Renowned art director, graphic designer, former record label head honcho and musician Trevor Jackson presents, for the first time, his personal artwork at Hoxton’s KK Outlet. 'Nowhere' is a collection of photographic and video studies that explore related themes on honesty, simplicity, manipulation and ego. Despite reaching critical acclaim as a graphic designer achieving high accolades such as Tokyo TDC Non Members Prize, a D&AD Silver Pencil Nomination and Creative Review’s Best In Book, it is his personal artwork, he tells Dazed, which he finds the most liberating.
Dazed Digital: What is the significance of the title “Nowhere”?
Trevor Jackson: Basically, most of the work that I do in my life is not expressive in any way whatsoever: its commercial work and I’ve had a very odd, transitional few years in many ways. My life has been, in some ways, in limbo. The work reflects my state of mind and puts into pictures what I couldn’t say any other way. It’s about being in limbo and trying to find my way out of there. Unlike my other work, this is personal. A lot of my commercial work is quite reactionary and this is far less confrontational. Nowhere has that name because I don’t quite know where I am in my life at the moment if I’m honest. I found that doing this has been the best way of dealing with that.
DD: How have you found working on something personal as opposed to a commercial project?
Trevor Jackson: Musically I can express myself far more and I’d say that nearly all the musical work I’ve done, there has always been more of myself, there is never really a brief. When I am doing art direction and design work, clients have a very strict idea of what they want, the logo’s got to be this size etcetera - there are so many things holding you back from being as creative as you want to be. It’s exciting to be in a position where I am my own client for once and I can just do what the Hell I want. It’s a totally different process. I still love doing work for the right clients but this is a far more personal thing, which in many ways I needed to do.
DD: What is the dividing line between graphic design and art?
Trevor Jackson: For me, I’m a traditional graphic designer. When I studied graphic design I wasn’t under any impression that I was some kind of an artist. I wanted to be given briefs and I wanted to solve them as best as possible – it’s never been about my ego and trying to stamp my personality on my work at all. I’m not into graphic designers who think that they’re artists. I don’t like all this illustration that is pseudo-art kind of stuff. I like graphic design to be quite pure. I don’t want people to come to this show and think they’re seeing a graphic design show because it’s not that at all, it’s something completely different.
DD: Do you feel like more of an artist now as opposed to a straight designer?
Trevor Jackson: I’ve always seen myself as a commercial artist. I used to be a commercial artist and now I’m a personal artist. With commercial work, my main aim is not to promote myself it’s to promote the client. This is not about promoting myself but exploring myself. This work isn’t about anything other than me and my relationships with other people and the wider world. It’s selfish and I rarely get the chance to be selfish in my creative work and now I have, it’s quite liberating.
NOWHERE opens at the KK Outlet on March 3 and limited edition prints of the work featured in the exhibition will be on sale in the store throughout March and online. KK Outlet, 42 Hoxton Square, London, N1 6PB