Q&A With Surrealist Prodigy Alex Gamsu Jenkins

© Alex Gamsu Jenkins

Do you have any personal mantras when it comes to your artwork? What’s your philosophy when it comes to life and your livelihood? 

I think it’s always important to find something that you enjoy, and then fully immerse yourself in that so you have a sense of drive and of course an even greater sense of enjoyment. As cliché as that sounds.

How has your outlook on life impacted your illustrations? 

It definitely does effect the outcome of illustrations. But this goes on day to day moods or feelings. Many-a-time my drawings have reflected a more sombre feeling or theme and that is a result of how I have felt at the time of creating the idea.

© Alex Gamsu Jenkins

Is there one piece of yours that sticks out as your most influential work? 

Not one in particular and I’d be very chuffed to know it has influenced someone. I find my personal work usually receives a better response than commissioned work. Maybe this is because there is more of a creative enjoyment involved, and not working to another’s idea.

Do you have names for your characters and/or complete illustrations? 

No, I don’t. I have always cringed when it comes to titling images. This is probably due to my own insecurities but I feel that giving it a poignant name is like me trying to take myself too seriously. 

© Alex Gamsu Jenkins

What’s your favorite collaboration? Do you have any other brands or publications that you’d like to work with in the foreseeable future? 

My favourite job has got to be a trainer design with Vans customs. Another one was with Adult Swim. When I first started illustration, Adult Swim was always on my list of dream clients so to be able to produce something with them (whether only small) felt a huge box checked off.

What’s a question that you hate being asked in interviews? 

I hate when I try and give a really intelligent and eloquent answer to questions but end up looking like a muffin.

© Alex Gamsu Jenkins

What are your top 5 movies? Who are your top 5 visual artists? And who are your top 5 musicians/bands? 

– In no order … films.. 

  • Come and See
  • The original “The Wicker Man” 
  • Old Boy
  • Aguirre, the Wrath of God 
  • Deliverance 

– Top 5 artists..

  • Philip Guston
  • Robert Crumb
  • Giorgio de Chirico
  • Francisco de Goya
  • Otto Dix

And top 5 bands is too tough to answer.. there are too many it always depends on day and mood.

© Alex Gamsu Jenkins

To a non-Londoner, what’s the best bar, club or venue, and restaurant in the city? 

My current favourite place is a Lebanese kebab shop in east Dulwich called Hanush grill. Get the mixed Shwarma wrap and you will never look back. Hmm, in terms of best bar.. I would have to say get down to a Weatherspoon’s as it is the only place where a drink will be under £5. But don’t spend the whole night there otherwise you will give up on life.

Which is mightier, the artist or the politician and why? 

Unfortunately, I think the politician is the more powerful, as when it boils down to it.. they are in the position of power.

If your art could achieve only one goal, what do you hope for it to do?  

I hope it resonates with people and has the ability to change their mood or evoke some sort of feeling.

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