Like many creators these days, Jeaux Janovsky is a man who dons a lot of hats. Animator, Illustrator, Artist… His work is a labor of love and his passion comes through in all of it. You’ve probably seen his work, but it’s likely that you don’t know it—Janovsky has worked with the likes of Mattel, Disney, and Frederator Studios, to name a few. At any given time, this multi-talented creator is juggling projects that span genres and scope—from freelance gigs to collaborations with writers and other artists and of course, his personal passion projects. Jeaux was kind enough to take some time out of his busy schedule and share some of his work exclusively with us; he also talked to us about his passion, his motivation, and what inspires him. Take a look.
How long have you been drawing, and how did you get started? It’s almost like I was born with a drawing utensil in one hand, sketchbook in the other right out the womb. It’s always been with me for as long as I can remember. A friend of mine is quoted as saying, “Jeaux draws like normal people breath: constantly and effortlessly.” This is very true. It’s in my blood.
Aside from your All My Heroes blog, you make pretty liberal use of tumblr with Lumber, Tumblrtoons, Film Shark, and Daily Doh – what is it about that platform that appeals to you? Tumblr’s rad! It’s easy to use, easy to update, easy to keep track of your audience and even easier to directly communicate with them! It’s better than maintaining a proper website these days. God bless David Karp. Tumblr’s office were in the same office as my former boss’, Fred Seibert of Frederator(producer of the hit Adventure Time on Cartoon Network), back when I was living in New York so that’s how I found out about them. Now 5 years later, they’re huge!
You’ve done work for some well-known brands, such as Disney and Mattel – do you have a preference between freelance, working for a company, or doing your own projects? There’s nothing that compares to the happiness of doing one’s own project, but each of those have their own set of perks. Freelance is cool cause it helps pay the bills and sometimes can be very fun being part of a cool project. Unless there are too many cooks in the kitchen, then it gets kinda annoying. Working for a company is rad cause you pay the bills, get this amazing thing called health insurance, and meet a ton of cool peeps there. Usually there you get the chance to work on multiple fun & cool projects. Doing one’s own thing gets you ultimate happiness and ultimate ownership of your fun & cool project! Downside is no health insurance, and more than likely, it may not help you pay the bills… but whatevs! It’s all for the LOVE baby, L-O-V-E! Less than 3! <3
Life is totally inspiring. I always bring sketchbooks with me everywhere I go, and constantly keep multiple sketchbooks going at the same time. You never know what you might see, catch, or what tidbit of a conversation you might overhear. Life and anything and everything eventually crawls its way into my sketchbook.
Is there anyone you’d like to work with but haven’t had the chance yet? If so, who? As a cartoonist and animator, it’d be a dream to work and collaborate with one of my cartoon heroes, Ralph Bakshi. He’s a true DIY original. Last year I sent him an illustration I did of him for his birthday, and til this day he’s still got it up as his personal Facebook profile pic! I also recently, somehow, managed to get interviewed about him by CNN! It would be an honor to work for him or to be mentored by him someday.
Of all your personal projects, do you have a favorite? I’ve got so many to choose from, so I’ll just stick to the one that popped in my mind first: Samurai Nanny! The World’s Greatest (and Only) Samurai Babysitter. Many execs and cartoon companies, like Cartoon Network, Disney & Nickelodeon, have expressed interest in Sam Nan. But the pitching process is so tiring, and it sucks to have to go on with an unfulfilled idea… so I’ve been toying w/ returning to the original storyline and producing it as a comic book/graphic novel!
What are you working on now? Currently, I’m working on a a very cool Ipad/Ipod hybrid video game/toy freelance project I can’t talk very much about… but I have a feeling it’s gonna be huge! I’m doing lead character design work on it, so that’s pretty rad! I can tell you about things in the pipeline, however! Working on 2 comics projects entirely different from one another. One’s a webcomic called Animal Sounds that I’m working on with my pal Liz Ohanesian, a writer for the LA Weekly. The other will be a graphic Novel I’m creating w/ my friend Daniel Levitch of Ancient Squid Media, called Epilogue. Epilogue is gonna be about post apocalyptic roaches!
Is it possible for anyone interested to purchase your work? Sure! I am also available for freelance illustration and animation work. Here’s a link to my online portfolio and my animation reel. You can reach me at jeauxj (at) gmail (dot) com with any questions, commissions, freelance offers, or for love advice. (Tho, that’s extra.)
Who are some of your favorite artists? Too numerous to mention. For now, I’ll say my mentor during my time at Calarts, the great Corny Cole. His words of advice? to just, “Draw, Godammit!!!” Thank you Corny, Always & RIP.