I’d like to present to you the first of our new series of posts entitled Optics. In this section, visual art is showcased by selected artists whose work impress us. To give an idea of where the style and mood of the work comes from, a few questions will be asked from the artists regarding their vision. This first feature covers work by Ian Jones, an artist and illustrator from the UK. What I enjoyed about this article is that the answers reflect on some of my favorite topics such as scientific spiritualism and serendipity; also I learned the word ‘Pareidolia’.
Enjoy. – Aryan
1- Can you tell us a little about your artistic background?
I am an Artist and Illustrator working closely between the Digital and Physical realm.
I originally studied Graphic Design, specialising in Illustration.
I produce work for gallery display, I take private and corporate commissions and also illustrate for books and magazines.
I have most recently been turning my hand to comics and have produced work for a couple of Graphic Novels.
2- Do you have a mission statement or work philosophy?
I am very interested in, and inspired by the idea of consciousness and perception of reality. Researching my interest in this field has led me to subjects as interesting as Shamanism and as complex as Quantum Physics. I try to inject a little bit of this into the aesthetic of my work. This is particularly evident in some of my more dreamlike, trippy images.
I like to harness Chaos in my work and utilise the Serendipity (happy accident) principle to my advantage in almost all of my work. Another name for this is Pareidolia, a form of Apophenia, it’s basically seeing patterns in random data. It is the Human brains natural ability to discern shapes very quickly. We read books through a similar principle, recognising the shape of whole words rather than reading letter by letter. I like the direction that this approach leads me. I come to totally different conclusions and compositions through utilising this method. My Online moniker Nonsense Prophet stems from this approach.
I used to do this through Rorshach style Ink blots on a page, or furious loose, expressive drawing. Although I do still produce work using traditional methods, Initially I tend to utilise Digital painting software such as Photoshop that replicates this technique much more efficiently. You can create brushes from any shape. The only limit is your imagination. Many of my brushes are created from scanned or photographed, real world, real paint marks that are then manipulated and converted into custom digital brushes that I then paint with. I have brushes that are made from Aztec symbols, from Fish Bones, from Floorboards. I like the freedom of digital. It’s such a powerful tool. It also allows me to exercise the inspiration from anywhere, and at anytime notion that I strongly believe in as an Artist.
3- Your artwork is the exact balance of manic and spiritual. That is a pretty interesting mix. Do you think this interpretation is correct?
I like your description of my work as an ‘exact balance of manic and Spiritual’. I think that’s a fair assessment. Chaos is a big part of it and with that comes a certain sense of mania. My love of Graffiti/StreetArt injects the manic expressive side whilst my interest in Ancient Cultures/Mythology exerts a more serene calming influence on my images. When these two contrasting elements collide, it can produce some very interesting results. Sometimes I have to work hard to make an image successful though because as you correctly point out, it is an interesting and unusual mix.
4- How interlinked do you see the visual and aural art? What music artists inspire your work?
My work is usually quite Dark and surreal in content. Although it very often has a psychedelic colour pallette. I like this juxstaposition. I think it was first inspired by my love of music. I am a fan of both the Cure and The Smiths and was always fascinated how both of these bands used jolly upbeat feel good tunes to deliver very often dark or sombre lyrics. Music is a huge inspiration to me in general. I rarely work without Music on. It informs the whole rhythm and mood of my work. I find Metal particularly good for expressive painting.
5- Your work has elements of stencil art, do you ever take your work out of the cyber realm and onto walls?
My work does indeed contain elements of stencil Art. I produce work for gallery display which is a hybrid of digital and traditional techniques. I don’t paint directly onto walls though.
One of my upcoming projects involves creating stencils from digitally manipulated images for a series of traditional paintings. I’m hopeful it will produce some interesting results.
‘Sharing the Catch’
‘A Grim Discovery’
‘Heart of the Behemoth’
You can find Ian Jones’ work at: