Jack Clayton - Printmaker + illustrator
Jack Clayton is an illustrator / printmaker from London who specialises in the medium of woodcut printmaking. He relief prints his blocks by hand and often uses the reduction method to add multiple layers of colour from a single block of wood. In 2010 he left the UK and spent 2 years travelling and working around Australia before venturing over to South East Asia and finally residing in Ho Chi Minh City where he has been creating art inspired by his new environment since.
In the past he has studied about different environments, places he’s lived or travelled through and enjoyed learning about the stories of the past and their relations to the present. He used his art to gain a better understanding of an area which shows through his immensely complex and thoughtful illustrations.
More recently he has been looking at modern Vietnamese culture and traditions he experiences whilst living in Ho Chi Minh City, illustrating them for himself and others to gain a better understanding of the environment around them.
His recent series ‘Streets of Vietnam’ is ongoing and draws inspiration from the streets of Ho Chi Minh City. Popular sights such as street sellers, children’s games, cafes, drinking culture expressions and sayings all play apart with an aesthetic quality drawing inspiration from traditionally hand painted shop signs, geometric floor tiles and many others.
Woodcut printmaking has been Jack's main medium for the past 10 years but he also creates complex, detailed illustrations based on entire cities. Since living in Vietnam he has travelled to the specialist Dong Ho Painting villages in the north and tries to include locally sourced / made materials where possible. He also takes great inspiration from Japanese ukiyo-e prints and also German expressionist prints.
‘I see myself predominantly as a woodcut printmaker who focuses on experimentation to create unique and eye-catching work. I enjoy mixing the inks to create my own blends of colour and utilising different carving methods in order to move away from the traditional aesthetic. My work is usually character based and I enjoy breaking these figures down whilst finding forms and natural patterns to manipulate and create illusions that trick the eye.’
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