Jacqueline Denton is one of those artists who’s style is so polished and slick you get a little jealous just seeing it. Previous incarnations involved dizzying psychedelic dream worlds populated by dripping eyeliner girls, bats, and melting neon hues. We had the chance to sit down and pepper her with questions about rebirth, artistic process, her next style, and more!
Tell us a bit about your current or past works and what inspires you? How do you keep yourself excited about creating and exploring your art?
Oh man where do I start? I’ve had a love/hate relationship with art for the past few years. It’s important to find a balance with it. I’ve always made art as a way to escape reality, previous works and current. I think inspiration for me changes. I just try to express whatever I’m loving (or hating) at the moment. I’ve always been influenced by music in way or another. Without music I don’t know if I would have ever initially been interested in pursuing art. I think the trick to staying inspired or excited is to have a subject that you love. It can be yourself or someone else. If you enjoy your subject I don’t think you can ever get tired or creating. I hate the term ‘muse’ but it helps to have one. Just treat them nice and be respectful!
While snooping around the internet for previous interviews about your work I noticed you seem to parting with the psychedelic style you were exploring previously?
As an artist I definitely identify with the need to close a chapter to begin your next, and how emotional and complex that can be (or that’s at least been the case for me haha), my 2017/2018 experience has been all about rebuilding and rebirth. How do you return to art as a practice after closing something as encompassing as a previous style or aesthetic? Is the next chapter something you can plan for? Are there ways you nurture and explore the next chapter before beginning or do you fearlessly jump in?
I know a lot of people are wondering this. I’ve loved psychedelic art and art especially from the 60s since I was young. Peter Max and Andy Warhol have always been my favorite artists since I was young, and pop art has influenced me greatly throughout my entire years of making art. I’ve always loved colors. Maybe its the product of being a 90s child and having Lisa Frank artwork on everything. That being said, I don’t feel like my style has changed much, just my subject matter. I know a lot of people like my darker work, but that artwork was made during a rough 4-5 years of my life where I was horribly insecure, depressed, and stuck in an emotionally abusive relationship. About a year ago I was able to break away from that, and the artwork I had been making suddenly felt triggering and alienating. I no longer could relate to it. I stopped making artwork for many months while I tried to sort myself out, only to find that the person I was didn’t exist anymore. It was terrifying and I thought I would never create art again. I had to look at myself and ask myself, ‘what artwork would you make if you were happy? What would that look like? You can do that. Don’t be afraid of it.’ Sometimes change is an act of survival, you don’t get to choose when or how it happens. You just have to do it whether you’re ready or not. That’s what I had to do in order to find myself and my creativity again.
Your instagram currently has a lot of really adorable BTS/Bangtan Boys fan art! It’s a big change from the eyeliner dripping psychedieic bones-and-bats-and-babes of your previous world, but it’s so charming and your illustration style just keeps getting slicker. What about BTS drew you in? What about K-Pop makes it so wildly addictive (aka please save me from myself haha….)?
Thank you! It is a big change, and I think it’s confused a lot of people if I’m honest, and I don’t blame them. I admit I’ve alienated my audience quite a bit with the change, but I appreciate everyone who has still suck with me even if they don’t really understand whats going on with me. Fanart isn’t entirely new territory to me. When I was in middle school and high school I drew portraits of my favorite musicians. I remember drawing Davey Havok (Of AFI) in my bedroom when I was 14. I’ll always be a fangirl at heart. Too many people this might seem new, but it’s a pretty big part of my adolescence and adult life. Initially I was drawn to BTS because of their visuals. They’re always changing their concept and aesthetic (wardrobe, hair, etc) with each new album or comeback. I think too many musicians feel stuck with sticking to a certain image and I find that very dull and uninspiring after awhile. I like when people, art, music, whatever, changes and evolves. It keeps me interested and wanting more.
Fans of K-Pop fall in love with the personality, charm, and talent of the members in idol groups. From the perspective of other kpop friends I have, I know that BTS’ music has helped bring them happiness or joy when they otherwise felt the opposite. I know they have done the same for me. Everyone has different and personal reasons for loving idol groups. For me it’s become a safe space. They’ve helped me through a lot, and I’ve met some great friends through the fandom as well!
I can’t imagine I’ll make fanart for the rest of my life, but for now it’s been a great way to cope and has given me my inspiration back and I’ll always be thankful for that.
You recently made BTS art cards also! Are you planning to sell those or other BTS fan-art merch?
I did! I created a mygofundme account and kindly asked for donations so I could get the cards made. I reached my goal so I was able to make them a reality. I would love to make a fanzine, but at the moment I’m not sure how much interest there would be in my following, and I need more content! The BTS fanart community is insane. Just browse on twitter and you’ll see what I mean. So many talented artists! It’s a bit oversaturated, so we’ll see. My main focus right now is just getting back into creating again with no pressure of making profit and just doing it because I love it.
Your personal style has often echoed your previous work, what styles are you excited about these days? Any eras or color palates in particular in fashion?
I’ll always be a fan of bright colors and bold patterns. I love contrast in my art and my wardrobe. If it has stripes of polka-dots on it I’ll probably buy it! My style recently seems a little more laid back than it was before. I will always have a huge affinity for vintage clothes (especially from the 60s) even if I don’t wear these styles much anymore, the colors, designs, and patterns inspire me endlessly. I love vintage toys and dolls, especially rubber toys. The neon/pastel colors have always been visually inspiring for me as well.
What would be your dream house? Would it be in a city or the countryside or on a floating island somewhere?
Oh! I’ll insert this photo I found a few days ago browsing the web:
Where can we find more of your work?
Previous works- jacquelinedenton.com
Thank you so much to Jacqueline for answering our questions! 🙂
p.s. BTS for the uninitiated- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BTS_(band)