Jerry Cook

Hello Jerry, how are you feeling today?
A little under the weather actually but it's nothing some tea & tv can't fix I'm sure.

Could you tell us a bit about your industry?
Well I'm not completely sure what my industry is exactly. I studied illustration but I don't think of myself as an illustrator. I do a lot of different things, costumes, film, photography, books, zines, audo's whatever medium best suits the idea I have or how I am feeling at the time.

What's your latest project?
I have not properly started anything since graduating last month, I decided to let myself have a little rest after all the madness of finishing a degree. But my brains been working I have a few clear ideas for a new series of work I want to do based around the idea of fan culture, things with a real teenage vibe. I have found myself regressing lately. I have also been in discussions with a few people about doing collaborative work/collaborative exhibitions which I am very excited about. And a (kind of) musical venture called 'Vapid Slut' will most likely fill my evenings when my friends move in with me next month. There's a lot of idea's floating about at the moment, I am currently revamping my flat but once I have a clean tidy home in which to work I am looking forward to getting started on some new work.

What is the project you have done that you most enjoyed?
The 'Initiation Ritual' film was a lot of work as I did everything myself, making costumes, (including a laser etched leather hood and apron) gathering props, filming and lots of editing. But that was my baby I had the idea for a while and I really wanted to create a certain mood with it. I did a lot of experimenting making it and I learnt a lot. My friend's mum said "I feel like I shouldn't be watching it but I can't look away!" when she saw it, which was the biggest compliment ever to me.

What/Who inspires you?
I love watching old films and documentaries and the worse the quality the better. I like to watch something that seems secretive or lost in some way I get a lot out of that. I think this kind of started when I stumbled across this documentary called 'Satanis' and another one which was about snuff films. But before then I had always really loved 70's and 80's horror movies (good or so bad they are good) which I think have a similar sort of feel to them. Harmony Korine film's are a bit like that, he has some really old zines too. The whole celebrity culture really fascinates me as well, and serial killers. I also like to collect really awful and/or funny headlines or captions from newspapers and magazines.

What are your future aspirations?
I have done some costume work in the past for others and as part of my own work and this is something I am really looking to pursue. I am currently trying to gain some more experience and putting together a portfolio to apply to the BBC's trainee program next year. I'd really like to get into costume work for tv and film.

What advice would you give to students in creative industries?
Make the work you want to make and don't get too caught up with labels. It took me the first few years of uni before I realised I needed to stop trying to make work an "illustrator" would make and just do my own thing. And make lots of friends with people of all different disciplines because it's very useful and great things can come out of different minds and talents working on a project together.

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