"It's not about what we have or gain or even about anything to do with fame, it's about a journey into our very souls’ visions and that's all the riches I wanted."
Jeremy Beswick, born in 1972 is an artist /creative/ paper tattooist/ illustrator. He grew up in Plymouth, United Kingdom. Jeremy is an artist and has been for over 30 years. His first love in art is pencil fantasy art mixed with myth, magic, imagination, and many other influences. In all his styles and mediums, he strives to bring his imagination to life to create very detailed images and to a high standard in his crafts and art. He has had a wide-ranging career in art and has managed to create a small, yet good name for his work over his many years. He has sold worldwide and has become a name in shall we say, the underground art world. He has had also many professional jobs in the arts industries, such as animation and photoshop, creative editor to illustrator for many projects big and small. He is a very humble artist that has had a hard life, yet has still managed to bring a complete history of his imagination to form for others to see and enjoy. Though he has struggled through in his personal life, he has still managed to have an inspiring career just on the outsides of the art world.
The highlights of Jeremy's career are maybe very different to others thoughts of true success. He says it’s not the fact he managed to show in big art shows or the art getting into those all over the world or what jobs he has had in his many years, but it is in fact for him about actually what he feels are the true moments of success! When someone sits infant of his art and feels something so deep and is touched by it, or those moments when a client sends him a photo of his work framed telling him they absolutely love it and are so happy to own it, or when someone has told him they are inspired by his work and want to become an artist like him. Those are true moments of success, not fame or money or the myth of becoming a good artist. Jeremy feels very strongly that talking about what he’s done as in achievements in his professional career are not important, it is personal moments of simple things he feels are true success.
Without a doubt, Jeremy is one of those artists that simply leave you in complete awe. And yes, you might just wonder, how does he do it? Through his works of art, it feels like he brings to life the intricacies of his imagination and takes you far to where you never thought you’d go…or simply didn’t think you had the abilities of reaching there. Wherever that place is, it is accompanied by the depth of an inner world that he willingly shares with us. Without ego, without thought, without these worldly commitments- though his art, he offers us a free pass to where we are in complete freedom to encounter and conquer our own shadows, and in that same manner, for us to bring to light our own creativity. In the midst of his own expression, lies our own will and desire to express. And often times, it is an expression of simple gratitude.
Q. As a child, what did you wish to become when you grew up?
A. Simple answer, I always wanted to be an artist and in whatever form that would take. All I knew was I wanted to become creative. I idolized other creative people and met a few local artists because my mother wanted my creative side to be nurtured as I was not very good at most things like school and so on. She would tell me stories of me sitting drawing in the kitchen telling her I wanted to live on a bus and travel around the world selling art so I guess it was a thing from a very young age.
Q. Do you remember the first art you made? What was it and how old were you?
A. Yes, it was a drawing of a teddy bear and I was about 5, so like many other children, I started simple yet from there on I never really stopped doodling and making art.
Q. How and when did you first become seriously interested in art?
A. From childhood onwards, I was kind of a nerd and from an early age was obsessed with fantasy art and comics, I even had a love for movies and cartoons. I just wanted to know how artists made things from nothing and created so many amazing things. So, I wanted to follow in those footsteps to find out if I could do the same.
Q. What’s your best childhood memory?
A. My childhood was not great, it was quite a crazy one from bullies to family stuff, it was not very normal and something I try not to dwell on, but it means I don’t have many favorite moments. Maybe just times spent in summers with friends before we all grew up and times when my family life was not upside down.
Q. What personality trait has gotten you in the most trouble?
A. When I was younger, I was a very, shall we say rebellious and angry at the world and because of a hard life got stuck in many worlds and groups of people I should not have done, yet as I grew up, I had kids and so on I slowly gave that side of me up and stopped being so full of false bravado. Art also helped me to become a better man inside so yes, in short, the young brashness was the one thing that got me in the most trouble as many before me.
Q. What have you had to sacrifice for this career?
A. Some days, I feel like I sacrificed everything from friendships to relationships to big parts of my life, yet the sacrifices we make produce strength and drive us as art does for me. It drives me to work hard, to strive for better in life and soul, to understand myself and be on a life journey. With it, it has not been a sacrifice of all pain, yet one with such moments of joy and the joy of creating things has meant that the sacrifices are worth it after all, without my art I would not have been me or had my life. I have no regrets about giving so much to my art as it has given so much to others.
Q. Tell us about your particular style and how you came to it?
A. I decided at a young age to go on a journey with art to learn everything I could about every different medium. This started a very big life of continual drawing, painting, sculpting and on and on till I decided after all those years of working on my skills and knowledge of many art mediums that I would go back to the thing that first started it all -the simple pencil. I wanted to use a 0.5 pencil a very, very small thing and concur large works and large paper sizes with it. So, with years of working on many, many ideas and skills, I started to look at the things I loved and styles in art I loved the most. I became obsessed with detail and control of line and flow of line, how I could build an image that flows around the space of the paper then began to build on my styles and content. I love fantasy art and comic art, which was I guess my love from childhood. So, I began with those as my main drive. Then I love the art of tattoos and tribal art so I began to add the tribal look into my artworks and then yes, had a beginning to it, but there was so much more I love to fit in so I made a list of all the styles I loved and started to try and incorporate it together. My list was this as I still remember: artnovae, fantasy art, portraiture, tattoo art, comic art, ink line art, pencil art, tribal art, victorian ink works, magic, myth, history. So, I guess over the years this list has driven my pencil art and all the other mediums and all the styles I work into mine.
Q. Who are your biggest influences? Are you inspired by the work of your peers or anyone else in particular?
A. As for my heroes in art, so many that if I sat here and typed them all we would be here a very, very long time, but the main ones are Rodney Mathews, Alan Lee, Brian Froud, Simon Bisley, Katsuhiro Otomo, Gustav Klimt, Arthur Rackham, and the list could go on, but basically I love so much in the art world and continue to find so many artists that inspire me and masters that it is hard to list them all.
Q. What does your art aim to express?
A. So many things I have explored in art, so it is very hard to explain. It's gone through so many changes and styles, meanings, and history of its own that it has become a very wide range of things I wanted to express. I guess the simple answer is it expresses everything I am, want, see and imagine. It is an expression of my imagination, yet also of the worlds around me. It talks of so many things, I find this question hard to answer. I guess, I just wanted to let my imagination pour out in a line of creativity history like a continual flow of art.
Q. Is the artistic life lonely? What do you do to counteract it?
A. I had a very full life of friends at one time, but yes, as we all find I guess as we get older, we go through bits of lone times and yes sometimes I have like say sacrificed things in life to be able to get time for creating. At times, yes it has been lonely as it’s a very personal journey and so not many will sit with you in life while you spend time head down in paper and pencils. Yet I have so many friends from my art worldwide and two amazing sons and good creative close mates its ok to be lonely for long times while I create as the art has been my life friend from the age of 5. It’s there no matter what happens and so for these things it is a true blessing.
Q. Apart from art, what do you love doing?
A. Other than family time and few mates I see every now and then, my life is more about art than anything else.
Q. What is your philosophy in matters of art?
A. To keep creating to bring beauty to a sometimes-dark world, to inspire others, to show all sides dark and light, to take a journey into an imagination that was a gift.
Q. What does 'success' mean to you?
A. To know that I can just make one person feel something more than they did or can inspire others to be creative, and I also love the fact that people all over the planet get up and see my art on their walls and give it a caring loving home.
Q. What are the biggest things you've learned in life thus far?
A. To be kind.
Q. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given, and by who?
A. To remember that fame and riches are a myth and to follow the thing we love the most in our hearts.
Q. What advice would you give to the next generation?
A. Just go create and don’t destroy.