Jessica May is a phenomenal illustrator, her ethereal allure makes her a prime prospect for Wanderlust Diaries. Her sketches are mesmeric…Delve deeper into the mind of Ms. Underwood…
~If you could just tell me a little about what you do?
JM: I am forging my way making illustrations, prints, and drawings, and being lucky enough to make a small living out of doing the things that I love.
~What inspires you as an illustrator?
JM: I think since I have been drawing and studying illustration as a subject, my inspirations have changed a lot. When your at art school I think you get influenced by trends and what everybody else around you is making work about, because it’s bound to rub off on you. Yet, since then I’ve started to really hone in on what inspires me as a person. I think that way the work you are making is 100% true to you, and when you go on an interview or people see your work your like ‘ yeah I love that’ because that’s the only thing that keeps your work going. I get inspired by the books I read, the people in the books I read, places I go, my friends and their work, fashion magazines and photography…I try not to watch tv, I think it’s a waste of time.
~Have you illustrated prints for any particular designers..If so, which ones?
JM: Yes, my first real print work was when I was in my final year at Saint Martins University, I worked at Alexander McQueen doing print and illustration. I met some really, really good people there and it made me realize exactly what I wanted to do, and that other people were totally passionate about similar things I was. I have since done prints for House of Holland, Hermione DePaula, Fearne Cotton’s personal clothing line and a T-Shirt line for The Stereophonics 2010 tour. I also talk to stores, buisnesses, blogs, websites, all sorts of people about imagery, tattoo designs, murals and window displays. I’ve spent an afternoon drawing all over models legs for a shoot before, so drawing can be applied to anything!
~What fashion designers or artists inspire you and your work?
JM: Azzedine Alaia, Boudicca, The Row, Rodarte, Alexander McQueen, Vivienne Westwood’s Manifesto, Tattoo Art, Aubrey Beardsley, Mervyn Peake, Alan Lee, David Hopper, Audrey Kawasaki.
~Did you always want to be an illustrator, and at what age did you start drawing?
JM: If I think back then I started drawing at a very young age. I used to like taking the time to study things in detail even when I was little. At art college I found it difficult making the decision to follow illustration as a subject. I’d always convince myself to study English literature, like that’s what I was going to do. So to go to university for something as ambiguous as drawing seemed really risky to me, but just seemed right so thats what I did.
~Did you go to school to study art?
JM: Yes, Central Saint Martins in London.
~Do you have any re-occuring themes in your work? ( illustrations, prints, sketches)
JM: I think there is definitely a darkness to my pictures, and usually some kind of hidden narrative or ambiguity. I don’t know but usually it comes from how I’m feeling, what I”m seeing, reading, into etc. I get commissioned to draw floral projects alot too.
~What are your aspirations for the future?
JM: I would like to keep making money from my work and keep enjoying how my work brings me to inpsiring people with interesting ideas all the time. I’d like to find a nice big studio to work in one day that all my friends and family could come and hang out at, because drawing can get quite lonely! I’d like to push myself more, travel more, and I’d like a few more tatoos!