Jake Foreman is an illustrator, street artist and designer who’s managed to surpass his comfort zones and find links between digital and physical means of creating. “I use the computer a lot but I can’t say I really like it. It’s just the way I’ve become accustomed to getting my ideas out,” Jake tells It’s Nice That.
“I enjoy using spray paint the most; it’s the opposite of the computer, you have to embrace the mistakes and work with the surface of your painting. It’s also a challenge drawing at a larger scale. Everything almost always ends up different to how you plan it, although I like the surprise and the overall look of that.”
From this outlook and combination of two opposing mediums, Jake has released a new publication titled Flash Zine that depicts his true artistic flair for colour, graffiti and visual placement. Risoprinted and amplified with just three bold shades of red, green and black, Flash Zine incorporates the simple acknowledgment of a ‘less is more’ approach, as well the more practical sides of printing. “There are very few Risograph machines in Australia so there are limited colour options. I played around with how much I could minimise the use of colour in the illustrations to keep the printing costs reasonable,” Jake says. “The red and green was a combination I hadn’t seen around that often and seemed to fit with the subject matter in an interesting way.”
“I guess it clicked that if I painted in the same colours I was using in my digital work, I could document my graffiti in a zine and would also have a recognisable consistency. I developed a technique of using black spray paint that mimics the effect of the harsh grain style I was illustrating,” says Jake. It was from this technique that he then gravitated towards the middle ground between two mediums, which then imposed on his latest work and accomplishment with Flash Zine. “It felt like I’d finally found the links I was looking for between digital and analogue work and the two started to inform each other.”
The inspiration behind the zine stems from a new-found fascination with Ancient Egypt and a desire to find a distinctive style. “I’ve always wanted a unique style that was easy to identify, but nothing really ever quite clicked as me,” Jake explains. “At the start of this year I decided it was time to figure something out that would translate across all of personal work — such as art, graffiti, murals, illustration and hopefully tattooing. To do that I started working on personal stuff daily. The pressure of making whatever you’re doing ‘good’ slowly starts to slip away when you set aside a portion of time for it everyday, and the process becomes much more enjoyable.”