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We Chat with Jayde Perkin

We Chat with Jayde Perkin

Jayde Perkin is a bristol based illustrator. She charmed us all with her shop local posters which were seen across Bristol, she has worked on numerous projects such as Gipsy Hill’s beer labels and has published two books. We were excited to work with her on our tote bags, postcards and our Caseiculture header.

We wanted to give her a big shout out for her beautiful work and had some questions for her, see below.

We loved your shop independent local poster, tell us more about how it came together and being an independent illustrator yourself?

Back in lockdown 1.0 (how is that nearly a year ago?!) I was thinking about what a tough time is for all the wonderful local cafes/bars/shops/bakeries/breweries I love so much here in Bristol. The indie businesses are the real charm, character and community of the city, and I just wanted to make something colourful and fun as a gift for them to put in their windows, (a) as a little thank you to their customers for shopping independently, and (b) as a gentle reminder that where we spend our money is a political choice, and if we want our favourite businesses to survive tough times, we need to be supporting locally rather than lining the ever expanding pockets of billionaires. 

You have worked many different types of project from the grief cast to gipsy hill, what has been your favourite project so far? or most interesting ?

That’s a tough question as I’ve been super lucky to work on such a range of different projects so it’s always pretty exciting!

I’ve made quite a lot of grief related work, including, as you mentioned, the branding for Cariad Lloyd’s podcast Griefcast. It all started back in 2016 when my mum died and I began self-publishing zines & mini comics exploring grief, loss, music, and leaving Berlin (which is where I was living at the time). Comics became a sort of vehicle for me to process my own grief, and make sense of the world. 

I was then commissioned to make my first children’s picture book Mum’s Jumper (published by Book Island Books, who are based here in Bristol), which was an amazing challenge, as at that time I’d never written for children before, never mind about a topic as taboo as grief. The response has been incredible, and it feels good to be part of a journey to make grief a more accessible topic for both children and adults alike. 

In 2018 I won the ELCAF X WeTransfer prize, which allowed me the means to turn my smaller self published comics into my first long-form graphic memoir, which is called I’m Not Ready, and was released at the festival in 2019. So, yeah! It’s been a bit of a whirlwind.

One of my favourite projects last year was working with Gipsy Hill Brewery to create a series of six special edition labels. I love beer, so it’s really fun to see my illustrations on the cans, and also drink them too haha. There’s so many great craft breweries with such solid branding at the moment, it’s almost hard not to choose based on the designs rather than the style of beer! James Yeo at LHG and Thom Hobson at DEYA are two stand outs for me. They’re just so eye catching and fun, and it’s really nice to be part of that scene in some way. But yeah, combining my love of making art and beers is pretty dreamy, so if anyone out there wants me to do any more can designs - I’m yer gal! 

And, of course, it’s been so much fun to collaborate with Two Belly on some brand new merch! My Two Belly tote bag is my new favourite fashion accessory (and also very practical for carrying those tasty beers home!) <3 

Outside of commissioned work what other personal projects have you got on the go ? 

I’ve got another big long-form comic on the go at the moment, it’s been a little bit on the back-burner over the last few months, mainly because I’ve been busy with other work. This past year I have found it a bit hard to write, what with everything going on. But I’m hoping to carve out some time in the next few months to find the headspace, and get back into it. 

I’ve also been doing some fun collaborations with the French Workwear Company, so I’ve been painting onto clothes, which has been really fun! Watch this space! 

How do you create characters that you include in the work ? There is Lara & Dom in our series.. but how do you go about creating other characters?

It was so lush to illustrate Lara and Dom in the Two Belly series, and I feel like it makes it so much more personable, and really allows customers to get to know the people behind the business. 

Often my friends will appear in my work, but I also enjoy people watching. I used to go and sit in cafes and draw, but can’t do at the moment for obvious reasons. In the summer when lockdown was eased I spent quite a bit of time sitting in the park sketching, but it’s not really my ideal temperature for that right now, haha, so for now walking the streets of Bristol listening to tunes will have to suffice! 

What inspires you? do you sometimes get artists block like writers block ?  

Artists block is a big thing for sure, I’ve definitely felt like I’ve been hitting a wall recently, I don’t know if there’s a sort of collective lockdown anxiety going on, but it’s hard to feel super inspired at the moment. I feel like I get a lot of my inspiration from people, conversations, travel and exploring cities, and there’s just a lot less of that going on at the moment. 

Something that will always be an inspiration to me though, has to be music. 

I have it constantly on in the background. It’s like the ever-loving friend who’s always there for you. On the days when you need to wallow, and in the times when you need a funky pick-me-up and a boogie around the room.

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