STAYING CREATIVE WITH JACKSON GREEN
This week we catch up with AW21 collaborator Jackson Green, an artist and art director from Philadelphia and based in Los Angeles. Primarily working within the music industry as the art director of Diplos label Mad Decent, Jackson has collaborated with a range of artists from Brockhampton and Slowthai, to Jesus Piece and Nothing, across tour merch, album packaging, flyers and much more.
This range is also reflected in the multitude of styles and techniques Jacksons work is produced in. You can see how he mixes custom typography and digitally manipulated photos into his work with personally scanned textures and hand drawn elements.
How did you get into image making? Any early inspirations?
Image making has always been a part of my life in some form or another. I've always been a very expressive person, and so image making is just one aspect of that. Early inspiration came by way of the media I consumed and the culture that surrounded me— things like animation, movies, music, skateboarding, graffiti, religion, and art. I remember the Cy Twombly room at the Philadelphia Museum of Art having a big impact on me as a kid, as did the anime Neon Genesis Evangelion.
You’ve worked on quite a few custom typefaces of your own - what's that process like? plan on releasing any?
Typefaces are always kind of an adventure, in part because they're often so personal. In some instances, it's as straightforward as going, "I need a typeface that fills this role", whereas others are more deliberately expressive, born out of my own desire to play with forms and ideas. With the more expressive typefaces, it's sometimes a result of a lot of research and conceptualising, and sometimes the idea just floats in through the window. There's really no rhyme or reason.
I have released a few typefaces in the past, but that was largely due to outside pressure. Type design to me is a very personal and meditative process, and so giving away or selling my typefaces feels like giving away a piece of myself. I can't see myself releasing any for wider use moving forward, unless the specific idea is to make something for release.
Your work traverses various mediums from posters and clothing to instillations and motion design - anything else you’d like to try?
There are so many things I'd like to try— I'd really like to get into making and designing garments. Not just designing the graphics, but entirely custom pieces. I'd really like to play with more studio photography and video projects. I'd really like to build more deliberate, cohesive experiences; taking a more 360 approach to storytelling. I have ideas for performance art pieces that I would love to make a reality. Honestly I'd love to do more conceptual art in general.
As the current Art Director of Diplo’s label Mad Decent - what’s it like balancing that with commissioned and personal projects?
The balancing act is always a tough one. If I'm being honest, the real difficulty in balancing all my projects isn't so much having room for the work as it is leaving room for myself. I'm trying to get better at taking space and not working from time to time, but then I'll find something that inspires me and immediately start working on something that reflects that. It's an ongoing process.
What draws you to working within the music industry the most?
Music has always been a hugely important part of my life. My grandmother played piano, my father was a drummer, and I played in various musical projects growing up.
Kandinsky once wrote that, "Music is the ultimate teacher", and I think there's a lot of wisdom in that. Whereas other mediums seem to affect us by emulating or subverting certain natural phenomenon, music affects us simply because it is music.
Any advice for upcoming creatives?
A few key things I try to hold on to:
1) Find the things you love and let them consume you.
2) Don't be afraid to try new things.
3) Don't be afraid to fail.
4) Don't get cynical.
Changes almost daily. I'm heavily indebted to the aesthetics of films like THX 1138, 2001: A Space Odyssey, Solaris, and Blade Runner, but I also feel like I could watch The Mask a million times and not get bored.
Dream client or collaboration?
I infinitely prefer "collaborators" to clients, but any opportunity to work with Raf Simons would be amazing.
Lastly, any designers or artists we should know about?
As far as artists more people should be aware of: Ray Martinez, Patrick Edell, Queenie-Flavie Charles, Michael A. Flanagan, Carter Juncal, Carlo Cavaluzzi and Emma Hazen in the visual arts space.
Musically, people should check out Godly The Ruler, Goon Des Garçons, Peroxide Blonde and Generic Animal.
To see more of Jackson's work, follow him on instagram here.