Jess Ebsworth wants her trippy illustrations to “transport you to somewhere new and exciting”

After graduating from Manchester School of Art in 2015 with a degree in illustration, Jess Ebsworth returned to her home of East London to pursue a career in the medium. She realised early on that she wanted to channel her creativity into something more “commercial-leaning”, rather than just making “arty art”, and she soon began producing posters for club nights run by her friends. “A lot of what I did in the beginning was for mates or from meeting people working in hospitality – which I have done plenty of living in London,” she tells us. This was the case with Supa Ya Ramen, a now legendary ramen supper club that began life as a pop-up in founder Luke Findlay’s Hackney home.
Many of Jess’ other collaborations have been created in a similar spirit. Her work for the Portland-based print magazine Broccoli, a publication by and for women who use cannabis, has been equally lighthearted. “I originally emailed the editor when they did a call out on Instagram for a separate publishing project. Nothing came of that, however they did get back to me a few months later for some editorial illustrations for a surrealist short story about a trip on edibles in Candyland,” recalls Jess. “This brief was so much fun – it was a half, single and double page spread to go with a story that was full of these amazing visual descriptions of this sickly-sweet candy paradise. There was loads to go on visually.” Following on from this, the team over at Broccoli later got back in touch about illustrating the cover story for their tenth issue. Another dreamy brief to create “The Garden of Weeden” saw Jess working with surrealist references that tied in well with her aesthetic. “I instantly thought: Garden of Earthly Delights, but make it weed. I tried to, and the cover sort of came last to contrast with the softer images that I’d made for the interior spreads.”
“I met Luke whilst working in a pub where he was running the kitchen at the time,” explains Jess. “He had this idea to do a really intimate ramen supper club at his house and just wanted a poster at first. There was never really a brief, he just liked colour and wanted something fun and we just went from there.” Jess’ striking, vivid illustrations, which occasionally border on the psychedelic, fit perfectly with the easygoing spirit of Supa Ya Ramen, and her beautifully bold posters that advertise its news and events are now an integral part of its identity. “With this I’ve basically done whatever I want and the whole brand has grown quite organically around that,” she says.

Posted by Contributor