How did you get into design and sketching?
I starting drawing as jenny haytch after I had been applying for jobs and waiting for various aspects of my life to kick off a few years after graduating, and still nothing was really happening. As time went on I was finding that I had very little to show for myself in terms of achievements. Worrying about finding, and applying to, jobs and having very little cash in the meantime didn't really amount to much.
I needed to do something aside from job hunting to give myself a feeling of
accomplishment at the end of day; some instant gratification. And something that I could afford to do. So I started drawing.
I had no intention of anyone really looking at it - it was months before I put anything publicly online - but, like myself, it seemed to go down pretty well. I didn't (and don't) take it too seriously. Anything I draw that has too much thought put behind it doesn't seem to work out. Some of the stuff I draw that I don't put much thought into doesn't work out either. But there you go. I work very fast and throw away anything that doesn't work to allow space for the ideas that do.
Who/What are your biggest influences?
My biggest influences are things people say, conversations with friends, stuff I've seen. There is some tongue-in-cheek, pop psychology in there referencing "feelings" which people sometimes seem surprised at. But f*%k it! I draw what I think, and probably what some other people occasionally think too. It is never done with the intention of impressing or offending anyone.
Pictures nearly always contain the words or the sentence they're based on, so it's usually pretty obvious what I was thinking about when I drew them. They're straightforward, and that was the point, really. Phil Collins has been an influence, but thankfully not on any aspect of my life outside of
drawing. I draw fairly everyday things; hands, hand signals, some
thimbles, sticks of rock, there's a lot of old technology; ZX Spectrums, View-Masters, Stylophones, Casio watches; hairy bums pop up probably a little too frequently, but I don’t read into that too much; Ferrero Rocher, Stevie Wonder. I suppose it's pretty mixed.
What is your favourite art medium to work with?
I draw using pen and paper, occasionally cut things out of paper, and very
occasionally draw using Microsoft Paint. I like the fact that when you do a drawing on paper, it exists, and doesn't need a format other than your eyes to view it, so it will never be obsolete. You have to be able to adapt your stuff so that it looks good on a phone now though, or on a screen, or else the number of people viewing it will be very limited.
My stuff tends to look lovely offline, and it loses a lot in the scanning. But being lovely offline these days is like if the most beautiful woman in the world today wasn't photogenic. Nobody would bother travelling to go and see her now if she didn't have her own website. With photos. And if she happened to look unphotogenic in those photos then we wouldn't bother going to see her anyway. So I have taught myself Photoshop.
Where do you do your best thinking?
I do my best thinking on buses. I haven't been on many buses in a while.
What music are you listening to at the moment?
I listen to Radiolab when I'm drawing, which I would recommend a Google of if you don't already know what it is because you might be missing out. I am always looking for good drawing playlists. I have one - just one, which is only okay. So if anyone has any suggestions they can email me I'd be delighted, and can try and recommend something of equal or lesser value in return.
The one I've got is this:
I am also listening to this, which is a song to a music video my gentleman friend made years ago that I quite often listen to on repeat:
With over 79,000 views, probably a fair number of those are just from me.
If you could have one superpower, what would it be?
If I could have one superpower I would like the power to be able to do whatever I want, whenever I want, and to get whatever I want for myself and the people I like the most whenever we want it, but without it affecting anyone else, obviously, because superpowers mixed with guilt would just be awful. And if I couldn't have that, then I would like a power that enables me to turn into Oprah Winfrey at any time, because that's basically the same thing.
How did you hear about Love & Robots and what do you think of the idea?
I honestly can't remember where I heard about Love & Robots. I tend to
Google 'illustration opportunities' every few weeks to keep me working on new things. I keep an eye on competitions and end up trying out things that I might never have come up with myself, like: designing coasters, clocks and jewellery, for example. T-shirts and phone covers people sort of tend to design automatically because they suit being decked out with pictures very well, but Love & Robots opens things up and includes new items and products every month that people can try to put their stamp on, then gives a cost-free opportunity to actually get things made. I think it's a great idea.
Another big factor is that with Love & Robots the designer retains control of their design rights. And I don't know if you know this - but that is kind of a
big deal. It's refreshing to see a small start-up company, or a company of any size, in fact, treating their designers relatively well. A lot of larger companies who can easily afford to do so, take the exclusive rights and then still pay their designers unfairly. They also leave you uncredited. Love & Robots credits the designer. Also, they didn't bat an eyelid at my introduction of light nudity to tea breaks, which was nice.
Having designer led products is a good idea, and with so many possibilities for different types of product production at Love & Robots, I'm sure the company will keep broadening its range of products as it grows, supplying even more opportunities for designers to try out.
To find out more about jenny haytch visit her Tumblr http://jennyhaytch.tumblr.com/
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Email her on [email protected]