Back Interview with illustrator and fashion designer Jade Pearl
We speak to artist / illustrator and fashion designer Jade Pearl about her creative work, from her ethical and sustainable fashion designs to her striking, empowering and meaningful illustrations.
Please tell us a little bit about yourself and how you got into the creative world
As an artist and designer, I’ve always been a multifaceted creative. When I graduated from Textile Design - UAL Chelsea College of Arts in 2017, that’s where my creativity flourished and became more grounded.
I released my capsule fashion collection whilst at Chelsea, FORESEA, which was featured in WWD and Capsule Agenda Las Vegas, and is one of my creations that I am most proud of to date. The FORESEA collection was ethically and sustainably minded, inspired by plastic waste in the ocean and made from recycled plastics and seaweed yarn. I wanted to juxtapose the two materials and properties to create a messaging within my designs.
This is where I truly found my sophisticated creative flare. I started to draw my collection in a unique illustration style that came to me naturally and ever since, I have developed my skills from there.
Many of your designs have a strong focus on sustainability, can you tell us some more about this?
I try and be a conscious creative, having sustainable concepts and theories at the forefront of my designs and creative process. I always love discovering different sustainable and vegan materials and I like to reuse things when I can. For example, hashtags/slogans that I created to use within my work are: #wornnotwasted #usednotthrown #createdontchuck.
If I see scraps that could be cleaned and reused, I will create my art on that. If there are materials left over from projects or a new vegan style or recycled fabric, I will use that in my designs, as well as using recycled papers when I can. Being ethically sourced is also hugely important to me too.
To be 100% sustainable can be complicated, so I always try to be as transparent as possible, a conscious creative or sustainably driven creative.
Tell us more about your illustration style, its messaging and how you get inspired
My illustrative design style I would say is abstract, powerful, yet relatable. When I create, I create from what I see beneath the surface using bright, beautiful, uplifting colours that represent well-being and empowerment. When we focus on what lies beneath the surface, there – and only there – do we have hope for restoring unity, power and a sense of togetherness.
I use affirmations and positive statements within my work as that is what encourages me throughout my daily life. I hope to empower people through my art, using colour theory and colour therapy within my creative process. The colours and colour combinations used are to help promote more of a healthy and happier state of mind and mental wellbeing to whoever is enjoying and resonating with my work.
Art has always been a chance for human beings to express truth through their own eyes. The state of the world is such where our eyes are often fixated on the surface. Anything from skin colour to stereotypes, lack of self-worth; from social media to social facades.
I never know the outcome when I begin a new piece of work. I don’t know what I’m going to create, when it will stop or when it will finish – it just comes to me. For me this makes the process enjoyable, and fun is where creativity sits and where it can soar.
You recently created some pieces supporting Black Lives Matter, can you tell us a bit about these?
The BLM movement has been highly emotional for me and I have realised some home truths and dealt with traumatic experiences. Although this is seen as a historical movement, this needs to be an ongoing continuous support system, to speak up and a stand with the black/POC community. My work will always stand with BLM as I am both Black and POC myself, my work and who I am will always support and have a positive messaging towards this issue.
I want my creativity to bring people together, not to divide. It has been interesting that my work has been recognised much more by larger companies and people wanting to collaborate with me since this movement. I have worked with companies such as Cosmopolitan Magazine, Reebok and Footlocker since this movement and although it’s been a fantastic opportunity and I am super grateful to have worked with such brands, I do hope that they will continue to support black/POC artists and creatives for the foreseeable future and not just the trend of the now.
We spotted a concept D&G packaging design piece of yours, what was the idea behind it? Have you done any concept pieces or illustrations for packaging before?
For the D&G design, it wasn’t a planned concept as I didn’t initially put together a design idea for it. I know that D&G are aimed at fun, young, strong, creative fashionistas, therefore, I had that in the forefront when creating it.
I like to use the bold bright shapes and colour combinations to highlight the strong fresh feel to the brand, as well as linking it with the fruity yet floral scent. I specifically used summer colours, not only are these the types of colours I like to generally use within my work to promote wellbeing, but I also took into consideration the colour combinations with having a translucent bottle and the colour of the perfume liquid.
This was my first time designing packaging, I have customised shoes and garments but not specifically packaging. As I wasn’t working with a brief I was free to interpret this how I felt the scent and bottle connected to me as the consumer. This was a completely different yet exciting approach to designing and is definitely something I would love to follow through with in the future.
What advice would you give to a new artist or designer?
Advice I would give to a designer or artist starting out would be:
Be your authentic self
Don't look at what other people are doing
Be consistent with your work
Develop your skills and work on your craft every day
Share your work with the world
Network where you can
Get your work out there on different platforms, get others to share your work
Own who you are and what you stand for
Don’t give up