Jared Sylvia on his collab with children

Jared Sylvia on his collab with children

Boriana Heim

Get ready for another inspiring story! For the July drop, we teamed up with Jared Sylvia. He collaborated on an illustration with Mia (11), a pupil from the SDN 4 Batu Putih school in Lombok. Jared is an American graphic designer and illustrator based in Orlando, Florida. His psychedelic and colourful style made for a fun and unique illustration.

Growing up and fostering creativity

Even from a young age, creativity was in Jared’s blood. He tells us that he would draw at any time, in any place. No setting was too unconventional, and he even confesses: “My father is a preacher, so a lot of my drawing was during church services.” From then, his passion for creativity continued to grow and it was only a matter of time until he got into graphic design. At the age of 16, Jared designed his first set of T-shirts for a band he was in. After they were quickly sold out, he realised that he’d be pretty good at making art for a living. 

Brand collabs and making art with children

Jared describes his current art style as “an intersection of psychedelia and surrealism” and explains that he loves to find ways of bringing objects together that you wouldn’t think to combine at first. “I started finding a lot of joy in warping those pieces together to make something meaningful and thought-provoking. There’s also something about psychedelia that brings me peace – the fluidity of colours and feelings evoked are otherworldly.” Aside from psychedelia, he shares that his artistic inspirations are usually bands or poetry. 

His bold and vibrant style lends itself perfectly to collabs with other creatives. He has worked with music artists like Arc de Soleil, clothing brand Low Tide Thread Co., and the Rose on the River festival. When asked about his favourite project, Jared says: “The coolest project I’ve worked on was designing an arcade skin for Polycade boutique arcades. It was a serious challenge, but I learned a ton and was very proud of the finished product.”

His collabs aren’t limited to brands though. When asked if he has ever worked with children, Jared shares that he often makes art with his 3 kids. And it turns out that there’s a lot that artists can learn from children: “Children aren’t afraid of the outcome. Their innocent courage allows them to express themselves in ways that adults often shy away from.” 

Collaborating with Mia on a Face This illustration

We were thrilled to have Jared Sylvia do a collab for Face This, and luckily the feeling was mutual. When discussing his reaction to our email, Jared shares: “I honestly had no idea what to expect. I was honoured to have a chance to partner with Face This and contribute to such a noble cause.”

For this Jared x Face This collab, Jared worked with Mia, who is one of the students at SDN 4 Batu Putih in Lombok. She was given the theme of ‘Makes you feel like home’ and she drew herself celebrating her birthday with friends and family. According to Jared, Mia’s drawing shows how important her friends and family are, since they’re all celebrating with her. And how did Jared celebrate his 11th birthday? He responds: “Skating rinks were really popular in my hometown, so we rented a space at the skating rink. All of my roller hockey team came, and we ate cake and skated around in giant circles for hours”.

For his collab with Mia, Jared studied her drawing several times and tried to get to the core of her drawing’s meaning. From then, it was straight to the drawing board (or iPad)! He explains: “I decided to combine my style of art with the elements that reminded her of her home in a bright, playful approach.”

When reflecting on the creative process, Jared says this about his illustration: “I love the way it turned out. It brought me back to a younger age before I started playing the comparison game. Children are not plagued with imposter syndrome and that’s beautiful.” And he also admits that this experience has taught him a valuable lesson going forward. In his own words: “It reminded me to be confident, ignore my inner critic, and just start creating.” He also mentions that he’d love to do more work with Indonesian children one-on-one. So, who knows, he might make another appearance in the future!

Final words to Mia

At the end of a fun and illuminating interview, Jared closes off with one last message: “Mia, hold tight to your love for home. People come and go but you will always have family for support. And keep making art! The world needs it!”

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