Squid Bits – Interview with Jess Bradley at MCM London Comic Con October 2014

Originally posted online for MCM Buzz.

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Sugar-sweet characters with an injection of geek and pop culture, you may have already spotted Jess Bradley‘s illustrations somewhere around the internet. Often drawing from personal interests, she infuses classic characters with her distinct and unique style.

Working with UK apparel producers Genki Gear, Bradley has contributed many weird and wonderful characters to their clothing range. Her art has even seen fame on the small screen, being worn by characters of the hit Channel 4 TV show The I.T. Crowd. MCM Buzz caught up with the Bristol-based artist to find out more about her influences and inspirations.

In three words, how would you describe Jess Bradley?

I’d describe my work – cute, quirky, colourful.

Why the name ‘Squid Bits‘?

It was a funny name my friend came up with. Weirdly, I named her company that she works under and she named mine. And it’s just stuck.

Graduating from UWE Bristol, you’ve done a lot of illustration work for clothing, children’s books and your own self-published books. What drew you to pursuing a career in illustration and being an artist?

Basically, I went to art college. I didn’t really know what I wanted to do and that was one of the choices we got to work in. I loved it as soon as I started doing it. When I found out I could possibly make a career out of it, I pursued it and went to uni. 10 years later…!

tumblr_n4jiqupYML1qciaguo1_500-300x225Your work uses bold, bright characters, especially for the Genki Gear range. Who are your artists heroes? Whose work do you admire?

So many! I like a lot of comic artists. There’s a Japanese company called San-X, they do all these amazing characters. They have been a big influence.

As a child, what was your favourite cartoon?

I really liked The Raccoons. And I still watch Dungeons & Dragons and Ulysses 31 quite a lot. They had a big impact on me and continue to do so!

You’ve said that your favourite video games are Bomberman and We Love Katamari. Who is your favourite video game character?

I really like K.K. Slider from Animal Crossing.

Do you have any advice for aspiring illustrators?

Work as hard as you can. Post on Tumblr and Facebook. You have to make people remember that you exist. Because there’s so many of use out there, you really have to try and stick out. And enjoy it as well!

Thank you to Jess Bradley for taking time out for this interview. You can find her at Tables CH3 & CH3 in Comics Village at October’s MCM London Comic Con. Check out more of her work on Tumblr, Twitter, Facebook and her blog, Squid Bits.

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