From music, to merch design, to tattooing, Jimbob Issac is a man of many talents. We had a quick chat with Jimbob to learn more about the Wales-based designer, illustrator and tattoo artist.
Left: Official Damnation Festival 2022 poster design by Jimbob. Right: Portrait photo of Jimbob.
What got you into design, and is it something you always knew you wanted to do?
I was always drawing as a youngster, copying comic books and Metallica/Pushead covers, and then got into graphic design in school and college. I always loved making images in some shape or form. The only other thing I was good at in school was English, so image making and writing has been my passion and default pursuit in life.
Can you describe your style and how it has developed over the years?
I actually stopped drawing when I was in college, to focus on digital graphics. I thought I wanted to be a commercial designer as a day job, as it was a booming industry in the late 90s/early 2000s. I then realized that working in those companies/environments didn't suit me at all. I was making digital vector based artwork for a few years, and then realized that it became creatively restrictive, so then finally started to draw again.
My first illustration commission was for the band Clutch, who are old friends of mine. I've made official artwork for them many times since, and hugely grateful for the connection I have with them. My journey moved from digital illustration to pen and ink original drawing, but I still utilize digital colouring and formatting. The lines and dots in my drawings then naturally informed my tattooing style.
Designer, artist, musician, tattoo artist – when it comes to your creative endeavors, you certainly seem to have your fingers in a lot of pies. Why is it important for you to pursue multiple forms of creativity?
I get bored of doing just one thing. I've been diagnosed as ADHD, so perhaps this is why my attention goes to different areas. I'm super interested in lots of things, but also can see when things can begin to get too restrictive or repetitive. I've been recording my solo album recently, and can't believe I've actually brought my drumming up to the skill level I needed to. I've always loved drumming, so am super happy I've progressed in that area. Next is some video production, which is another area I've wanted to improve in. Learning is fun.
Tattoos by Jimbob.
You’re very involved in the alternative music scene, designing merch and posters for festivals and shows. How has the music industry influenced your artistic career?
Music has always gone hand in hand with my visual art. My first band, Taint, began in 1994 and I haven't stopped making music since then. I love to see my artwork associated with good bands and events. It was always my dream to merge the two sides, and I'm humbled to make my career in doing both.
Do you have a background in art/any formal education in that field? And do you feel it’s necessary for people to have one if they want to pursue an art-related career?
I was taught graphic design and software in college, but I actually taught and re-taught myself to draw as a youngster and adult.
Which artists inspire you?
I was primarily influenced by the likes of Pushead (Metallica), Alphones Mucha (Art Nouveau) and then a whole range of more contemporary illustrators and artists. Some of my old friends like Godmachine and Richey Beckett, John Baizely and Florian Bertmer have also been highly inspirational.
In an alternate life, if you weren’t an artist, what would you be?
I'd like to help people in some shape or form.
What has been your biggest highlight in your art career over the last year?
Meeting nice people and tattooing them is always a highlight. I'm happy to have also made artwork for some excellent clients. One is a huge band that I'm not able to share details of just yet. You'll see on my social media in a few months from now. I'm super happy and humbled for this one.
Finish the sentence:
When I'm not working, you can find me... at the gym or yoga studio, or out on a nature walk.
To me, tattooing is a form of... expression for the artist and the client.
If I could give one piece of advice to my younger self, it would be... don't let others put limitations on you.
I can't get though the day without... sugar.
My bucket-list clients would be... Iron Monkey, Deadguy, Quicksand.
To book in with Jimbob for a tattoo, email firstname.lastname@example.org.