We will be doing a 2 week preorder on Black Cloud ( Jed Crandall's ) Just Fine illustration. Shirts will be on a preorder to print limited run so after the final pre order day the shirt will no longer be available for purchase.
Pre orders end on 05/02/16 All shirts will ship 05/03/16
BLACK, BOLD AND BEYOND
Jed Crandall is an amazing illustrator based out of Baltimore, Maryland who works under the name Black Cloud. Heavily influenced by traditional tattoos and darker art, he has managed to create his own little hell. Establishing a very unique art style that is easy to distinguish, he's managed to do work for a wide variety of clothing lines, bands, etc. I've honestly lost count at this point on how many times I've ran into his work while doing some casual creeping around the web. Black Cloud seems to always be up to something new I check up on his work.
How would you personally describe your art style?
I would say my style started out very much inspired by traditional tattoo art, but as time goes by it gets weirder and shittier. I'm a strong proponent of asymmetry, wacky lines, and super bold black. If I could make everything solid black and still convince people it was art I probably would.
What do you think contributed in your taste of art?
I would say music, for sure. Growing up in the hardcore scene especially contributed greatly to not just my art, but most things in my life. I gained a lot of exposure and respect for the traditional American style tattoo scene from that scene which has carried over quite a bit into my aesthetic. Music is one of the most important things in my life and I tend to draw very heavily from a lot of the abstract concepts I hear in songs.
What really got you into drawing in the first place? Was it something that you’ve always done?
I've always been a fan of art in general, so drawing is something I've always enjoyed doing. It's only been the past few years when I realized that people actually like my weird ass art that I've been pouring a lot of time and effort into improving my skills.
Did you ever study art or did you learn what you know on your own?
I've never had any formal art training so everything I know has been pretty hard-won. I go through pretty exhaustive waves of trial-and-error before I get something to my liking. Failing miserably is usually the most beneficial part of the whole process, so I try to learn everything I can from the many different ways I've screwed up.
What is your process, when creating a new piece? What steps do you follow?
I sketch a lot. I probably spend way more time doing pencil sketches than actually finalizing anything. It's the best way for me to understand what works and what doesn't. I like to just sit down and make rough, shitty doodles for a while before I even get serious about putting any solid lines down.
What tools do you use? (Both traditional and digital, if any)
Pencil, paper, and some shitty Paper Mate marker pens that I love. I clean up my work in Photoshop, but I really only know enough to get a design print-ready. I don't rely on computer-based tools too much because I don't want to lose that hand drawn feel, but I will use what little I know to get something just right.
What is your personal artistic philosophy?
Draw what makes you happy. Art is one of the most personal things you can offer the world, so never let anyone else dictate the way you choose to express that creativity.
Advice for other aspiring artists trying to establish themselves?
Draw all the time. Like, for reals all the time. You're going to suck starting out, everyone does. I look through some of my old stuff and cringe at how awful it is. But that's how you learn and get better. Having a ton of followers on Instagram doesn't mean anything if your art isn't the best you can possibly make it. I've been doing this for years and I still see myself improving all the time. Get comfortable with the fact that you have a lot to learn and be open to trying new things.
What is your "go to" thing to draw?
Skulls, all day every day. There are so many things you can do with their shape and they never really get boring. I always think of new directions to take them so drawing them is always exciting. Plus, who doesn't love a good skull?
-Top 3 albums?
Botch - We Are The Romans
Heiress - Early Frost
The Power & The Glory - Call Me Armageddon
In your opinion, what are some of the most important aspects of a solid design/illustration?
I think it's important to understand your customer and how the art will be utilized. This usually gives me a better idea of how I want to compose a design and helps me nail down the proper aesthetic or feel I'm going for. Designing a shirt is very different than designing an album cover or a logo, so knowing your canvas is a big part of designing something that is well-composed while remaining visually appealing.
What are some of your favorite collaborations that you’ve done?
It's so hard to say, I've had the opportunity to work with so many awesome bands and companies. Any time I get the opportunity to work with someone who really trusts me to cut loose and do something off the wall is always awesome. I just did some cool stuff for Schafmayer & Co. that I'm pretty proud of, so keep an eye out for that soon!
Pencil and paper, for sure. There's nothing more fulfilling than sketching something out in pencil.
What is the most challenging thing about drawing, for you? What do you have a hard time with, or feel like you still have a lot to learn about?
For me the hardest thing is finding ways to push myself out of my comfort zone with the ultimate goal of bettering my skills. It's very easy to do what you know and love, but eventually you stagnate and end up painting (bad pun) yourself into a corner. I always try and do something wacky and out there, sometimes with the sole purpose of just seeing if I can make it work.
What is something new you have noticed or learned recently
I like to think I'm always learning something. It's an awesome thing being surrounded by so many amazing artists, you can't help but glean knowledge from your peers and idols.
Which illustrators/artists inspire you? If so, who?
Wow, too many to name. We could be here all day talking about artists who are doing amazing things. I normally gravitate to artists doing super dark, weird stuff. Just to name a few; Han Shinko (@hanaroshinko), Devoner (@devoner), Alexander Grim (@alexandergrim), Ron Henry Wells @(the_hyena), Alexander Heir (@deathtraitors), Carrie South (@thesouth9), Gerald Leung (@brackmetal), Vincent Denis (@vincent_allcatsaregrey), and Simone Ruco (@ruco_) are all people I am super inspired by. There's way too much good stuff out there. This is a hard question...
What inspires you that isn’t necessarily other illustrators/artwork?
My family, day in and day out. My beautiful wife and son are a constant reminder to always do what I love and to never be afraid to fail. Their support is something I can always rely on and I've never been more thankful of anything in my life.
What is your work environment like?
Pretty productive, actually. We just moved into a new house recently and I finally have an extra room to make into my office/Star Wars nerd dungeon. I'm a diehard Star Wars collector so being surrounded by all of my collectibles while jamming tunes and drawing is the best environment I could possibly hope for.
What other types of jobs have you had?
I'm actually a Korean linguist by trade, so art is what I do in my free time. One day I would love to be able to pay all of my bills doing design, but until then at least I've got something substantial to rely on.