What Jess Drew
It's Pretty Graphic
A rare evening in front of the (now minimised) box with a desire to be entertained, transported to a land of pure escapism. Deciding there was nothing on I submitted to the voyeuristic lure of Britain’s Got Talent, I know, it was akin to Hugh Grant’s Sunset Boulevard moment of madness... “what was I thinking?”
There on the 24 inch screen, I watched in a mix of bewilderment, fear and toe curling wonder, an overweight middle age man projecting his eyes on stalks to the beat of Mr Boombastic, a hand bell ringing duo, and a bloke in a pig mask and ginger wig wearing a sailor's outfit all of which led me to one inevitable action, firm pressure applied to the stand-by button. My conclusion, just because people can do stuff doesn’t mean they’re talented. Take for example Sally Bercow, (wife of Mr Speaker in that venerable institution the House of Commons) just because she gets her Country Casuals kit off for the camera and appears on the most desperate broadcast tabloid Big Brother doesn’t mean she can write a column for a national newspaper. So where does real talent lurk? Is it hidden in the celebrity culture of Sylvia Young’s performing arts school or in the lofty echelons of Central St Martins? Or is it cultivated in the School of Hard Knocks? Perhaps talent lives and breathes under one’s nose, emerging, busy working on their craft and quietly getting on with it. Fragilely shaping their ideas, never quite believing that their work could ever be appreciated by anyone.
The water cooler moment went a little like this,
“So outside of the office what do you do?”
“Well I do a bit of drawing.”
The slightly coy demeanour stalled me from enquiring any further. But the nosey gene got the better of me and a little detective work led my snooping to discover that ‘a bit of drawing’ was a modest description for the Escher inspired detail behind her illustrative work. In fact this modest researcher had been commissioned by edgy New York fashion brand, The Rise and Fall to produce exclusively for their range sold in Urban Outfitters and some of Manhattan’s finest boutiques. Her distinctive interpretation of the world around her is a glimpse into her character, honest, modest and literal. Bearing the hallmarks of intensive labour, her illustrations are unfussy yet more-ish and plain sighted. Peering into the pieces you can’t help but feel that there’s more to What Jess Drew.