Vans has teamed up with international artists for the series “These Projects are Ads for Creativity” to Creativity itself to celebrate. There were no special requirements for what the finished art should look like in the end. The artists were thus given free rein. This resulted in pictures, videos, sculptures, animations and much more.

Alex Gamsu Jenkins, presented in this interview, lives in London and works as a comic artist, illustrator and as a sculptor for this project. In his work, he deals with critical topics or satire.

Now Alex brought one of his previously only drawn characters to life. 2D becomes 3D: A two-meter high fibreglass sculpture.

Can you tell us a bit about what you did for this project?

“I've always wanted to expand my work to 3D and this project felt like an excellent opportunity to try something new. Since this project is primarily about creativity, I simply took it literally and translated the word into a work of art.”

“I thought why not take a character out of my imagination and bring him into the real world in all his big, eye-catching, and disproportionate appearance! The figure is a huge head supported by a small body. An opening in the head creates lights and projections, an explosion of creativity!”

How did you find the illustration?

“I started illustrating because I was worried about my future. That sounds depressing, but in the end, it turned out that it was a good thing. I think most teens feel a lot of pressure to choose a particular career path right after school. I didn't have the best grades and did a lot of nonsense.”

“I almost failed at art! Even as a child I had a talent for drawing and I never lost interest in it. I remember that my elementary school teacher once invited my mother to a parents' meeting. He was worried because I was painting brutal pictures. Fortunately I'm not too bothered today! I hugged around a bit and had various activities that weren't really for me.”

“I worked in factories, in telemarketing, for charities (one of those who persuade people to subscribe), and as a supermarket manager, but I wasn't good at any of those jobs. I finally took an evening class in caricature drawing and things were looking up from there.”

Can you tell us a bit about the themes and characters in your work?

“I think that with my work I can talk about the world as cynically as I want, because the visual form allows me to get away with it. I often express myself rather clumsily, so the illustration, humor, or criticism allows me to convey better than I could with words!”

“I don't think that there is necessarily a fixed theme in my work. I try to broaden my horizons with every drawing and try out new things. It could be a commentary on the banality of everyday life or something more abstract and imaginative. I try not to take myself too seriously and not play around with my stuff like that.”

That was a new process for you. What did you think of the experience?

“I really enjoyed the process, from making initial sketches to working with small models in 3D to working with the team of sculptors who brought the figure to life. In the future, I would like to create an entire world around this sculpture, possibly bring in even more of my characters and really set the scene for a story.”

What else is in store for you?

“I'm going to work more with animation now. I've always wanted to go in this direction, but it was pretty daunting from a technical point of view. But it's really just a question of stamina and I'm gradually getting better and better. The animation direction gives me the opportunity to really engage with storytelling and play from different angles. It's a bit overwhelming at first, but then it's pretty fun to dive into a whole new world and try out new techniques. It releases a lot of creative energy.”

You can find more work by Alex Gamsu Jenkins on his official website. It's worth it!

Artwork “38DEGREES” by Alex Gamsu Jenkins