From working with for Stab Magazine to currently taking on a scholarship in the south of France.
Jake Ross has a unique way with a paintbrush.
Jump in below and get to know what makes him tick…
1. How did you get into drawing?
I met an Idol at 15 that turned my world upside down.
A life of art and waves were possible.
Ever since I met Cam Stynes, all I wanted to do was paint and surf.
A few life challenges saw me turn to drawing as an escape, as a way to make my life easier.
I remember sitting in the wet mud in my military uniform in a rebel owned island off Pakistan thinking death was approaching every night, and all I had to turn to was my drawings to escape the thoughts.
So I drew skulls in the representation of how I was feeling, of what people were around me.
Picking up the pencil or brush means much more than just bringing a blank canvas to life, it means an escape, it has a therapeutic value to me.
As a kid, my desire to draw and surf has stretched out into adulthood, the day Cam made me realize this is possible, I saw no other alternative to living.
2. You've got a very distinct style, did it take you long to find it?
Thanks, mate, I found the hardest thing about drawing is finding my distinctive style to call myself an artist. It has to be distinctive, or the art world will rip you to shreds.
You could say a style of art is developed over the years you walk on earth, but I feel my style has just come from practice and practice, and of course life experience.
I’ve been taking my art serious now for the last three years, and I find my style is finally what I wanted it to be, but it’s a really harsh experience finding your style, every 6 months I do an audit of myself, and art, being a huge part of me, cops a beating.
Every part of your style takes a little bit from your life, for an example, the clean single monochrome line I use for my outlines represent the simple, quiet life I desire.
3. What kick do you get from the skeleton which is so prominent throughout your drawings?
The skeleton represents me as a person and humanity as a whole.
It speaks on such a larger surface than painting flesh, as a skeleton, we can all picture ourselves in my illustrations. From all avenues and walks in life, we all have a skeleton in common.
Death is a lurker, and he’s always just waiting for a slip. But as humans, we love to play with death! I know I do with my surfing, so the skull is a representation of me and death.
4. The colours in your drawings are quite soft. Did you choose the colour palette as a juxtaposition against the harsher ideologies of the skeleton?
The colours are my base attitude, I have a carefree stigma about life, and I feel a soft colour portrays that value to me.
As you say, it’s a perfect balance scale of harsh and fun.
So it's kind of funny, the skeleton represents like "ahhhh fuck, life is about to end" and the colours represent "chill mate, enjoy the road" so the balance scale of each piece kind of evens out.
5. Currently, you're in France working on some projects, Can you tell us a little more about what you're up to over there?
Yeah currently trying to connect to the worst WIFI system in South France.
But just living for the time in between Hossegor and Biarritz, the trip all aligned well and the green light switched.
I also co-own a Marketing Agency and the discussion started with France because we wanted to expand to Europe. We got a client that’s offering us accommodation and then I got a phone call saying I was accepted for a scholarship for an art school in South of France. I had no choice but to say yes.
It’s kind of crazy thinking I’m sitting in France just working with what I love. I never thought I would live this life.
6: Finally, What's next for you, Jake? What else is in the pipeline?
I know I have a set of goals that I would do anything to achieve, like walking into a store and seeing my illustrations plastered on skateboards, surfboards, and clothes, and walking into a bar seeing a few illustrations printed on cans, or travelling to surf destinations with a paintbrush knowing I can leave a mark of art and creativity.
But to reach those goals I’m taking it slowly and enjoying the ride.
Stay in touch with what Jake is up to and see more of his work via Instagram - @jakeross.art