Moon Man: We Interview Jesse Ede – Designer, Artist, Maker.
by STEHAN BOTHA
Reading Time 8 mins
delving deeper into one of our ongoing themes of creativity and fascination with creative process, we took some time to catch up with one of our favourite cape town creatives, Jesse Ede. His 'out-of-this-world' work has been showcased at highly esteemed galleries and sought-after exhibition spaces from cape town, london, miami and beyond. He is currently represented by the well-respected Guild Group. We listen eagerly as Jesse shares his perspective on balancing honest, hard work with play.
E: Tell us a bit more about yourself: Where are you from and what are you excited about currently?
J: I'm from Cape Town—born and raised—and I'm really excited about the rest of this year. I have more exhibitions this year than ever before; I'm getting married, and I'm planning a round-the-world honeymoon trip ...so lots to look forward to!
E: How did you end up doing what you are doing today?
J: Well, it's been a long journey. But it started from a very young age—being heavily influenced by my father—who was an artist. So, as long as I can remember I have been in and around a creative environment. Since then I have worked in workshops and studios all over the world; had my own design business; worked and am still working for an interactive agency and more recently, started a career as an artist.
E: SO, Would you say you are more of aN 'ARTIST' than a 'DESIGNER'?
J: I think I would like to be more of an artist but my brain definitely works more like a designer's. With a background in Industrial Design, Carpentry and Sculptural Art, I blend creative thinking and technical skill together to solve any design challenges that come my way.
E: Do you consider yourself to be ‘creative’?
J: Definitely yes. I'm always creating...
E: What is your personal definition of creativity?
J: I think at its base level, its the act of channelling your imagination and bringing those thoughts into the physical world.
E: How important do you think creativity is for humanity?
J: Probably the second most important thing after procreation. As it is the primary vehicle for expressing ourselves.
E: What is the first thing you remember making as kid?
J: I think it was a skateboard, I used to love skateboarding and would often make my own downhill skate decks.
E: When you first made it, Did you show it to anyone? If so, what was the response?
J: Probably my mom. I'm sure she said it was amazing (chuckles).
E: You have clearly had an influencial father and A supportive and encouraging mom, early on. You've also travelled quite a bit since leaving home. In what way do you think your upbringing and background shaped you as a person and your outlook on life today?
J: I think it's definitely made me far more open minded and super inquisitive at the same time.
E: Have you ever experienced a creative slump / plateau / block / wall? If so, how did / do you bust out of it?
J: Sure, all the time. But to overcome it I stop trying to force it and go for a surf or cycle and then wait for it to flow naturally again. Forcing creativity never lead to good results.
E: How important is criticism when it comes to becoming better at your craft? What advice would you give your younger self / anyone else embarking on a creative journey regarding criticism?
J: Constructive criticism is ok if you're looking for some, but don't let other people make the choice for you whether you're on the right track or not. Pursue your creative ambition no matter what, if you believe in your work then that's all that should matter. Don't let anyone tell you 'NO'.
E: Do you have a set daily routine / ritual / Mantra?
J: Nope, I don't like to be too structured. For me, the benefit is that I don't beat myself up about trying to stick to a routine. Especially if I (for whatever reason) don't stick to it. But, I will say this: Don't be lazy!
E: Do you have any creative hacks, books / resources that consistently help you keep you inspired?
J: I used to, but then I found that if you're constantly looking at other people's work for inspiration then your own work ends up looking like everyone else's. I believe one should try to channel one's inner creativity without external influences... you might be surprised by what you come up with!
E: Where do you want to take your craft next?
J: To being a full-time artist, focusing on solo exhibitions, shows and collaborations with big international artists and brands.
E: JESSE, It's been incredible to chat, Thank you so much for your time. we can't wait to see where the future and your creativity takes you but before you go, Where can people learn more about you and see your work?
J: The best place to see my work and process is on my website, www.jesse-ede.com as well as on Instagram (@jesse_ede) where I upload pics daily. My latest work is also on show for a limited time as part of the EXTRA ORDINARY Exhibition at the Southern Guild gallery space in the Silo District No.5 at the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town.
All photos by DEVIN PAISLEY with thanks.