Illustrator, collagist, and toy-maker Ed Cheverton likes to keep busy. Since we last spoke to him, back in 2017, he’s been featured in a whole host of group exhibitions, released a batch of zines on Otto Press, and even found time to launch Jazz Factory Recommends, a regularly updated jazz-focused playlist which comes with accompanying write-ups and illustrations.
With (seemingly) endless work comes endless innovation and invention.
“In the last six months or so, I’ve been trying to make work that’s a little less character-based and play around a bit more with shapes and tone,” Ed tells us. “Shape and composition have always been at the heart of my 2D work but I felt I’d been repeating myself a lot and I’ve really been wanting to try and experiment more.”
To keep that sense of exploratory experimentation nice and fruitful, the beginning of the year saw Ed set himself a creative challenge: every month this year would see him release a new zine with the express purpose of exploring new means and methods of image-making.
“I’ve normally had an idea for something I’ve wanted to explore for a few weeks. I then give myself until the end of the following month to get the zine finished, so I have to be pretty swift and not dither too much,” Ed says.
The latest entry in the series is the forthcoming title Trilithon, a collection of silent comics which explore the construction and eventual decay of a series of structures with a passing resemblance to Stonehenge. “I’m hoping by the end of the year that at least half the zines I’ve made will be worth it and I’ll have learned some new things, discovered some new ways to make images and most likely I’ll be desperate to do something in a longer form,” he tells It’s Nice That.
When we asked how Ed manages to consistently produce positive work in an age of increasing anxiety, stress, and general unhappiness, he says that the negative forces which shape the planet mean that his work needs to be a “happy and free place to get away from everything.”
He goes on to say that: “I’m very aware I have adopted the ‘bury my head in the sand and escape the world’ approach in my own work, and whilst I realise this is a self-indulgent and privileged position, I just hope that It can provide some of the same joy and escapism for others as it does myself when I’m making it.”