Gorillaz, Tank Girl and a mutant kangaroo are just some of the works for which British artist and designer Jamie Hewlett is known.
It was after college that comic Tank Girl was born - a chaotic strip about a tank driving, punk teenage girl with a mutant kangaroo for a boyfriend. Hewlett claims his influences from cartoonists, MAD Magazine, American animators, British comic book artists and Star Wars.
The influence of the art world started early for Hewlett in his childhood home of West Sussex which happened to be located opposite an art college where he spent his Saturdays. He discovered that drawing relaxed him and he did not look back.
A meeting of the minds between Hewlett and Blur’s Damon Albarn saw the birth of virtual band Gorillaz. Albarn took care of the music whilst Hewlett developed character designs.
Hewlett’s artistic and design skills saw him named “Designer of the Year” in 2006 for Gorillaz artwork. Later that year, he won a joint award with Albarn for “Songwriters of the Year” at the Ivor Novello Awards.
Another collaboration with Albarn has been a reincarnation of the ancient Chinese character 'Monkey' and a subsequent opera featuring the character. The opera has been performed in Manchester, Paris, London and New York. The characters of the opera were also used by the BBC in its telecast of the 2008 Olympics held in Beijing.
Dividing his time between Paris and London, Hewlett finds inspiration in both cities for his work. He also contributes to the Teenage Cancer Trust and is in the process of re-writing and re-publishing Tank Girl because after 10 years he realised, “pretty much 90% of it was shit.”