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Top 25 Art Blog - Creative Tourist

An interview with illustrator Jesse Tise.

Pasadena based illustrator Jesse Tise imagines the most wonderful worlds inhabited by strange flora and fauna. Here he answers a Q&A, bringing a little of the colourful Californian art scene to our wintery shores...

Written by Amelia Gregory

JesseTise_euphoria
Euphoria by Jesse Tise.

When I discovered Jesse Tise by accident on Gareth A Hopkins’ blog I knew I had to get in touch and find out what inspires his wonderful illustrations. Read on and enjoy.

Why Of Gods and Monsters?
I’ve always wanted to have a moniker for my art that was a little more special than just my name. I wanted the title of my website to reflect something greater and more magical than the ordinary world we live in. Of Gods and Monsters, which is also a great film with Sir Ian McKellen and Brendan Fraser, struck the chord I wanted.

JesseTise_head_for_the_hills
Head for the Hills.

You’ve got a wonderful imagination – where do you get your inspiration from?
Nature! I love learning more about the flora and fauna of our world, and the many relationships between organisms in a single ecosystem. Also the japanese woodblock prints of Hokusai and Utamaro continually give me new ideas for pattern and composition. Oh, and science fiction film and books, Le Planete Sauvage is an amazing glimpse of an alien world!

JesseTise_the_hallowed_earth
The Hallowed Earth.

How do you create your work?
I usually paint my pieces with gouache (though sometimes I switch to acrylic) on paper. Gouache has amazing saturation of color. I use sponges to lay in wash gradients of color, over which I paint more solid shapes with brushes. However some of my newer pieces are digitally done; I usually make those by dropping scanned textures into flat, solid shape layers in Photoshop. I then print that out and use a lightbox to ink fine details with a brushpen, which I later scan and drop into the digital version.

JesseTise_The_Fisherman
The Fisherman.

What are your little creatures? Can you tell me more about their personalities and habits? Particularly this guy who appears a lot…
They are the googlocks, and they live scattered across six planets in an undeveloped galaxy. They reproduce via sporulation, so they are spread far and wide across the worlds. They wander the planets in nomad tribes, searching for their brothers and sisters and a home they will never find. Their bodies are soft, and jelly-like, so they are almost at the bottom of the food chain, though some have been able to tame and ride the larger, herbivore fauna. googlocks are the favorite prey of the much larger goomblaahs, omnivorous by nature, as well as the zaarlak, who are the greatest foe of the googlocks.

JesseTise_my_bestest_friend
My Bestest Friend.

What, precisely, is going on here?!
Ah, yet another fun piece for one of my Art Center classes! Its a self portrait with myself and my black giant schnauzer (named Sampson). However, I thought it’d be much more interesting, and fun, to replace our respective heads with a Native American mask and a set of multi-colored tentacles. Why? I’ll leave that one for you guys to answer…

JesseTise_Flora,Fauna,and_Freaks
Flora, Fauna and Freaks.

Where can we get hold of a copy of this?
Unfortunately, Flora, Fauna, and Freaks was a special set of booklets that was made for one of my courses at Art Center, and I have grown rather attached to it! I do have copies of my Space Spells zine, however, if anyone would like a copy just drop me a line, I’d be happy to send one to you!

JesseTise_Where_My_Tribe_At-
Where My Tribe At.

Have you done commissioned work, and if so who for?
I’ve had a few illustration gigs here and there, I’m working on getting my BFA degree in illustration right now, so I don’t actively seek freelance work but I’m planning on selling prints of my work in the future.

JesseTise_nocturna
Nocturna.

What’s the local scene like for artists? And how can people find out more about your community – are there any websites they should visit or cool blogs that they should follow?
I’m currently attending Art Center College of Design, which is in Pasadena, California. I’ve been lucky enough over the years to meet and some super-talented illustrators. Our department’s page can be reached here. Patrick Hruby and Ping Zhu are big sources inspirations for my work. I also make a habit of stopping by art+design blogs like GrainEdit.com, Meathaus.com, and Booooooom.com, I’m always finding great new talent through them.

Lastly, what are you working on at the moment?
I’m working on a new book called Xenology: A Googlock Guide to the Galaxy, which is going to be full of new paintings and images that show all my plants and animals in their element. Theres even an human astronaut that shows up now and then to investigate the alien worlds! I’m also working on making miniature, plastic toys of the googlocks, that I will try to have ready for sale by the end of the year. Should be a fun, exciting end of the year!

JesseTise_the_pilgrimage
The Pilgrimage.

You can follow Jesse Tise on twitter here.

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One Response to “An interview with illustrator Jesse Tise.”

  1. cecilia says:

    Wonderful Work!!!

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