Jack Taylor, a British illustrator and graphic artist working in Berlin, has spent the past couple of years progressing and defining his practice. We last featured Jack in 2014, where he gave us an insight into his day-to-day with book making, editorial illustrations and, most importantly, storytelling. He’s since worked hard to develop his method and realised what inspires him the most is travelling.
“Since we last spoke I have been focusing on making sure my work is constantly progressing. Travelling has been very important in keeping me energetic and inspired,” Jack tells It’s Nice That. “At the beginning of last year, I relocated to Berlin where I now have a studio and, over the last 12 months, I have taken part in residencies in Iceland, Denmark and Austria. It’s been incredible. They say flowing water is never stagnant, and this is something I’ve taken to heart in some way.”
Previously, Jack’s risograph prints and clear-cut publications dictated a simple, colour-block style and character-led narrative. By transcending his routine into all things digital, he explains how this has broadened his spectrum with a “trial and error” approach, where he can now easily experiment with new techniques. “I am constantly observing and taking in motifs, like certain objects that always make their way into my work somehow… As I was in Belgium a lot this year, it was interesting to be surrounded by their approach to graphics — it definitely had an effect on me.”
One prominent distinction in his latest work is this new-found overflow into graphic design. Rather than treating each medium as independently existing entities, Jack considers graphics and illustration as a necessary duo. “I look at both [graphic design and illustration] in the same way. They go hand-in-hand and are never separate, they always inform each other,” he says. “I guess the context I want my work to be in — such as record covers, posters, books and magazines, can showcase great design and I really like to see what happens when I put my work into these scenarios too.”
Alongside the digital, Jack has effectively transferred his work into the physical form. Wall paintings and 3D drawings are intwined with blunt and colourful graphics, which demonstrate a fascination with creating 3D objects. His reasons for this are simple: “I just find myself a lot behind a screen and I don’t want to lose my connection with the tangible, especially in the process element of my work.”
“The shows I took part in over the last year in Denmark and Austria displayed my larger pieces, which is just a way of keeping my connection to this. Also, I prefer to show people my work away from a computer or mobile phone and to exhibit an A0 screen print.”
About the Author
Ayla is a London-based freelance writer, editor and consultant specialising in art, photography, design and culture. After joining It’s Nice That in 2017 as editorial assistant, she was interim online editor in 2022/2023 and continues to work with us on a freelance basis. She has written for i-D, Dazed, AnOther, WePresent, Port, Elephant and more, and she is also the managing editor of design magazine Anima.