Illustrator and farmer Jack Fletcher
Catching up with long standing collaborator and friend Jack Fletcher, on the Farm in Scotland, shoveling pig shit for inspiration!
Interview by Hugo Ross
Illustration by Jack Fletcher
Mar 31, 2019
VM: Where did you study?
JF: I studied illustration at Edinburgh College of Art in Scotland.
VM: What are your favourite tools for producing non-digital work?
JF: Nothing really beats a pen and pencil for me. Apart from that maybe a dip pen or brush and ink.
VM: Can you teach us any quick tips for the digital programs you use?
JF: Oh wow, I literally have the most backwater photoshop skills. I literally cobbled them together through just doing whatever works. I think I watched a tutorial video about photoshop when I first started out for all of 30 seconds then got bored. The biggest thing i’ve learnt is that you can hold down Cmnd+ Alt + Z on photoshop on mac rather than tapping away at it to get rid of all your fuck ups a microsecond faster?
VM: What are your favourite ways to collaborate?
JF: I love being brought in to collaborate on projects that are outside of my skillsets where I get to learn from the people I’m working with. The collaborations where I am taken out of my comfort zone and I come out at the end knowing something new would be my favourite.
VM: How do you seek inspiration and how do you document it?
JF: Really from anything I come across. It doesn’t need to be visual. It could be some music, some food, a textile. Really anything that invokes a story is inspiring to me. I feel that narrative is very important when creating images so I usually look to stuff that is has something to say.
VM: What is over the horizon / What is your next project?
JF: Currently over the past year and a half I have been working on a project with two friends called The Free Company. Over that time we have been hand building Scotland's only fully seasonal restaurant in an old dilapidated farm at the foot of the Pentland hills. Now that we have got over the first year and a bit of setup and running the restaurant I am looking to open a design house within The Free Co. where I can start creating things beyond illustration under our own brand.
VM: How long do you work / talk us through your working day!
JF: My day is pretty eclectic. I am up at about 8am and at work by 9am. My studio space is here on the farm. Its a wooden room we built out of the old unused farm building. Then depending on what is going on at the farm that day my routine can range from a whole day in the studio to moving pigs from and old field to a new field, chopping wood for the log burners, laying cement floors to stripping slates off a roof. There really is no fixed daily occurrences while working from a farm. It’s great though as it keeps your work days varied.
VM: What do you do to remedy writers/designers block - (hobbies, sports or activities?)
JF: The best thing i’ve found to immediately deal with block is to just get up and go for a walk. Usually i’ll go find something else to do on the farm to keep my mind off whatever i’m having a problem with. I’ve literally gone to shovel pig shit to try and get my mind off dealing with a particular set of block.