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We chatted with London artist Jade Forrester about Poca London and more

On what medium did you first begin exploring art? Did you start with doodling and then evolve to designing your clothes?
Like any child intrigued by art my mediums were whatever I could get my hands on, Ive always loved the fluidity and spontaneity of paints as the most beautiful parts of my paintings come from the rawness of the brush strokes. Painting on fabric isn’t easy but the reason I began exploring that medium was to create another dimension to my art. I wanted to wear it and I wanted others to fashion my work too.

Were there any important people in your life that encouraged you to begin doing what you love or was it more self-motivated?
I have a beautiful support systems now, I guess people started to take me seriously especially my family. I was almost alone and what I loved was only a dream not a reality. My motivation came from working 3-4 jobs weekly; I began to feel creatively drained and lost. Sometimes you have to do what you hate to truly strive for what you love.

I noticed you are now selling your art on Depop. How did Depop influence the process of starting your own line of apparel and accessories and how were you first introduced to the app?

I’ve used the app before to kind of help with my financial situations in the past, selling old clothes, jewellery etc. I stopped using the app for a while but began again when creating Pocalondon. The association it has with the aesthetics of Instagram appealed to me the most. Pocalondon is so vibrant and fresh so Depop felt fitting for the brands identity. Depop then contacted me and I had a meeting with them regarding working together. Now after building relations with them they’re on board with all my creative journeys on the app.

That’s amazing! I noticed you have created some exclusive work for Dej Loaf! How did that happen? What’s your relationship like now?
Yes I work with an events company so it connects me with great worldwide artists. I spent the weekend working along side Dej and she complimented me on my pieces. That night I created her a jacket, probably the fastest piece I’ve ever had to produce and gave it her the next day. She’s in contact with the events manager and loves her jacket so hopefully she comes back for more!

What goes through your head when you look at a blank canvas, like a denim jacket, before you begin up cycling?
A lot of the time, especially during a busy week I have so much inspiration and ideas flowing through my mind I can get lost. I like to categorize different ideas, themes and colour schemes on Pinterest and in folders on my phone. So when I have my jacket in front of me I have to decide initially what the theme and story is going to be. I always want every piece to cohesively make sense rather than just being random art splattered around.

What inspires your work the most?
I’m inspired by designers like Ashish and KTZ. I love ASAP ROCKY, FKA Twigs, Keke Palmer, Rihanna and artists such as Sara Jimenez, Manjitthapp and Picasso.

The best art/expression usually comes from a specific voice or perspective, so how did you go about finding yours?
Still to this day I can’t really think where my style came from. I just know I love drawing women and I draw them as I view them. My fluid lines create the curves in the body , the lips and the hands. harsh brush strokes paired with soft lines all come from the way I feel women exude fragility but strength. I’ve always love street art and classical oil paintings so maybe my feminine yet edgy style comes from these collections of perspectives

What is your favorite trick or a ritual you have found that helps get you out of the dreaded creative block?
Creative blocks happen to me when I think too much about the final outcome. I stop myself before I loose the passion and either scroll on Pinterest or draw/paint freely on a different canvas like paper or my face, which I’ve been doing a lot

What do you do when you feel lazy, uninspired, and just want to do nothing all day? Do you embrace it or challenge yourself?
I paint everyday, without fail. I always have empty canvas’, jackets and sketch books lying around. I never put anything away for the pure fact I loose sight of it when I’m feeling lazy. I can be the laziest human being, laying on the sofa in my pajamas but this doesn’t stop me from having a sketchbook and pen on my lap. even if i just use a simple media like marker pens, I can do this whenever.

We all know as artists, that even though we are passionate about our work, it may not be received in the same light to the public or even profitable. Did you ever experience a moment when you felt like giving up? How did you get back to the headspace you are in now?
A family friend once questioned my art asking what is the purpose, where would it be sold etc etc. You know them people that question you in a patronizing way knowing they won’t accept your answer no matter what you say. I wasn’t 100% confident with my art at this point anyway but I was still quite strong minded so i fought with myself for months thinking is this the right path. Eventually realizing it was the only thing that brought happiness to me at that time so I knew I couldn’t give up.

How was it quitting your 9-5 to pursue your art full time?
Scary but empowering. People thought i was mad and my family still ask me when I’m going back to work. Not understanding that this is my work, this is what i love and hopefully one day it will be more than what it is so I have to keep watering Pocalondon until she blossoms.

Are there any other passion you have? Why are they important to you?
I enjoy my modelling which I do freelance part time. I love shooting with photographers that have meaningful concepts which promote body confidence and diversity, so I’m always passionate when working with brands and photographers that have these kind of visions.

Do you ever have trouble explaining your vision and what you do to people?
Not anymore. My vision is simple and my creative movements and aesthetics are always changing. Really all I have to say is this is my art, It celebrates emotions, passion and beauty and if people don’t understand it then that’s okay.

How do you want your art to impact people?
I want people to feel unique in my pieces. I want people to get compliments in my pieces and feel great wearing something that no-one else has. I feel powerful in own brand and power is so beautiful.

Where do you see you and you art going in a year?
My main focus at the moment is defiantly social media and getting myself recognized. Now my branding is complete and I’m confident in my craft I just want people to recognize it. But i understand my brand is unique so I’m patient in my journey.

Lastly, Who do you want to see in your art next?
Like anyone would my dream would be to see Rihanna in my work but being a realist I do have contacts with a few male grime artists so I’d equally love to see my jackets come alive on stage with one of those.

You can find more of Jade Forrester here:

Interview by Meghan Duncan @djmeghand


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