We’ve long been fans of the brilliant illustrator Jiro Bevis and his super-fun, super-silly and super-skilled style, and it’s not hard to see why he so floats our boat. So when we asked Commission Studio to design The Annual 2103 and they immediately suggested getting Jiro on board, we were excited to see what they had up their sleeves.
And my word Jiro didn’t disappoint. HIs cavalcade of editorial-inspired characters can be found dotted throughout our look back on the past 12 months, from the slightly smug/stoner highlighter pen to the sexy diamond, the befuddled bookmark to the lightning bolt dude. To truly appreciate Jiro’s additions to the Annual you’ll have to get hold of one (this way for that kind of thing!) but we had a chat with the man himself to delve a little deeper.
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What was the initial brief you got from the Commission guys?
I know David who is designing the book; he runs one of my favourite music sites (noncollective.com) in his spare time; we first met at DJ Harvey’s homecoming set about a year ago and have kept in contact since. I think he’s wanted to do something with me for a while and this project seemed like the ideal opportunity. He liked a project I had done for Jaguar Shoes where I had to draw some dancing tea bags and sugar cubes and that was the basic initial brief.
How did the characters then come about?
It was then a case of David and Chris coming up with characters they wanted. I think they were basically getting drunk in a pub coming up with them and would then email over their ideas. It was all pretty clear and because the brief is fun and they trusted me with what to do, it was quite easy.
Which one is your favourite? Which one was the most challenging?
I like the squashed bookmark guy, I’ve tried to make each one have some kind of vibe and relevance to what they are and that one works well. Also the magnifying glasses, I’ve given them the Inspector Clouseau look.
Was it a pressure to produce these characters for a book full of other creatives’ work?
No, mainly because I didn’t really get to see what was going to be in the book so was able to just concentrate on the characters separately from the work they were going to work with. The main thing I was told was that they were more to balance with the typography that was being created for the book which I think works really well.
What else are you working on at the moment?
I’ve finished off quite a few things recently, tees for Adidas, some stuff for ASOS, work for a new children’s documentary show about poo and a few other bits so have taken it easy the last couple weeks. Just about to start on a job for Nike and also my friend Ben who runs the brilliant Dïtto Press has got some cool stuff happening soon so I’m helping out on some stuff for that.