Illustration by Gabriel Jay Young
– 1st July 2019

Gabriel Jay Young

Dreamy, calming and inclusive illustrations from the Falmouth University graduate

Gabriel Jay Young’s work is a welcome piece of calm in a hectic world. Draped in long evening shadows and nestled amongst leafy palms, his illustrations possess a peaceful, dream-like quality. “I use my personal work as an escape from a world that can sometimes feel very cold and grey,” he tells us, “and I hope others can find solace in them too.”

Muted tones and soft lighting set these calming scenes, but it’s the characters which populate them that take centre stage, consistently providing both the visual and narrative focus. “I’ve always loved drawing people, giving each figure a character and a story,” he reflects. Precisely who these characters are, what stories they have and who they represent is central to Gabriel’s work. “Representation is incredibly important,” he explains, “so I try to include as much diversity as I can in the subject matter as I want anyone and everyone to be able to feel like they can relate to what I make.”

Social issues of all kinds underpin the decisions guiding Gabriel’s creative output. “My practice is very much led by my heart,” he tells us. “I am very vocal about things that are important to me and the things I believe need to be discussed, like mental health, social injustice and the environment.” In light of the recent attacks on members of the LGBT community in London, Gabriel is currently offering his illustrations as tattoos to the general public to raise money for LGBT organisations. As a member of the community himself, work like this is an important way of “making a statement, bringing people together and … helping out and giving back.”

Since graduating from Falmouth University last year, Gabriel’s killer combination of carefully constructed palettes and meticulously composed natural forms has landed him exciting commissions and opened up new opportunities. One of those opportunities, a tattoo apprenticeship in London, has seen Gabriel start his own tattoo practice. Seeing his “baby”, Sleepy Palms, go from strength to strength has been immensely rewarding, and Gabriel is excited to see how this new branch of his practice develops. “It’s mind-blowing to see things I have painted or drawn on someone’s skin,” he muses. “The two work together so well, and I’m excited to see what the future holds.”

gabrieljayyoung.co.uk

Illustration by Gabriel Jay Young

Illustration by Gabriel Jay Young

Illustration by Gabriel Jay Young

Illustration by Gabriel Jay Young

Illustration by Gabriel Jay Young

Illustration by Gabriel Jay Young

Illustration by Gabriel Jay Young

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