Framed: Jiro Bevis
Introducing you to Jiro Bevis, definitely one of our favourite illustrators of recent times.
Where did you grow up and where are you based at the moment?
I was born and grew up in a town called Bournemouth of the south coast of England. I moved to London to study and have been here ever since.
Where are you? What are your immediate surroundings?
At my desk in my bedroom, with all my books, records and other stuff that usually help inspire my work.
Please describe a typical day?
For a typical working day I try and follow some sort of routine. I'm not a morning person at all, I've hated getting up early all my life and working freelance allows me to get up when I want which I love doing as much as I did as a kid and is honestly one of the reasons I couldn't have a normal 9-5 job. I get up around 10, make a coffee, check my emails and try my best to reply to all of them, not that I get lots, I just think it's polite and the least I can do. Check a few sites (usually football ones) then try and get on with some work. Early on it's probably more research type stuff, looking through books, going over old ideas, coming up with ideas for briefs. Then lunch, I try and meet up with a friend and go somewhere nearby, there are plenty of places near mine to go although I never really get how so many of these places are full of people on their laptops seemingly doing nothing other than checking their FB pages for hours every day. Then back home and work till around 7 or 8, make some dinner and maybe go out for a drink with friends. Then late at night I either try and read a bit or watch a movie then off to bed. Pretty normal really.
What mediums do you work in? Are your projects all digital or a mixture of both?
The majority of my work is hand drawn unless the work needs to be neat and clean with straight lines like a logo in which case I'll use Illustrator. After I've drawn my work I will usually scan it in and then work on it on the computer. Again how much I do on the computer all comes down to how I want it to look, some work doesn't need any work done to it at all. I also use laser printers and old photocopiers in my local stationary shop, it can add a lot of different textures to the work.
Bit of a technical question but what do you find is the best way to work with scanned drawings...live trace, pen tool etc?
Do you mean what do I do with my drawings once they've been scanned into the computer? There isn't much done really, maybe just a little bit of cleaning up. I sometimes have to connect elements together but nothing too complex. I personally feel it's important to keep the feel of the original drawing as it's that free hand style that will give it character. I don't use Wacoms or anything like that, I've tried but they have just never felt right, I'm sure if I use them more I'd get more comfortable with them but I don't really feel the need to.
Who/what inspires you and your work the most?
Nothing stands out in particular really, just whatever catches my eye or interests me I guess. That can really be anything although I the main themes of music, film, pop culture references, nature and science are always big inspirations.
You’ve produced work for some pretty big clients... Is there anyone you would love to work with that you haven’t already?
Not really, there are loads of smaller independent people who I have great respect for and love what they do but their work is very personal, so they rarely need others to contribute. I guess any musicians I am a fan of would be cool, but there are so many. Working for bigger clients such as Adidas is nice but I usually find the bigger the client the less control you are given which can be difficult but you find ways to adapt which helps you improve as an artist. I've definitely learnt over the years that you do have to adapt sometimes, I would have been a lot more stubborn with doing that in the past but you sometimes just need to realise it's a job and you are being employed to answer a brief.
What is Radio Jiro all about?
It started off with my friend Michael who ran the site Panther Club (which is now IMG LTD) wanting to have some kind of music element to it. I offered to write a weekly post about a musician, band or label that I like and that went on for about two years. It was a lot of fun but eventually I wanted to change it and at the same time my friend Femi who runs NTS Radio was asking if I wanted to do a radio show so that felt like the perfect opportunity to change it. Now it's a two-hour radio show on NTS every four weeks on a Monday.
What have you been listening to lately? Is music something that is just playing constantly while you work?
I got sent the new EP from Jonny Nash off his new label which I've been listening to quite a bit. Really beautiful, minimal, melodic, ambient stuff. I wouldn't say it's constant but it's usually there, it helps for sure, creates a mood, and can also help you get a rhythm going.
What is something new you have noticed or learned recently?
An Ostrich has never been seen burying their head in the ground.
Last two records you bought?
The latest comp release from Into the Light, Vangelis Katsoulis - Sleeping Beauties. Also picked up a Shadowfax record in a secondhand shop the other day for a quid.
What did you do for your last birthday? Did you get any good presents?
I went to Cambridge with my mum, she'd never been. It's a really beautiful town, incredible history, nice pubs and the weather was perfect just to walk around all day and go punting.
Can you suggest two artists/illustrators/creatives we should check out?
My friend Pete (http://petedee.com/), always been creative but a bit slow, now finally making stuff and it's great. He's in the middle of sorting out a little short which should be good. Musically Diego Herrera is brilliant, he makes music under the name Suzanne Kraft and is also part of the band Pharaohs, as well as one half of Blasé with Secret Circuit. Has a radio show on Dublab too which is always worth a listen, I helped put on a live show for him when he was in London a few months back, super nice guy too!