Jay Hurst

Jay Hurst

From the Northwest, Jay recalls how from a young age he was always immersed in some form of drawing or making objects from any materials that were to hand. He initially considered however that he would become a writer rather than artist, 'I carried a notebook at all times, filling them with poems, story ideas, conversations and phrases.' With a passion for sci-fi comics, after leaving school, Jay took on various jobs whilst simultaneously beginning to create illustrations for small press science-fiction magazines.

Soon after, Jay made the decision to study art and illustration and attended Falmouth School of Art where he undertook intense study of painting and regularly visited galleries to learn and obtain in-depth fine art knowledge. Taking the decision three years later to pursue a career in commercial illustration, Jay began working for Clarecraft and was also accepted into the Young Artists Illustration Agency in London. Jay had two illustrations published for Terry Pratchett's Discworld 2001 calendar through his work with Clarecraft in the fantasy and sci-fi genre.

The artist will openly discuss the difficulties he had with sustaining regular work as an illustrator in a fast-paced commercial industry where freelance work was drying up as in-house reprints and digital design became more economically viable to publishers. Taking a break from illustration, Jay began to focus on his own creative journey and took various jobs whilst maintaining his own practice and successfully selling work which included a sell-out exhibition at a Chester gallery in 2004. Later with a break again from painting and opting for illustration work in the gaming industry, Jay later struggled to create and did not produce a painting for five years.

Over the last few years, Jay's creative journey has been re-ignited and he has produced his most thought-provoking work to date. Moving towards a more surreal approach, his work is a direct response to the contemporary world we live in and its relationship with the natural world. Focusing on drawing and painting from life, Jay's work is eclectic in subject-matter as he responds to the variety of stimuli around him. Jay was recently awarded second-place prize with his striking 'Irradiated Afterlives' painting for the 2019 Wirral Society of Art Exhibition.


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