies onto the paper! I’ve stopped trying to fight my strengths. I’m good at drawing skeletons and monsters, it is what it is. I don’t know how I’ll ever make a living at it, but whatever, I love it.
About dark side: I don’t think I do, but somehow everything I make becomes twisted. I’m basically a nice guy, I’m not really a horror fan, and I love comedy. I used to joke that my right hand was haunted. Maybe I’m actually evil, and it finds it’s way out when I’m drawing. Dark passenger.
About rock n’ roll: I’d say so, but I’m less rock n’ roll every day. I used to be really into punk. I played in bands, went to tons of shows, had the clothes and records; the whole thing. When I moved here I fell out of love with the punk scene. There’s a lot of shitty kids in the bay that care more about playing the role of a punk than thinking for themselves, or being good people. Punk is still part of my outlook on life, my art, and I have a strong DIY sensibility, but I shower daily. It would be fun to be in a band again someday, but I got rid of my bass set-up a couple years ago. One of the many projects I would like to start but don’t have the time or money to do.
About Favorite artist or work: Most of my favorite artists work, or have worked, in comics. James Jean, Phil Hale, Travis Charest, Mike Mignola, Ashley Wood, Kent Williams. These guys were a big part of my college years. Guys that are in the comics world, but more artistic than others I guess you could say. They put something extra in their work that made it cross boundaries. I never read comics avidly. I have a collection, but what I buy is always about the art. Aside from the aforementioned, Mucha, Sam Weber, JC Leyendecker, John K., Nick Blinko was huge for me for a while, Takato Yamamoto, Evan Hecox, Mike Giant, Harry Clarke, McBess is really coming up and I think his stuff is amazing, same with Andrew Hem. Recently I’ve been into Nic Klein and Ghostshrimp. Friends from college were influential as well, Monica Canilao, David D’Andrea, and Ogi probably had the most impact on my work and work ethic. My childhood friend Josh Hardy always pushed me to be better. I’m forgetting some people I’m sure. I guess an artist is the sum of their influences, so those are mine.
I’m an artist based in San Francisco. I’ve done illustration, design, and coding work for a variety of bands, magazines, and companies including Johnson&Johnson, Reebok, Sprint, and Nylon Guys. My work has been featured in Juxtapoz, Empty (Australia), Funswant (Taiwan), and Spectrum 14, as well as hundreds of websites including booooooom, illustrationmundo, drawn, fecalface, changethethought, and justintimberlake.com. I’ve done many solo, split, and group painting exhibitions in this country and others.
Name: Illustrations & Paintings
Type: Illustration, Character / comics / Cartoon, Painting
Theme Colour: bright colours
Technique: Acrylic on wood, Acrylic and ink on panel, Acrylic on Canvas
Artist: Jeremy Forson – San Francisco, California, United States
Text Description: © Courtesy of Jeremy Forson, livefastmag
Images: © Jeremy Forson