Jade Phillips creates beautiful collages using the distortion of text and various other objects composing of natural and personal themes. Her work is spontaneous and interesting to behold and generally consists of vintage prints and objects. I'm particularly fond of her text pieces featuring young foxes in a uniquely imaginative form of media manipulation.
1. Your work is so unique and creative, using the text as a medium - especially the fox print ones! - how did you discover it?
I'm really fascinated with censorship, and creating new ideas out of destruction. I destroy all these books, and censor out letters…and in the end rather than something ugly, there’s something beautiful. That’s what I really love about it. It started out just messing around doodling in a book and it took off from there!
2. Your gallery is fast expanding with so many textured and beautiful pieces - where do you get your resources from? A lot of my supplies I get from friends and family. For a while, friends would bring me zip-lock bags of old watches, calligraphy pens, old stamps, things like that. I even got some pretty good materials from strangers who knew I made art, and wanted to support it somehow. This one girl gave me a container of tiny springs and an old French book and told me they looked like things I could use. It was really touching, and I had no idea people even noticed my work like that, let alone wanted to help! My materials are really just a bunch of odds and ends. When I buy materials myself, like old foreign books, I usually buy them the local literacy council.
3. Do you ever sketch an idea out before hand? What is your process of work?
Yes, definitely! I actually have an old Russian book I use as a sketch book for working out new techniques and ideas, colorations. I usually just try to work out the coloring initially, then take the project out on the canvas.
4. Do you make work only for yourself? Do you do commission work?Most of the work I make, I make for myself. Currently I’m trying to get a commission from the local newspaper to do a large newspaper fox with their paper. I’ve done work for a band in New York, and sold a lot of my pieces, had showings, but typically I just make art for me.
5. Your pieces are so fun and spontaneous yet appear so deep, especially the collages- is there a message behind them, an expression or mood? - or do you just go with the flow?
It really depends on the piece. Many of them have meanings behind them, but the majority I make are spontaneous. I’ll just pick out my central focus for the piece, and then continue on from there. How a lot of them turn out just depends on what sort of materials I have at my disposal at the time.
6. Where do you gather your inspiration from?
Nature and music! When I’m working on a new piece, I’ll put on one of my go-to albums. My favorite album to work to is Seabear’s “The Ghost That Carried Us Away” and I feel like subsequently, a lot of the moods found in my art reflect that. Most of my inspiration however, comes from nature. I live in Alaska surrounded by forest, and I think my work tends to show that sometimes…Especially with the foxes!
7. Could you describe your ideal work space for me?
Deep in the woods in a tiny cabin filled with the smell of wood smoke and acrylic. I’d love to have a little quiet cabin I can work in some day, that’d definitely be the dream for me. But currently I have to make do with a shared studio space in town.
8. Your work features a lot of foxes, is there a reason behind this? A personal experience, preference - maybe you just love foxes? =]
Foxes are my favorite animal, and I just find them to be very beautiful and graceful. I love their forms, the colors of their fur. I guess I sort of have this fascination with the way they move….Eventually I will move on though! Currently foxes are my muse. I’m thinking about working with hares eventually. :)
9. Your favourite colour?
10. Do you have any advice for a budding illustrator interested in making a career out of illustration one day?
Just keep on making work! The more you create the better. And get it out there as much as you can. Make postcards and send them to galleries, create prints, enter into shows! I wish you the best of luck!