I remember when I was setting up my Redbubble shop as a way to promote my personal artwork and I stumbled upon Jade’s page via her seriously awesome Adventure Time fan art. I adored Jade’s girly, detailed and super nostalgic stylings and immediately gave her a follow on every network I could find her on. We’ve chatted a few times via Instagram, but today I’m really excited to share with you a little bit more information about what drives this gorgeous, talented lady to continue on in the competitive world of creativity. Hope you dig this interview as much as we did and we hope it inspires some of you to pick up a pen and start doodling again, which I know I’m in great need of myself. Enjoy! Let us know if you think of someone else you think we should feature!
Did you always know that you wanted to be an artist?
Yes, pretty much. I always loved art at school (doesn’t everyone say that?!) and I knew quite early on that I wanted to end up working within the arts. I attended a very academically driven school and every time I told a teacher that I wanted to be an artist when I grew up, I was told to pick a ‘proper’ career instead. I think this just made me more determined to get into the creative industry. When I was little I used to painstakingly copy-draw images from my favourite story books or cartoons then re-draw the characters in brand new stories. Growing up I was always obsessed with art, my parents used to bring me books on famous artists back from trips abroad and I still have shelves full of books on classical art and architecture.
You have a very distinctive style, who or what inspired you to head in that direction?
By the time I was sixteen I had developed my own style inspired by the things I’d loved most growing up. I think my bold dark outlines come from the glorious Nick Sharratt illustrations that inhabited the pages of every Jacqueline Wilson book I devoured as a child. And I think I ended up drawing girls so much because I adored all things Betty Boop related when I was younger. I had a room full of Betty Boop memorabilia and her curvy, girly style led me to create my first super feminine ‘Candy Doll’ designs. I drew them all the time during sixth form but my art tutors didn’t like the style and encouraged me to try oil paints instead, it’s part of the reason i ended up leaving school and enrolling at my local college, which was the best decision I ever made.
What’s your favourite piece of art you’ve created to date?
Oh that’s tricky! It’s probably the set of 4 paintings I did for my BA degree show in 2012. I’d never painted much before then but somehow in the month before the show I produced 4 gorgeous paintings on 6×2 foot boards using acrylic, Posca and spray paint, and they just worked so well together. They were the first thing you saw when you entered the show and I sold all 4 to the same collector before the end of the exhibition. I still love to paint but I don’t think I’ve ever achieved the level of neatness I did in those 4 pieces, probably due to the tight deadline and my surviving every day on 3 hours of sleep and copious amounts of Red Bull! Other than that I think it would have to be my Jem and the Holograms illustration. I loved the show when i was little and it was so much fun to re-imagine and draw one of my favourite childhood characters.
What are your hopes for the future of your work?
Obviously, I’d love to see my brand continue to grow. I sell products featuring my designs to people all over the world and it never fails to surprise me that strangers like my stuff so much they want to buy it. I’d like to expand my product range and maybe bring in some clothing or accessories to go with the pins and patches I already sell. Other than that I’d love to go back to picture book illustration one day and actually finish the picture book I’ve been working on since I was at art college.
What’s the most challenging aspect of working as an artist?
I’ve worked freelance since I was 18, and apart from 2 other full time jobs (retail assistant and librarian) I’ve only ever worked for myself. I love being my own boss but it’s a lonely job doing everything by myself. I often have to remind myself to make time to get out of the house and meet my friends for a walk or for lunch. Left to my own devices I’d spend all of my time at my desk and even now when I’m fixated on a project or a commission I’ll forget to eat and won’t get much sleep until it’s done. It doesn’t help that I’m a perfectionist, so I’m always my own worst enemy. I wouldn’t change things for the world though, I love being self employed.
What tips would you want to pass onto someone who is thinking about making art their career?
Never give up! I know that anyone choosing a career in the arts will at some point probably hear people tell them it’s a waste of time, that they’ll never amount to anything and that they should get a ‘real job’ but that’s rubbish! Take it from someone who heard the same nonsense and just ignored it. I think that if you’re really passionate about art and design then don’t give it up, don’t quit and never be afraid to do what you love no matter what anyone tells you. Society will always need artists, and life would be a lot duller without
If you want to find out more about Jade Boylan and her Candy Doll Club, you can find her on her website, Instagram and Facebook Page. If you need a helping hand with something creative, give us a shout on firstname.lastname@example.org and we’d be happy to talk about your needs within marketing, PR, events or something else.