Jesse Kassel is the artist behind our recent Detroit Artist Series collection. We got to sit down with the mind behind the design. Read on for our interview with Jesse:
T: Who is Jesse Kassel?
J: I am a muralist and illustrator living in Detroit. Over the last several years I’ve mostly been painting murals in and around Detroit with some amazing illustration and design opportunities between those projects. When I have time between commissioned work I try to get into the studio and work on my own paintings.
T: How would you describe your signature style?
J: My style is a bit rudimentary but only deliberately so. I like to focus on shapes and color, forcing representational elements to fit into a specific space which often results in puzzle like compositions
T: What/where do you draw inspiration from for projects?
J: All over the place! I absorb a lot of the city around me which includes many of the hand painted signs but also my peers who are making great work everyday. I look at art history books and old cartoons, Polish movie posters and Japanese packaging design. It might be hard to see it all come through in my work but I like to think some filtered form of all these things helps to inform decisions I make in the design process.
T: What is your favorite medium to work with? Why
J: Heavily pigmented gobs of paint. To me there is little more satisfying than seeing a blank surface be quickly built up with with some thick paint.
T: When did you know you wanted to be an artist?
J: In a way I think I was always sure I wanted to be some kind of artist or designer. As a kid it fluctuated between automotive design and drawing Manga. When I reached the age where it a lot of people make that decision I got into the illustration department at CCS not really being sure what I wanted to do with art. After that a series of fortunate events has lead me to where I am now.
T: What is your connection to Detroit?
J: My family before me all immigrated here in the first half of the 20th century.
T: How can we stay up to date with your latest projects?
J: Instagram is what I am most active on but I try to be diligent about keeping my website updated because I like the way it looks and feels being it’s own thing outside of a social media platform.
Jesse's limited edition collection will be available Wednesday, September 29th on threadsfoc.com. Be sure to snag a tee or poster before they're gone!