Jenny Haytch and the Badge-O-Tron at Eye Candy

We love Jenny Haytch’s sense of humour and hand drawn loveliness, so much so that we’ve invited her to share some of her fun at Eye Candy. Jenny will be hosting badge making workshops and bringing the ‘Badge-o-Tron’ to the illustration & art fair on Saturday.

How would you describe your artistic style?
Wobbly. Sweary. Cheeky. Naïve. Fun.

What inspires you to keep going and how do you keep yourself motivated?
Glory inspires me to keep going. Seeing my stuff in a shop.  Being part of a group show in which the other illustrators and exhibitors are a million times better than me, yet my stuff somehow fits in. That feeling of accomplishment keeps me going. Also, I have no other skills. So the only other thing that keeps me fully motivated is the blackhole of nothingness I would achieve if I stop doing it.

What has been your most memorable client experience, good or bad?
Exhibiting with Hero of Switzerland in several of their shows to date. I had been a huge fan from afar, and was honoured to be able to take part in their shows.  When it came to exhibiting I had a real feeling that being involved with them was just ‘right’. They’re a great bunch. And put on really impressive exhibitions. Aside from being a pleasant experience, working with them has led to some great things.
Winning the Stereohype Button Badge competition in 2013 was amazing. The coverage my work received by being shown in big industry publications along with some really amazing artists was really great.  I’m now part of the collection of over 1,000 badges featuring 300+ contributors, both professional artists and beginners, and get to be part of the judging panel each year.  It’s a great wee competition and collection, that I love being involved with.

What soundtrack do you work to?
I listen to podcasts. Between the Liner Notes, Reply All and This American Life are totes faves.

Who are your heroes and what other artists do you dig?
I dig Pat Falco, Harry McKenzie, Nick Alston, Nathaniel Russell, and L.I.N.S., among others.

What project are you working on now?
I never have enough time to do all of things I have ideas for. There’s a total backlog of them.
Just now I’m working on a range of wooden, illustrated, functioning clocks, called ‘Good Times’, which are based on vintage and retro, classic clock designs.  And a floral range entitled ‘Nice & Wonky’, which is a complete departure from my usual stuff and is much more ornate, finished, and totally cock-free. It’s also very wonky. I’ve got phone-holders and wee wooden things coming out now.

What’s the last exhibition that you visited?
The last exhibition I visited was Brothers of the Stripe ‘Brothers and Sisters’ show at Stour Space in London in August to see the wonder Sam Peet and his pals…  Very good. Really refreshing.  And a great idea for collaboration.

Do you collect work of any other artists?
No. I compile digital images I like, and have folders full of stuff on my laptop which I constantly reference.  But I like not to own anything and so tend not to buy any physical work. I don’t like having stuff!  I try and support kick-starters and to get along to exhibitions, though. It’s nice to support people who are making such awesome work.

What is the number one piece of advice you would like to tell new artists?
Draw. Just draw. And don’t pay too much attention to things that are happening outside of your own work.  Look for inspiration surely, but not approval, popularity, or acceptance. Just draw what’s right for you, and draw a lot.
Be self-critical. Don’t let yourself away with producing bad work!  Do your best work.  Self-edit.  And be strict on yourself. I rip up and throw away any drawings or ideas that aren’t working, or that I feel can’t be developed. I decide quickly, and get rid of it.  It leaves room for good ideas.

Are there any rules or habits that help you do your job more efficiently?
Getting up early. Super early. Then even I fuck about online for a several hours before doing any work, it’s still only mid-morning. I feel like a king whose shit is so together, even though mine isn’t really. That is awesome.

What are some of the most challenging and inspiring elements of your current projects?
The most challenging thing about current projects is sitting down at my desk and starting them. If I can do that and get started, I get fully absorbed and don’t want a project to end. But for some reason, starting is a real problem for me. One which I would like to overcome. Once I’ve started, I’m on a roll, and working’s wonderful. I find I don’t want it stop!

You can only visit one City, watch one film, read one book, listen to one album for the rest of your life. What would they be?
If I was in a position where I could only do one of each thing for the rest of my life, that would be really hellish. The book I would be reading would probably be ‘Euthanasia for Dummies’.

Catch Jenny with her free badge making workshop at the Eye Candy Pop UP Store, Unit 9 Great Western Arcade, Colmore Row, Birmingham on Friday 30th September at 1pm-3pm & 6pm-8pm.

Jenny will also be hosting the ‘Badge-O-Tron’ badge making machine at the Illustration and Art Fair on Saturday 1st October at St Martin in the Bullring, 10am-4pm. Free Entry.

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