James Jarvis is probably my favourite contemporary illustrator. I’ve amassed quite a collection of his books and products over the years.
I’ve posted here a short film he did for Nike a few years ago. The film was animated by Richard Kenworty from Shynola, and set against fantastic music by Caribou. The track is called ‘Crayon’ for those of you who want to know.
This is what James Jarvis had to say about the project:
"At the beginning of last year I was thinking about what kind of project I would like to work on. I had become interested in the idea of characters that were less referential and more iconic and abstract. I particularly wanted to do something with a potato-headed stick-man that I had been drawing at that time.
I liked the idea of a moving image project that involved my obsession with running. Rather than make a narrative-based film, I wanted the content to be non-linear, reflecting the way I make drawings that have a logic all of their own.
I was talking to a friend at Nike, Kerry Shaw, about this idea and, given the subject matter, she suggested that Nike might be interested in supporting the film. I had been an admirer of Shynola's collaboration with David Shrigley in their promo for the track Good Song. I liked the way it maintained Shrigley's drawn aesthetic in its transformation into moving image, so I contacted them to see if they would be interested in working with me on the idea. Richard 'Kenny' Kenworthy agreed, and worked heroically on the film.
The film was inspired by certain personal experiences in running – a favourite run over Blanchland moor in Northumberland, being attacked by a crow in Singapore – and also by the transcendent, almost psychedelic experience of the simple act of running.
Rather than a marketing project initiated by Nike, the film was something proposed and produced by myself, and as such I hope represents a much more equal collaboration with a brand.”