Toast-loving Brighton graduate Jake Evans has spent the last three years studying illustration, though for the final year of his studies he’s not really produced a whole lot of work that can simply be dubbed as such. What he has done, however, is a music video, an infomercial, a gargantuan physical blog (I believe we used to call that a diary), some exquisite pastel-coloured drawings and a few incredibly tasty pieces of graphic design.
What really stood out for us when looking at Jake’s portfolio was his meticulous nature; he’s committed to both the processes behind his work and the documentation of the results, cataloguing his practice with taxonomic precision and applying a holistic approach to creating. He also works under an amusing anagram, which naturally we love.
“Since foundation I’ve been working under the alias Java Knees. It’s continued to stick and I’m starting to wonder whether this is maybe because of its googling benefits, however, I’m still unsure.
“I would classify myself as an artist/designer, the artist part in reference to the personal elements of my practise and designer as an act of consideration and control, used in a loose sense, such as “to design an illustration, a piece of furniture or a book”. I think the word “work” has too much stigma, maybe we should change it to “bacon”?"
Why or who or what made you go to art school?
It was a mix really. Word of mouth, following friends to foundation and probably some kind of romanticised artistic right of passage. I found GCSE art pretty frustrating and had quite a restricted view of it’s scope – it wasn’t until my graphics A-level that I realised that things were much larger than paintings of paintings. Also I heard Brighton was good, and it was. I honestly believe the illustration course there is something else; our year was very eclectic in their practices and the tutors were amazing at catering for such a diverse class.
What’s the best mistake you made when you were studying?
I’ve spent a couple of days asking friends for theirs, more often than not, a lot of the answers were alcohol related. Personally it would have to be my dissertation, one of the most traumatic last minute experiences I’ve ever had, and it wasn’t due to lack of work but rather my unwillingness to narrow down my research in time. I was so stressed and so tired from staying up nights in a row that my stomach was doing somersaults every time I looked at the computer – which is incredibly impractical when your trying to write a dissertation on Microsoft Word. But it’s massively low points like these that make you realise you’re taking life a bit too seriously.
If you could show your work to one person, who would you choose, what would you show them?
This is incredibly clichéd and I’m embarrassingly late on the uptake but, not too long ago my housemate and I started a brief documentary club consisting of only the two of us and lasting only two nights, during which we both indulged in a temporary obsession with Leonardo Da Vinci. I have a habit of knowing the name but not knowing the background and after a couple of hours of narrated historical reconstructions I was convinced he was a god. I’d show him the Flora Sway project and hope that he wouldn’t be too freaked out by a computer and a time-traveling man.
Can you give us one prediction about your work for the next year?
A lot of collaboration; there’re tonnes of great people that I want to work with and it’s an effective way of breathing life into old and new projects. I’m a massive fan of the work coming from my fellow Brighton graduates (which you should definitely check out – nowwhat2012.com) and I plan to stay in contact with them in the hope of working together in the future. Mostly, I just want to make great work regardless of what form it decides to take.
What’s the best thing you saw in the last three years?
Well thanks to The Internet I’m spoilt on the entertainment front and I feel like I’ve seen quite a few “best things” in the last three years, mostly in the form of YouTube. However, outside of the screen I would have to say it was a friend (male) during our first year committing to a project about the “time of the month”. After finding what he originally thought was a 1940’s diary at a car boot sale, it turned out to be someone who had kept track of their menstrual cycle. Despite this realisation he carried on regardless and, for one, have a lot of time for that.
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