Feature Artist - Jack Grayson

We were blown away when we saw this piece by artist Jack Grayson from Geelong in Victoria. We asked Jack all about his artwork and why he loves Rembrandt Pastels.


What are you favourite Talens products?
My all-time favourite product from Talens is ‘Rembrandt’ pastels. I use them for all of my realism work and rarely introduce pastels from another company. I find that they have a texture to them that is hard to find in other brands. While some are too chalky or crumbly, Rembrandts have a perfect balance of a dry, chalky texture and a smooth, almost oily finish that makes them easy to apply, very vibrant, and easy to blend and work with other colours. They come in such a diverse range of colour that is never an issue finding the ones that you need, which is a real bonus when working with subtle variations in tone and colour.

How would you describe your artwork?
My work is photo realistic, colourful and as engaging as I can make. While all of my pieces are inspired by personal attraction to an image and personal ideas I link to it, I like to make my work more about the experience people have when they encounter it. My Artwork is all about people’s individual experience with my work, what they think of when they see, ideas it brings to mind and how it makes them feel. I don’t want to influence or intrude on the personal experience that seeing a piece of art for the first time can be, as I want people to react to it in a way that makes it stick with them as an individual.

Where do you create?
I have 2 main bases of operation, the first being my desk in the lounge room at home. This is where I draw cartoons, write stories and develop all kind of ideas in my free time. The second is my studio. I work in a 4x4 squared metre space in a shared complex filled with artists and creators of all kinds. It is an amazing environment to create in that surrounds you with inspiration from a great company of talented and passionate creative thinkers. There is an art gallery and a cafe 50m down the road, a florist and ceramics store across the street, workshop space, jewellery store, picture framer and design hub all within a 150m radius of one another. This is where I create all of my pastel works and it is an amazing community to be a part of.

What do you do if you are in a creative rut?
If I get stuck in a rut I simply stop what I’m doing and work on something else until I feel like getting back to the initial task. It can be hard to find motivation to work on specific things sometimes and I find that if I ever try to force myself to do something, it doesn’t turn out at the best standard I know I can produce, which can be very disappointing. For example, I’m currently in the process of juggling 2 different pieces, simply because I keep losing motivation for one, and decide to work on the other one. It can be a bit draining and frustrating, but I find it’s the best way to get over a rut while still maintaining a decent level of productivity.

Which artists are you inspired by?
There are so many artists I look to for inspiration. Many are cartoonists, as I have a particular love for the cartoon genre in the way it manages to express emotion and tell stories in a captivating and exciting way. One of my big inspirations in the pastel medium and realist genre is a local Geelong artist Jill Shalless. Jill mentored me for a about a year throughout 2014-2015 and taught me just about everything I know about the pastel medium. She continues to mentor and teach me new things all the time, helping me with techniques, compositions, artwork ideas, exhibition details and the list goes on. She is an incredible artist in both technique, concept and execution and produces work that will continue to inspire me for years to come.

When did you first start using pastels?
For the longest time pastels were the bane of my existence. They were messy, confusing and hard to control. But, as mentioned earlier, I started working with local artist Jill Shalless in 2014 who pushed me and her other students to expand out boundaries and dare to try mediums we wouldn’t usually even consider. We worked with pastels for around 2-3 weeks where I leaned some proper techniques and got to familiarise myself with the medium. It took a lot of patience for me to finally understand that realism is a process and takes a long time to finish, as opposed to the cartoons I was used to drawing. After this period of introduction I was hooked on the medium and have been working with them ever since. I used them to create my final artworks for my final assessment at the end of high school and have continued to work with them for shows and for recreation over the past year.

When you aren’t creating, what do you do?
I work full time for a local art supplies company which takes up the majority of my time. But outside of that I spend a lot of time in my studio, volunteering as a youth leader and working on a number of different projects. In the coming years I plan take up study at RMIT University in Melbourne to study animation and design, which will mean that the vast majority of my time will be spent creating and doing what I love. One day I hope to create full time as an artist, animator, design, writer and producer.

You can follow Jack’s journey on his Instagram and Facebook pages.

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