This week we launch our collaboration T's and sweats with local Birmingham based artist Leanne Jones. She created the 'Disko Kid' image for us with a T-shirt design in mind & we absolutely love it! You can also buy the Disko Kids print from her site.
We’ve been a fan of your work for a while now but please tell us how you started and your background?
I’ve never not drawn, or at least I didn’t stop as a lot of people to do when they reach a certain age. I used to draw on repeat: Marilyn Monroe, James Dean, Madonna and I copied endless pages of dog breed reference books (I really wanted a dog when I was little). I remember as a teenager drawing for hours on end listening to Prince and De La Soul. My sister bought me a palette of half-pan watercolours in around 2006 and thats when I started drawing and painting in what I guess is my current style.
Where do you look for inspiration for your work?
I remember my mind being blown when I started my foundation course at Bournville School of Art and discovering their library, including art and fashion publications and reference books the likes of which I’d never seen before. I take a lot of inspiration from literature. I had an intense period of reading a lot of existential novels a few years ago and feel I am still very much influenced by this genre. One of my drawings was inspired by the fairytale ‘Peau D'Ane by Charles Perrault, whose works are often quite dark, both in imagery and moral teaching. I still take inspiration from fashion magazines and photography, but really if there is a word or I read a passage in a book I will find a way to visualise my ideas and thoughts on this through my work.
A lot of my university work was inspired by music, I was listening to things like Portishead, Aphex Twin and Rockers Hi-Fi back then. The photography on instagram is often beautiful and atmospheric, but I don’t often do direct drawings of things as I prefer my work to be something new and a collation of ideas (however, I have made some concessions if something is just too good in it’s raw state!)
How have you found your work has changed since having kids - if at all?
I wouldn’t say that my style has changed much since having children, I’d say it’s more my passion and motivation to create a living from my work and for my kids that is shaping the way I do things now; I’m a lot more confident about this being who I am, this being what I do. So I guess this has a direct affect on my work as a whole rather than just the drawings themselves. I’m also much more relaxed about the future and that what will be, will be, as long as I work hard and have faith in the process.
Future plans for Leanne Jone drawings?
To not lose sight of what my art is about and what I am about, but to embrace that this can also become a business and that I can enjoy that too.
What are your favourite music genres?
Ooh, tough one, I hate the word ‘eclectic’ but… Perhaps the next question is easier to answer…
What are you currently listening to?
Goat, OCS (my belle cousin Brigid Dawson is in this band, shameless name-dropping but I don’t care, they’re amazing), Warpaint, Bicep, Goat Girl and I quite like some of Gaika’s tracks at the moment, too. I will always play Shakira’s ‘She Wolf’ if I’m a bit tipsy. And I love listening to Cerys Matthew on Sunday mornings.
Party out or kitchen Disco?
Ha ha! Definitely Kitchen Disco. Usually in one of two; ours or my friend Kathrine’s! It’s getting so much easier to do impromptu stay-overs with our kids now. And we all have very similar tastes in music, so all good.
You can get 10% off the 'Disko Kid' print until Sat 24th November using code LEANNE10 on her site
Follow Leanne on Instagram here