Jay Sharples is one of the twenty Outhouse artists who has created a design for our sketchpad range. His limited edition risograph cover for our A3 Black 135gsm pad takes inspiration from an ongoing doodle series. We spoke to Jay to find out more.
Tell us a bit about the idea behind your sketchbook cover?
It’s one of a series of monkey skull characters I’ve been doodling for a while now. My canvas and street work is mostly abstract, but when I’m sat at home with a sketchpad I sit and draw these guys, so having one on a sketchbook cover just seems apt.
How did you get involved with Outhouse?
I’ve known Tasha and Ben for several years and they invited me to paint the Outhouse spot at Stevenson Square a few years ago. We’ve worked on several projects together since then (including the huge MCFC mural last year) and now I’m officially part of the team. I’m currently managing the Outhouse public art walls around the Northern Quarter whilst Tasha is over in Australia.
How would you describe your work?
Abstract graffuturism..? Controlled chaos..? Mindless paint-throwing..? Haha.. I don’t know really. I just do what I do.
Who is your favourite artist or maker?
The likes of Remi Rough, Smug, Dale Grimshaw, Etam Crew, Shok1, Faile, DOC, Akse, Rocket01, Lonac.. the list is endless. I admire so many artists of varying styles, so it’s hard to pick an all-out favourite.
What materials do you use?
If it’s a wall, MTN94 spray paint is my weapon of choice. But if I’m sat at home doodling it’s always just a plain old Uniball Vision Elite ink pen… on a Fred Aldous sketchbook of course!
What is your favourite piece of work that you
My wall at the City of Colours event in Birmingham the other year stands out in my mind, as it was the first time I went big with an abstract idea. I was known for stencil work before then, so I was pretty nervous ditching the old style and trying something new on such a big scale – and in front of an audience. Fortunately it was well received and I’ve been painting in this style ever since.
Do you have any advice for artists starting out?
Don’t follow the crowd – you’ll get lost in it. Just be confident to do your own thing and always paint for yourself, not the audience.
Where can people see your work? Do you have a website?
No website, but you can check out my Instagram for regular updates on what I’m up to… @jaysharplesart