Work / Nicer Tuesdays

Alex Jenkins on how he developed his signature grotesque style

There are lots of reasons why creatives become fans of illustrator Alex Jenkins. His illustration style for one always grabs your attention, but it’s the ensuing narratives – which always follow a gross but very relatable storyline – that really hold your focus. To discuss how he developed this signature style and process of working that always makes us laugh, he joined us at February’s Nicer Tuesdays.

In Alex’s first ever talk about his practice, the illustrator spoke honestly about how his illustrations are often reflective of his own feelings, observations, or general annoyances, considering he sees himself “pretty much as a big bumbling guy with an awkward sense of humour”.

Over the years, since graduating from Camberwell College of Arts a couple of years ago, Alex has consistently stuck to a grotesque style of work – “I do get a bit fed up of slinging that term around but it probably does best fit it” – but has recently found his stride in splitting drawings up into comics panels.

Taking the audience through his experiments with six and then nine panel-formatted comics, the illustrator has now settled on creating four-panel observations, tightening up the process of getting to the always brilliant punchline of his “bad personal habits and the less flattering side of human nature”.

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