Artist Spotlight #33: Jordan Tucker

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Jordan Tucker. Photo credit: Baxter William

Jordan Tucker’s lush work is reminiscent of the popularised “sad boy aesthetic” of late Internet new wave culture. His oeuvre is a mixture of photography and graphic design work that has put him on everyone’s radar. In our latest spotlight, Jordan tells us of his life philosophy, and his past and present works.

Q: Hello Jordan! Can you please tell us a bit about yourself?

A: Well to start off with, I’m a 21 year old graphic designer, as well as all round creative person. I’m completing my studies in a Bachelor of Design (Visual Communication) at UniSA at the end of this year, with an Advanced Diploma of Graphic Design that I completed in 2014. Alongside that, I’ve been working as a Freelance Graphic Designer for about 4 years now. With clients over many different industries, from musicians in the UK and USA (None Like Joshua, Dan Bull, Boyinaband), to local businesses and artists around Adelaide (TK Cupcakes, Baxter William, City Brief). I also create a zine called “Venture” which is a physical book for me to present some of my work in.

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Q: What inspires your work? And who are you influenced by?

A: With design, a lot of things inspire me. For me, I look at designers and artists that I really enjoy. I used to really like Dan Mumford’s stuff. He does a lot of stuff for bands and musicians. That’s where I started with my graphic design journey, so I looked at his work for inspiration. My style was always quite different to him as he’s an illustrator, but his work ethic and the way he does things are quite inspiring.

Now I really like the artist who’s done album artwork for Tame Impala and Bonobo – Leif Podhajsky. His work has a lot of character and texture to it, with simple use of clean typography, which is something that I love. Other design studios and artists I’d say are an influence would be MASH, Anagrama, Simple, FutureBrand, Pentagram and Luke Insect to name a few that I enjoy.

The world around me, too, would be an influence, with design in things that aren’t necessarily created to be aesthetically pleasing but just exist in general such as in nature. You can find inspiring design anywhere, it’s just knowing where to look. I also have a love for creating something visual, it’s an inner drive that’s been with me for years.

Q: Do you have a preferred medium?

A: For me, the mediums I create my art and design are always evolving and changing as I grow as an artist. Currently, I use the Adobe Suite to create my design work; Photoshop and InDesign are my big two. I’ve always also used the good old pen and pencil, I started off drawing as a kid which is where my love for art grew and further evolved over the years.

I also really love physical stuff, for me this would be why I create zines like “Venture“; it’s a way that I can present some of my work on physical paper that the reader can feel and absorb in the real world. The paper stock can change how a story is viewed through the pages. With my zine, I attempt to tell a story in each issue that the reader can interpret themselves, and doing it through a print medium is the best way for that.

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Q: How would you describe your style?

A: Currently, my art/design style is minimalistic. I like clean and simple design- things that work because they just work. Without fluff and other sugar coated stuff on top. A good design should be able to stand on its own without the need for added things that have no meaning. I always try to make sure everything in the design is there for a reason, if it doesn’t have a reason and it’s there just to be there I feel I don’t need it there. In saying that, I also enjoy complex design, for example, if a complex plant image is working in harmony with a minimal, simple logo. The two can end up singing together beautifully.

Q: Has your style changed over time?

A: Definitely, my style is always changing and improving. As an artist, I think it’s naive to think you’ll always have the exact same style forever. Your style grows and changes as you and your life does. I think that’s something that’s quite profound about artists. The way we and our work change and move.

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Q: If you could recommend one artist?

A: Go and check out Leif Podhajsky’s work, his artwork for Bonobo’s North Borders release is one of my all time favourite projects. The use of simple white typography and line artwork paired with colourful, moody textures and digitally altered photo imagery is something that heavily inspires my own work. The whole project is a goal of mine: to one day work on something that big and involved alongside a musical artist. The work I have done for artists is enjoyable for me as it brings their sound into the visual realm, so to work on a vinyl release boxset like this would be a dream project.

Q: What’s your favourite gallery?

A: The Mill would probably be one of my favourites. A few artists I’m friends with as well as others have showcased their artwork here and it’s a really nice space. They also work as a creative space and hub for artists to work at. I hope one day I can set up an exhibition here but I’m still working on the details of what I would want it to be, but I do have some ideas brewing for something showcasing my Instagram photos.

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Q: What do you rate as your greatest artistic achievement to date?

A: It would probably have to be when my zine “Venture” got the opportunity to be sold in a store in Regent Arcade, Created Range. Also seeing people buy and pick up a copy for themselves, showing interest in the zine proves to myself that I’m doing something that people like.

Q: Where do you see your art practice taking you in the next five years?

A: I see myself working in a design studio amongst other creatives, helping businesses, brands and others bring their ideas into the visual world. I also see myself continuing to produce home grown handmade work like my zines.

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Q: Have you been given any useful advice on how to succeed in the arts? And could you share it with us?

A: Just keep pursuing your dream, chat and network with people. Send them emails, ask to chat over coffee. Networking with others can get you far, sometimes it’s not just what you know, but who you know.

Q: Where can people go if they’re interested in seeing more of your work?

A: To find more of my work, check out my website/portfolio. You can also follow me on Facebook for constant updates on projects and more. For my photography explorations, follow me on Instagram.

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Q: What is your philosophy for life? General outlook for living?

A: A quote that’s stuck with me for years is, “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take”. It’s stuck with me because I always try to take every opportunity I can to try and do something that counts. Whether it be simply telling someone how awesome their artwork or design is on Instagram, which then leads to the two of us becoming good friends (has happened many times). To entering design competitions or emailing a studio to chat over a coffee. For me I try to always look for something to do, I strive to keep my passion flowing and always create something. Even simply emailing someone and asking for advice, and seeing where that takes you. Just be real with people, don’t treat them like simple words on a screen. Be real, be human and I feel others will recognise that.

– Dylan Rowen

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