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Q&A with Jack Teagle

Painter, comic artist and Illustrator from UK

My name is Jack Teagle, and I'm a painter, comic artist and Illustrator.

My background is in illustration, and since I started my career, I have slowly been branching out into publishing comic work, and exhibiting my paintings. I've worked on a wide variety of jobs, recently I've been focused on publishing my comic work, but I've been gradually returning to more freelancing and painting.

How did you get started in illustration and comics, what is your background?

I think it all started on my foundation degree and being shown that there was a wider range of comics out there. At the time I was convinced that illustration was just illustrating children's books, and comics were just mainstream superhero stories.

As I started to learn more, I realized that illustration was the best choice for me, all of my interests fell into it. In my first year of my illustration degree I started to attend artist's book fairs, and I really started to get inspired by alternative presses, outsider art, bookmaking and printing. I realized there weren't really any limitations to what I wanted to create.

Where did you study? Looking back, could you recommend your path for beginners?

I studied at the University of Plymouth 2006-2009. Yes, I really enjoyed my time there, and learnt a lot. The tutors were fantastic in finding inspiration I could identify with, but what also out of my comfort zone, and it helped broaden my outlook. The same is with work, they were very encouraging towards my experimentation, and the print facilities were great. I made a lot of friends with my time there.

What is a turning point in your professional career?

Several things happened at once after several months of frantically searching for work after graduation. I gradually started to work with Nobrow on a number of comics after they'd seen my work at a D&AD graduate show.

Around this time I also won a competition in Anorak magazine, and started to get small jobs through them. Lastly, I was discovered by Front Magazine, where I did a lot of cartoon work for them. I think this is when my work started to get seen by a lot of people, and the YCN started to represent me, and helped me to find work.

What is your ideal work environment? Do you work in your studio all day long or prefer to mix a few activities?

I'm quite bad at mixing activities, I find that I'm much better at just working all day now. My most productive days are when I have no distractions, or errands to run, and I can work from the morning until late, just focusing on what I have to do.

I have everything I need in my studio. It has limited internet access, which is great, because I don't get distracted, and I have all my reference material, books and materials around me for the task at hand.

I'm trying to work exercise into my workflow. I used to go to the gym after a day at work, I find exercising before work disruptive, and I have this false sense of accomplishment, as if I've done my work for the day, and I tend to slack off when I go back t the studio.

Who are the designers and illustrators, cartoonists, colleagues in your city/country or outside you admire most?

I live with my girlfriend Donya Todd, and I find her work very inspiring. It's very different to my way of working, and I find it fascinating how she can come to different conclusions and answers.

I really love artists that have developed their own unique visual language, without borrowing from current design trends. You will find copycats of their work, but they can never master what they do.

I've practically developed from my early days as a student, through to a professional alongside the likes of Nick Edwards and Luke Pearson. I'm a huge fan of their work, and being a friend and seeing them develop has been extremely inspiring to me.

Abroad, I'm a huge fan of Gary Panter. He can set his mind to anything. He can work in any medium, and can adapt to any brief or idea, and also paints, makes comics and freelances.