Soul People – Jack Wells
What is your name:
Where is home?
Currently home is South London
What do you do for a living:
Half of my time is spent working as a cinematographer for music videos and commercials. Then the other half of my time is spent painting pictures, a lot majority of my work is typography based.
What inspires you about your work?
My inspirations are pretty varied, I’m obsessed with hand painted type. This initially came from Graffiti but I now have a growing collection of traditional sign writing books. My current favourite is one I just picked up on English canal & long boat lettering, so cool!
How did you first get into art and videography?
I’m not sure how I first got into art, as I guess I have always pottered about and made stuff. The videography side of things definitely came about by me wanting to explore my drawing and art based projects more. For example I would plan really time consuming timelapses or try and make a font from long exposure photos of ignited spray cans, that then naturally developed into working commercially in that field.
How did you become connected to Soul & Surf?
My first brush with S&S was in India, Kerela. I was there making a film for Ed & Sofie with Joe who now works with them in Sri Lanka. Since then I have been fortunate enough to collaborate again on a project, this time in the beautiful Sri Lanka.
Can tell us a little bit about the process of doing your art in Sri Lanka.
The process was a really collaborative one. After sitting down with Sofie & Ed I was very excited to hear that one of their inspirations for the artwork was from a beautiful hand painted Sri Lankan truck that they had seen. It was pastel pink with these amazing large bold graphical lines that cut right through. After we had decided on designs for artwork it was time to actually make them… I was painting on large wooden boards so the first job was to brief the carpenter. If you needed some thing doing it was far more productive to jump on a bike or in a tuc tuc and just go do it in person face to face. No email back and forth, perfect.
Did you find any inspiration for your art while you were in Sri Lanka?
Very much so, I love the hand painted trucks and buses that you see daily. I would often try and get pictures as they rush past you whilst you’re on the way to the surf.
What were some of your favourite moments during your time in Sri Lanka?
Starting the day with an early morning surf is certainly up there for sure. But from a personal work point of view getting the chance to really develop the artwork further was great. A favourite example of this is the two large abstract symbols that were created for the yoga shala in the new villa. They are developments from my literal typography work that I then created abstract symmetrical symbols from, I’m very excited to explore this idea more.
What does soul mean to you?
Aretha Franklin & Barry White
What sort of projects are you working on next?
I’m always painting individual letters both on glass and now wood but my next project is going to gold leaf onto glass different historic and contemporary camouflage patterns, using a variety of gold leaf. I had the idea to do it for a while but after seeing all the hand painted camouflage bus stops in Sri Lanka it made me kick start the project as soon as i got home.
When will you be coming back to Soul & Surf in Sri Lanka?