Featured Artist: Jordan Clarke

FK talks to Sydney illustrator Jordan Clarke , who was also a runner up of our recent Art Competition.

Tell the us a little about the Art of Jordan.
The Art of Jordan is a clearly pathetic title I came up with in two seconds while on the phone to the domain name registrar. But weirdly it’s kind of grown on me – encompassing me as an artist/illustrator but also as a blogger reporting my mindless musings and inspirations.

When did you begin creating art and how has it evolved?
I was always the ‘arty’ one growing up – but I was totally directionless for years. I couldn’t find my place in the creative world and it’s only been recently that I discovered the diverse world of illustration. I studied graphic design and worked as a freelancer for a while, but it never felt quite right. I began experimenting with digital art in my last semester at college and I’ve been exploring different techniques ever since.

Who inspires you in your field, and who would you most like to collaborate with?
Nearly everyone inspires me – simply for the fact that they’re doing what they love. Shepard Fairey inspired me initially when I was doing more posterized artwork. I’m a huge fan of Biddy Maroney as well as Eduardo Recife and Jenny Hart – which is more evident in my recent work.

Where do you go in Sydney when you crave inspiration?
I find most of my inspiration online – flicking through art sites and blogs. I’d love to say that I go to twee bohemian cafes and obscure galleries but I’m far too uncool! I’ve been sharing space with other creatives at Bill&George in Redfern for a few months – I find it really helps me keep focused having a dedicated space amongst others. We’ve got some new artists and writers etc moving in soon which is exciting – meeting other creatives is always inspiring.

How difficult is it to have creative freedom and also manage your business?
If there’s a secret formula I’d love to hear it. I’m still a long way off making a living from my art. I’m aiming to create work artistically rather than commercially – I find sometimes I’m treated a bit like a monkey at a computer. It would be nice to be approached specifically for my illustration style but I know that even the most successful illustrators have to work under certain creative impositions. I like the idea of creating art that I love and selling it to whoever likes it, simple as that. That would be nice.

What has been your most rewarding project and why?
Nearly any time someone asks me to do anything I’m over the moon! I was thrilled to illustrate an article for Yen Magazine a long time ago, and the City Museum in Melbourne also used one of my pieces for the branding of a show. Both were in my older style. I’ve had a lot of interest in my recent Tarot Series (a work in progress), so I’m hoping to finish that and sell decks soon! It means a lot to be noticed – and gives me the confidence to stick with it.

What does being a finalist of our Finders Keepers Art Competition mean for you?
Finders Keepers is so well regarded amongst the creative community – so I am beyond excited to be among the runners-up. One step closer in the right direction!


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