Jared Nickerson is an illustrator/designer based in Seattle – USA. His funny and colorful style is becoming more and more popular, he’s also co-founder of Blood Sweat Vector collective and community director of La Fraise. I’ve been lucky enough to collaborate with him and join BSV, and besides a talented and skilled artist he’s also a really nice person, so here for you: Mr. Jared Nickerson.
1- Can you introduce yourself to our readers? What’s your background?
I’m a 27 year old freelance illustrator based out of Seattle, Washington. I have over six years in the industry, and I run my own design studio, J3Concepts. I’m also remote Art Director for European based clothing label laFraise and Co-Founder of renowned vector community BloodSweatVector. I specializes in character, editorial, video game, product, and textile design along with art direction and management.
2- When did you start working with vectors? Using which software/version?
I actually took a media tech course in highschool, it was the first ever offered of it’s kind in the area and I was taught to work with CorelDraw. A few years later I picked up a copy of Adobe Illustrator 9 and slowly taught myself that. Illustrator to this day remains my tool of choice.
Versatility for the most part. Vector can really fit any sort of product. You can change color schemes in seconds, increase the size without losing quality, no more saving in massive 300 dpi format for print, etc. The advantages are huge. Essentially though it depends on what look you are going for and vector itself seemed to suit my style and approach a lot better than raster. It’s all a matter of taste of course.
4- You have a superfunny style, very modern but with a retro look in a lot of details of your characters. Where do you find inspiration for your art and characters?
Inspiration can come from anything really, real life people I know, certain animals, or even other artists. I find browsing www.ffffound.com on a regular basis to be a good source of inspiration. I do like very vintage style characters and cartoons, so I always try to implement that look into my work.
5- Besides being an illustrator you’re also creative director of LaFraise.com. How did you start your collaboration with them?
I actually started out with them last year as Community Director on their EU English site. I handled artist communications along with their English blog and portions of moderation. I had won a few times on laFraise so had gotten to know the staff, so we worked if out one day for me to work along side them. That slowly evolved into the Art Director position I hold now.
6- Because of this role in LaFraise you travelled pretty often to Europe. What do you like of Europe, and Berlin in particular? Which are the main differences between Europe and USA as a designer, in your opinion?
I love Berlin, truly a great city. Great art culture including music. I enjoy the overall attitude to the industry in Berlin and other parts of Europe I’ve been to. They seem very open to various methods and mediums of art including the more digital kind that I specialize in.
Differences, honestly besides architecture, there aren’t a lot of major differences. I find attitudes towards art in general are fairly consistent throughout the places I’ve travelled. Seems like what’s popular in Europe is also popular here and vice versa. All trends seem to cover the globe eventually.
7- Designer, illustrator, creative director of LaFraise and also co-founder of Blood Sweat Vector collective. What can you tell us about BSV project? Where is it came from? You just had your first collective exhibition in Berlin, next goals?
Well Brad Mahaffey and myself sat down awhile back and figured there wasn’t a real outlet for vector artists to sit down and post their work, a vector exclusive website where the artist is in control. That’s where we came up with BloodSweatVector. The artist themselves are in control of what the public sees.
And by artists I mean some of these guys are known world round for their artwork. Some have produced toys, video-games, clothing, you name it. These guys are on top of their game and we figured what a good place for all of these like minded artists to get together and mess around. We really try to encourage the members to comment on each other’s work. A huge thing for artists is getting feedback from other like-minded artists they respect and look-up to, and we really want to encourage that sort of interaction. So far it seems to be headed in the right direction. Next steps could include an upcoming show in LA, we’ll see.
8- Who are your creative heroes? Someone in particular you look at?
That’s a tough question without leaving anyone out. I’d def. say any of the members of BloodSweatVector. We hand picked them all, so I obviously admire all of them. I’d have to say some of my favorite vector illustrators are BSV members. Some of these artists I’ve had the privilege of working on various projects with as well, including a few upcoming ones.
9- Can you reveal us some of your upcoming projects? What are they about?
I cant get into too much detail, but I’m working on a number of projects including a full deck of playing card series, vinyl toy series, and various shows. Included in these are various personal projects and the usual commercial projects with clients such as Nike, laFraise (of course), Delta Airlines, Mad Decent etc. And keep in mind you can always check my website for updates at www.jthreeconcepts.com or Behance www.behance.net/j3concepts.
Thanks a lot to Jared