Sweet nothings with Illustration & Graphic Design wiz, Harley & J 
Feature by Danni Jackson

One sweet Black Friday back in '89, our amazing friend and stupidly talented graphic designer, Jasmin Meier was born. A few moons later came Harley and J 
Based in Sydney’s Surry Hills, not only is Jas a graphic design and illustration wizard, but the kind of woman that once you meet, you’re bound to for life.
With a childhood surrounded by nature, surfing and art, her captivation of the wild unknown is thoroughly expressed in her work - A true visual diarist of the heart, producing energy that flows through you like psychedelic adrenaline.

Let us into your brain, with natural surroundings being your biggest inspiration, does viewing the world constantly stimulate you to create or is it something that can be switched on and off?
- Always! Some days more than others. Nature in all her glory is my one of my biggest inspirations. Creativity is something like anything within you that you feel comes and goes. Some days stronger than others. It is something you need to nurture and feed with knowledge, other artists, history,  books,  patterns, new experiences, emotions, lust, love, heartache. I guess the life you live really does filter into your work.

Are there any artists that you idolise and do you ever channel their work to get you into your zone?
- My two favourite artists are Alphonse Mucha and Gustav Klimt. It's clear to see I take a lot of inspiration from the two of them as well. I like things to flow and I like them to be beautiful and fluid, the female figure encompasses this perfectly and I think that is why they are the main subject of the majority of my works. There is a true beauty and sensuality to the female form that nothing else can compare to.

My mother is also an illustrator and painter, I grew up with everything around me adorned in fairies, mermaids and wood creatures painted by her. I have always been fascinated by the concept of magic and fantasy which was initially instilled by her. I  grew up on a lakeside home and spent a lot of my child hood saturated, I guess, in nature, It wasn't until I moved into a city that I realised truly how much it was a part of my life and how much joy, peace and calm it brought with it. There is a strong element of natural ascetics in my work, whether it would be leaves, planets, deserts, suns and stars. There is almost always a loose connection back to the natural elements. 
Alan Forbes,  Matt Sabbath (Matt Wilkins), Black Magus ( Caitlin Mattisson), Nick Potts, Robin Gnista, Simon Berndt, Bourbon Sunday ( Nathaniel Deas). Are other artists that deserve a serious mention for their skills, it is super inspiring to watch others in your field grow into stronger illustrators and do what they love.

One thing that that stands out about your art is the tones that you use, you seem to limit yourself to a certain amount of colours in each piece which makes everything flow so perfectly. When designing for a brand, how do you decide which tones to use?
- I guess I really stick to the saying ‘less is more’.  All of my colours, lines, shapes and tones are pretty limited. As much as I can love and appreciate detail and precision, its not for me artistically. I like my works to be bold and beautiful.
In saying that, I might go in after and add some really rich textures and filters to give it some character and depth after the final line work is done.
What's really important for me is making that connection between the client and the final design. Anyone can slap together a logo.
More than often I'm working for bands or smaller clothing labels so its really important to me and them that there is a direction personal connection between them and the final art work. What Im creating for them is usually representing something they have out a lot of their personality, time and life into so I want them to feel that connection and it to be special to them. Colours usually come at the very end. I like to always give my clients some options different colour palettes and let them choose what really suits them and their brand. Its important their vision is honoured throughout the final process. 

What’s on the cards for Harley & J?
- For now I’m really just taking it all as it comes.  I never thought that I would be able to take my work in this direction to be honest and for now I am just enjoying it and trying to not take it all too seriously. 


Click HERE to keep in the loop with Harley & J

Danni @ TuesdayVTG