“As a child I was always drawing and loved getting lost in it. But I lost this imaginative innocence in secondary school (I got an E in my art A-level!) and I abandoned it until my early 20s after working in a supermarket as a trainee manager,” explains Alex Jenkins of his beginnings in illustration. “After that, I decided to take on an art foundation as creating imagery was something that had always grabbed my attention and was a process I really enjoyed. I then went on to complete an illustration degree at Camberwell.”
Despite the staggered start, London-based Alex has built up a great roster of clients since we last featured him in March 2016, including posters and illustrated tickets for the band Phish, The New York Times, BBC Three, Lucky Peach, and Juxtapoz among others. Over the past year Alex has been working on developing his style by “focusing less on the obvious characteristics of grotesque features and more on narrative”, leaving interpretation open to the viewer. “I like to try and play with humour, as it’s always a relatable element and can balance out the illustration if it involves a macabre or darker theme,” explains Alex.
Vibrant, garish colours litter Alex’s work, and he often depicts goblin-like characters going about daily life and performing mundane activities like drinking at a bar, eating pizza in the bath and sitting at the computer, all from a slightly surreal perspective. “In my work I would like to say I am trying to illustrate ideas and subjects that pop into everyone’s heads, but with my own illustrative twist and view,” says Alex. “Narrative is always a great thing to play with and if a story can be told in an illustration, but one that has different interpretation depending on the view, then great. In the future I’d love to get to grips with animation.”