Jeremy Hush, mostly a self-taught illustrator, was drawing before he could talk.
“I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t drawing,” said Jeremy. “I always had to be fidgeting with something, and couldn’t sit still, so I drew constantly.”
Using ballpoint pens as a primary medium, Jeremy’s illustrations are full of imagery that is connected to his childhood, spent mostly outdoors. Striving to represent how he remembers feeling about his environment as a kid, he is drawn towards palettes with dirty, natural colours that in his words result in, “a drawing that has been left out in the rain and splattered with mud.”
Traveling around the United States was a staple of his childhood, with parents in the Navy, they moved from state to state. He kept this life of travel, touring with punk bands, creating record covers, and art for zines. He now lives in Philadelphia, praising the art scene for being close-knit and supportive.
“I love this dirty city,” he says, describing his home with the same passionate language he uses for his colour palettes. “I usually get more inspiration hanging out by a creek than anything else, but here that’s not really the case. It’s the art scene here that is so inspiring. I know when I’m sitting in my basement drawing away on a Friday night, that my other artist friends are doing the same thing. The scene here is a hard working scene.”
When asked what he is trying to convey with his illustrations, he responded, “I want adventure, danger and nature, but I want to express the natural world looking down on us. I want it bigger than us because that’s how I remember it; imaginations running wild; experiencing real things, the skinned knees, bee stings, all of it!”
Looking at his work, you can’t help but notice a dark theme within each piece, as animals, humans and plant life are depicted in varying states of decay and grief. “It represents nature living on us and after us,” Jeremy says. “Our remains are a hollow shell, and act as a planter more than anything.”
Based on the idea that humanity is toxic, making everything manufactured, paved and poisonous, each image is packed solid with detail, representing our overcrowded world.
“I don’t like to think about how the world feels like it’s getting smaller,” he states. “The woods are getting smaller, experiences are curated for us, the only safe place for animals is in a zoo, and soon that will be us too, little 8×10 portraits with a cell phone.”
While he’ll always use ballpoint pens, citing a love for them for their “varied and textured lines, with gradients almost like graphite,” he does express a desire to experiment in other mediums – if he ever gets the time, that is.
Time could be difficult to find; currently, he works on architectural design and building for Staack Moore Woodworking, is painting classic horror audio books on vinyl with Italian music composer Fabio Frizzi for Cadabra Records, and running The Convent Philly, a gallery that showcases international artists from the punk and heavy metal scene.
“A dozen nuns used to live here,” he reports. “Now, it’s a lively artist’s space with art exhibits, lectures, taxidermy, music recording, and more.”
He did mention he has some secret projects in the works, so stop by the gallery, or follow him on Instagram to see more of what he’s up to.