Jake Pauls Interview

Illustrator Jake Pauls

Exploring the mysteries of science and nature through the images of Jake Pauls. Whether his images suggest letting nature take the lead in The Forest Power Glove, or the making of the cosmos in The Spell, Jake Pauls’ work simultaneously captures the beauty and power of nature, whilst reminding us of keeping a “childlike wonder” not only with art but the world around us.

His work digs into worlds unknown and reveals only more mysteries. Jake has kindly taken the time to talk to TF about his work, process and inspirations.

“When I’m thinking about a new project I rarely refer to recent sketches. Ideas need to sit for a bit before I am ready for them. I’m often going back to some old idea that now seems good”.

© Jake Pauls 2011

Portfolio: www.jakepauls.com

Tumblr: http://jakepauls.tumblr.com/

Twitter: http://twitter.com/jakepauls

Spirit © Jake Pauls 2011

Q1.   Tell us a bit about yourself.

I grew up in the States, but moved to Canada to go to school and be around family…also I’m a cold weather person. I like building fires and eating outdoors as much as almost anything else in the world. I’ve got an awesome wife and a rad new baby boy.

Process  -  Make Things Well © Jake Pauls
Make Things Well © Jake Pauls 2011

Q2.   How do you approach starting a new project?

This is something I am still figuring out. I’m not an avid sketcher. I’m always seeing advice that says “carry a sketch book with you everywhere, draw everyday.” To be honest, that is not how I work. I sketch when I feel the urge. When I’m thinking about a new project I rarely refer to recent sketches. Ideas need to sit for a bit before I am ready for them. I’m often going back to some old idea that now seems good. Maybe it is a bad way to work, but I usually find something redeeming in most old drawings, so it is somewhat efficient.

Process - The Forest Power Glove © Jake Pauls
The Forest Power Glove © Jake Pauls

Q3.   Weapon of choice (favorite materials)?

Mechanical pencil and BIG paper. I’m trying to make a studio desk that is just a large surface of replaceable paper. I don’t like resting my wrist on the edge of a pad. I wish I could do it all without my computer, but I never could, so Photoshop is another favourite.

Process – Ghost War © Jake Pauls 2011
Ghost War © Jake Pauls 2011

Q4.   Do you have a favourite place outside of your workspace that you like to go to sketch?

My apartment or my family cottage I suppose. The place doesn’t matter so much as my mood. But I would say that mood is most often present when I am at home.

Jake Pauls Studio
Jake Pauls Studio

Q5.   Your favourite procrastination pastime?

I am a terrible procrastinator and I do not enjoy it so it is hard to say I have a ‘favourite.’ I look at design sites, art sites, music sites, mess around on my studio-mate’s drum kit. None of these things help. I suppose the best procrastinations are convincing myself that it is important to cook a really involved meal or that it is okay to go off to the woods for a long weekend. When I’m doing those things it doesn’t feel like procrastination…I tell myself it is a reward for the hard work that came before it.

Jake Pauls Studio

Q6.   What do you like to listen to while you’re working?

Podcasts. On the Media and PBS News Hour are great for world issues, This American Life and Radiolab are good for a story, and my long standing favourite thing to draw to is Night People. It is just two guys talking about nothing in particular and is the best for lulling me into a state of focus. I listen to the Best Show in spurts, but then get tired of Tom Sharpling complaining about everything and I take a long break. I listen to a lot of music, but not so much when I’m drawing, I don’t know why.

Process - Spell © Jake Pauls 2011
Spell © Jake Pauls 2011
Detail - Spell © Jake Pauls 2011

Q7.   What are some of your sources of inspiration?

Books, science, music…they are all synesthetic. Music gives me ideas for drawings, but I don’t mean it in the way people talk about ‘feeling’ music. That are talking about an emotional response but I mean it in a cognitive way. A style of music or an author’s writing style can really give me ideas about how to draw something. If I am enjoying an author whose style is sparse and detached I could use those qualities in my drawing.

Process - Skyscraper © Jake Pauls 2011
Process - Skyscraper © Jake Pauls 2011
Jake Pauls Studio
Slice © Jake Pauls 2011

From Jake’s Blog: I did this video for friends the Hooded Fang back in the winter and it has finally hit the web. Animation is so hard and I am not very good at it. I hope you dig my attempt.

Huge thanks to Jake for providing so many awesome photos and for taking the time to do this interview.

Don’t forget to stop by Jake’s site!

All images ©2011 Jake Pauls

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