Saturday morning cartoons probably started it all off for me. Teenage mutant Ninja Turtles, Transformers, He-Man… I could go on, what a golden era! I would spend hours drawing my own storylines and settings based on the characters I had seen on TV. Picking up pencils and paper, escaping into my own world through drawing is one thing that’s always remained constant since I was a child, as is the curiosity to question everything.

Sometimes it’s hard to turn down projects because I’ve gotten into the habit of saying yes to everything, but Beck’s has a long and proud tradition of championing creativity and artistic visions, and has always provided a strong platform for artists across the creative spectrum to express themselves. For my Art Label, I delved into the history of the brewery and felt an illustration could pay tribute to its hometown of Bremen. The more I discovered, the richer the piece became; soon I was running out of space to fit it all in! The symmetrical design, the contrasted palette, the bold shapes and blocks of solid colour: I wanted the illustration to feel like a visual story the audience could admire from afar and yet find something new if they investigated closer.

 

I really hope people just enjoy looking at all the different labels in this collection, that they take the time to soak in the details and thinking behind each one. As an artist, one of the best things is to hear other people’s interpretation of my work. Everyone has a different perspective and, more often than not, other people’s thoughts can often spark a new way of thinking within me for future projects. I think if you ever become completely satisfied with the work you create, maybe you’re not pushing yourself enough. It’s hard for me to look at my own work and be completely satisfied. This is what drives me to keep sketching, so I can improve upon it for when the next project comes along.

I’ve been travelling to NYC, LA and Hong Kong to broaden what I surround myself with, and also to reignite that passion for some personal experimentation. But Sheffield is my home. There’s a fantastic creative scene here, full of very special people doing some amazing things. The great thing is that it’s not fully established yet. Sheffield has the power to determine its own path and there are plenty of illustrators, designers and agencies springing up, adding to the city’s eclectic creative scene.

Jonny Wan