Name: JIMMER WILLMOTT
Mission: TO PRODUCE AND SELL AS MUCH ART AS I CAN BEFORE I DIE
At the end of last year I started working in At-Bristol, an amazing interactive science centre. It has hundreds of hands-on exhibits to explore, live shows and a Planetarium. It was here that I met Jimmer and when I told him about The Spiralling he was keen to get involved.
About 10 years ago Jimmer finished studying Drawing and Applied Arts at the University of the West of England. “I didn’t get on too well, I was heavily criticised for doing too many different things, flitting in between projects at once and practising too many different styles, basically not being able to concentrate on one thing at a time. But this way of working is me really.”
Jimmer’s influences include Greg ‘Craola’ Simkins, Robert Crumb, Robert Williams, Paul McCarthy and Sofie Caspersen. He also incorporates his own style and often regurgitates old ideas . “One piece can twist out from another and grow into something new. This is what truly makes me tick. Letting myself go wondering off on wild tangents of exploration, allowing old work to take on new slants and subject matter in order to create new pieces.” He finds that this way of working not only keeps him enriched with ideas but also holds back artist’s block. “It keeps me oiled like a machine to produce constant work, I like to try and do at least two hours practice everyday. Sometimes it’s not always possible, but most days it is.”
Due to the way that Jimmer creates his pieces he finds that using acrylics suits him best. “It dries fast and I can put it down easily. If I feel like picking up another piece I can forget about the one I have done enough of and divert my attention to the next. I’ve tried to develop a technique where my pallet works more like oils, this involves layer after layer of mixing and applying. Also I’ve tried to stop using black or white in any picture, rather just making different shades of colours whether that be lighter or darker.” As he has got more involved with painting he has stopped drawing in his sketch pad so much. “It means I create more finished pieces, but recently I have thought that it would be good to have more bubbling ideas and is something I want to get a grip of again.”
The animals in uniform are a testament of his commitment as an artist. It’s a project that he set himself to help develop his skills. “They’re a slight smirk and sarcastic comment on the belligerence we have as humans and our attitudes towards nature, and how our sense of self-importance has cast nature to one side. The symbolism and history of uniform is shown alongside feral animals, comparing our struggles and conflicts to their wild instincts. The animals are my way of lightly touching on my issues with the human race without getting too serious; offering a light-hearted look at the darker side of our nature.”
Aside from the animals he also creates mazes which are designed to captivate the viewer. “There are countless avenues the hungry voyeur can take; new openings, dead ends and drop offs that leave you desiring more. Your eyes can wander around each strand and corner, getting lost in the complex networks that twist and overlaps. My mazes are an attempt at making the abstract interesting, with an infusion of pop art and a slight nod to M. C. Escher.”
After a bad break up Jimmer became more ambitious and hungry for his art. “I found myself drinking too much and going off the rails. Art was the therapy I really needed as it took my mind to less hectic avenues. It’s made me happy and got my life back on track.” He just bought a 50 foot barge and has been living on it for a few weeks now. “It’s a great cosy living space and it’s going to be a great little art studio too.”
Now that he is more settled on the boat, Jimmer is busy getting ready for an exhibition in June with Paul ‘monsters monsters’ Roberts at Its All 2 Much. As well as completing commissions for people he has also just finished working on two album covers. One was for the ‘Surfin’ Turnips’ who are a cider folk punk band and the other was for ‘The Montgomerys’ who are based in Bristol.