Put me in a shop and chances are that I will be drawn to a certain colour. Often its sensible blues or a flattering black, but right now it is rainbow – the more colours the better, and a hasty means to pencil in and brighten the gap between work and play. The fact that I can wear anything to work means that I live in jeans, which is no bad thing except that it offers no opportunity to distinguish a “work look” from your home appearance (now even scruffier); and my fashion colour palette has shrunk to fewer eye-catching and glaring hues. This is where the intoxication of rainbow seeps through, as like a magpie with a fetish for silver, colour appeals to me through its foreigness – it symbolises holidays, free time, cocktails and confidence. Colour-holic that I am, I want more.
As such, my mouse did a hover, triple-click when Jake Blanchard’s illustrations first panned onto my screen courtesy of ‘It’s Nice That’. Although, with deliberation, the word ‘nice’ seems a misnomer when applied to Blanchard’s work as it is much more daring and explosive than that. Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious being more apt. His illustrations showcase such a confident use of colour that even the clashing of similar shades (pink vs. purple, aqua vs. lime) somehow works, even if his images, remade in black and white, just wouldn’t. His work subsequently suggests character, a lack of restraint and expression – a little like a child let loose with a box of felt tips, his works denotes a similar energy and a refreshing rainbow-loving indulgence. As such, I enjoy how this style adds to the content of the images and makes me want to raise a high-five – Blanchard’s fascination with the natural world, mythology and ancient cultures revealed alongside a sense of intrigue, the idea of a story only part told. In terms of potential inspiration Alex Steinweiss’s album covers spring to mind, but note to Blanchard – I am enthralled.