Jeremy and I met on a photoshoot in Los Angeles back in April. After a conversation, we hit it off really well and he approached me with an idea for a collaboration. The collaboration did extremely well and raised press and accolades from Creative Boom, Digital Arts and others.
JB: I’ve admired of your work for a while now, your vision is incredible. How do you introduce yourself?
JBooth: My nam is Jeremy Booth and I’m a self taught illustrator from Louisville Kentucky. Five years ago I began pursuing graphic design and that evolved rather quickly into illustration. Over the years I have worked with Amazon, Over, Samsung, and recently Eero.
JB: Wow thats quite the list, your work has become its own, to me its a new vintage yet progressive.
How do you describe your creative style?
JBooth: I would fit my style into the category of flat illustration and some would say that it’s almost a vector noir. Props to my buddy Neil for coining that. The style is flat but with dimensions, the colors are limited, and the shadows are always strong.
JB: I love “Vector Nior” it completely fits your style. I’ve been so drawn to your work, because it stands on its own. Do you have influences?
JBooth: When I began my journey of trying to find my style within illustration I looked to old Disney, travel, and Plakastil posters. From there I found current day artists that were doing something similar but in a way. Those include Studio Muti, DKNG, Matt Chase, etc.
JB: I can defiantly see the old Disney inspiration, especial in your color choices. Studio Muti work is incredible as well, do you have favorite project you’ve worked on, ones that got your creative juices flowing?
JBooth: That would certainly be my most recent exhibit. That’s because I was able to take something I enjoy (mid-century design) and create pieces of art around it. I also loved the challenge of creating for an exhibit, something I have never done before.
JB: You just finished a show in Paris, how did that come to be?
JBooth: Late spring I signed to an agent in Paris, recently after I was contacted through Sergeant Paper (a gallery and store for digital artists). Sergeant Paper asked if I was interested in them selling my artwork at their store. Being newly represented in France I contacted my agent first before replying. She took a few days to negotiate a solo exhibit with SP and soon after I got an offer to have my own show there this fall. I agreed and began producing. Here I am now, an exhibit finished and showing in Paris, its been a great ride so far.
JB: From Louisville to Paris, its amazing how global we have become, especially in the art world. How has global scale changed your view of your own work?
JBooth: I’m learning a lot more of how the illustration business works in Europe. I think it is much more guarded and cherished over there. Illustrators are much more guarded and if you get close to doing something within their own style they let you know. Here in America that isn’t the case, every artist can create within any similar style as long as no one is copying.
JB: Its so true, I feel that in here in the states we’re obsessed with innovation and progress, where in my observation, Europe has deep roots in tradition and history. What’s your view on printed work vs. digital. Do you feel that there is a time and place for both?
JBooth: I cherish both and each work according to context, sometimes that means both work well together. After the exhibit in Paris and seeing others reactions I am learning that there could be sustainability as an artist in print. Where as I used to think it was the opposite, because of technology digital is the only way to go. I don’t fully believe that any more, art will always exist in physical form.
JB: With your recent work in Paris and working with a great list of clientele how do you prep-mentally for a creative project?
JBooth:Tons of research in the beginning and good communication help me from a mental stand point. I find that with confidence in knowing exactly what the client is looking for and knowing I can provide that I become mentally more prepared. If that isn’t the case anxiety usually steps in.
JB: How do you handle and work through creative block or pre-assignment anxiety?
JBooth: There is always some form of anxiety in the beginning of each project. That ranges from intense to subtle anxiety. Usually I have to remind myself that I have done this before and I can easily do it again. For creative blocks I find stepping away for a period of time is usually helpful, that is usually in the form of a walk or eating dinner. That allows for new perspectives and it frees my mind of the creative block because I am not focusing on the task at hand. I am then able to come back to the project clear headed and with a new perspective.
JB: I often take the same approach, finding that talking walks and placing myself in different environments allows for the creative juices to flow. Its amazing with how much competition there is out there, there is this perceived inclination that the best don’t have anxiety, but I’ve actually found the opposite to be true.
Its often those who care the most often end up creating the work that challenges the status-quo.
With that in mind where do you see the future of illustration going, with such a flood of talent?
Booth: The illustration industry is really vast and full of talent. You have to stay competitive and consistent to really stick out. That is one reason why I decided to adopt a style and stick to it. That allows me to master it and be the best at it. I have also found that it gives me more demand and own that corner of the market, the end result higher pay and better clients.
JB: You mentioned earlier about having an agent, what are your thoughts on being a freelancer, represented or working for an agency in your industry?
JBooth: I have been freelancing for 2.5 years now and man it’s been tough. This past year I am seeing things starting to change though. I was picked up by an agent, did my first solo show, and I am receiving a lot of press from it. I think picking up an agent has been good for me, she has a small roster which allows her to be very personal and helpful. I am hoping to pick up more agents in the near future in other countries. I really don’t see myself working for anyone else but myself anymore. The work I have put in as a freelancer beginning to reap and I am excited about it.
In closing: What 3 key steps / lessons would you recommend to starting Illustrators?
Be disciplined in working and learning:
This industry is tough and the only way to make it to the top is working hard and having a mindset of always learning. Instead of partying all the time, cut back and use that time to study techniques, draw, read, and advance your skills as an artist. You can replace partying with anything you spend to much time doing.
Learn how to be a business man/woman:
I feel like a lot of illustrators struggle with pricing, public relations, social media management, etc. It is valuable to be a great illustrator but it’s also valuable to sustain yourself. Talented illustrators should be making a great living for themselves.
Be aware of what your good at:
Before illustration I tried my hand at many things. That includes lettering, web design, app design, and various styles of illustration. I have found that I am naturally best at illustration, when I came to this realization I decided to really stop pursuing all of them but illustration. I found illustrating to be more fun, easier to achieve goals I had for myself, and satisfying. Having seen this natural ability I have been able to elevate myself faster in my skills and in my career. Find what you are good at and foster that!