Aussie based illustrator and graphic designer Jasmin Meier from Harley and J takes us on a trippy journey into her wonderful psychedelic world, where flowers flow through the hair of dreamlike figures in surreal settings of stars, moons and kaleidoscopic patterns. Bibelot joined Jasmin to talk about her inspirations, growing up in a creative family, and surfing the waves of Byron Bay.
1. What’s the first piece of art you can remember making?
Apart from little bits and pieces, my first strong memory is probably my year 12 major art (that’s going back well over a decade now). I did four women for the four elements (fire, earth, water and wind). Huge A1 pieces hand inked with water colour, all naked with long flowing hair in all their glory (my main influences of women and nature are still the same, so not much has changed.)
2. Who or what were your early influences and how has your life/upbringing influenced your work?
Without a doubt it has all been my mother. She is a wonderful painter and worked as textile designer for over thirty years. My father is a carpenter and although his work isn’t pen to paper he has an incredible creative mind as well. I have two younger sisters and we have all seemed to inherit their creative streaks. Mum naturally always encouraged our creative sides from day dot. Every wall, bed head and toy box was covered in her beautiful paintings of mermaids, fairies and wood nymphs. I have always been drawn to fantasy and I am sure it was instilled by her. I grew up on a lake and my dad surfs, so the majority of our time was spent outdoors, either at the lake, ocean or camping in the bush. I love incorporating nature into my art and it’s one of my most common themes (after the female form). Again I am sure this is because of the way I spent my childhood.
3. Tell us about your typical working day.
I have always been an early riser and seem to get my best work done first thing in the morning. I am usually up by 6.30 am and at my desk. Also helps the majority of my clients are US based so I can catch their last few hours of the day to get emails through. I seem to taper off towards lunch and usually save jobs like posting orders, emails and website up keep till then. I also like the get out the house and go for a lunch time paddle to clear my head and reset.
4. When are you happiest?
When I am in the ocean surfing, bonus points if my boyfriend and family are out there with me too.
5. What kind of artwork do you have in your own home?
Lots Of Ertes, Trippy Dana, Bourbon Sunday, a ton of my mothers paintings, my favourites being a David Bowie Portrait she did as an obsessed 15 year old fan and a Pink Floyd painting she did for my dad for his 21st.
6. Your work is like being transported back to the psychedelic hippie era of the 60s and 70s. Who/what is inspiring right now?
I have my top artists that I always am inspired by, Edward Mucha, Ertes and 60’s artists like Rick Griffin and Peter Max. Without sounding too cheesy though I’m really inspired by life itself, friends ,family, love, hurt, beauty, nature. They are all things that leak into my work constantly.
7. What do you want people to feel or think of when they look at your work?
My main audience is women 27-35 and I guess that makes sense because that is me. All my work really is a tribute to the female form and I want women and men to look at it as empowering and strong but also beautiful and vulnerable at the same time.
8. What has been your favourite project or client to work with so far?
Probably my poster for Standing rock. Although that was a terrible moment for many people the silver lining was to see people all over the world uniting together against corporate greed and power.
9. How has your work developed since you began and how do you see it evolving in future?
When I first started Harley and J I was actually in a very bad space. It became an outlet for me to pour out all my negative energy into, You can see at the beginning of Harley and J the general mood of my work is a lot darker to what it is now. I never actually planned for Harley and J to turn into a full time gig but after posting a few works I had a lot of heavier metal bands contact me to use it for albums and merchandise. From there it has just grown and evolved into what it is now.
10. Tell us something about yourself that might surprise people.
I was born on a Black Friday, the 13.01.1989, making me either very unlucky or very lucky, so far I would go with the latter.