Jarett’s illustrations delve deep into the dreamlike and the fantastical, with outsider themes of the misunderstood monster being a common thread within his work. Comments concerning dark elements within his art are not uncommon, and although perhaps the case at times, these details also often pose an ambiguous question to the viewer. For example, is the swamp monster’s presence placing the girl in a perilous situation, or is she simply making a new friend? Not uncommonly the answers to these questions reveal something about the viewer themselves. Jarett is also interested in the unassuming aesthetics of children's books. With this aesthetic in mind, a narrative usually arises within his work, making his art accessible to the casual viewer but rewarding scrutiny and contemplation by revealing more about the piece. His illustrations mix ink and digital mediums, and as a long time animator, these illustrations are often given life within video. His animation can also lean towards the more abstract when paired with live action video, enhancing it with an added surreal quality.
Jarett is a Chinese-German-Polish mixed media artist based in Calgary, Alberta. He has a BFA from the University of Lethbridge's New Media program. Moving back to Calgary upon graduation, this is where he continues to create artwork.
Jarett grew up watching cartoons and eating grilled cheese sandwiches, things he still enjoys to this day. He is also strongly influenced by music. In recent years he has had the opportunity to expand upon his love of music and animation within various music video projects. Recent achievements include a nomination for a Much Music Video Award for best post production, as well as creating an illustration for a Polaris Music Prize commemorative poster. In past years his videos have been nominated for other awards including a Juno Award for best video of the year in 2012.
I’ve engaged the community by speaking about my own artistic ideation process as well as the state of Calgary’s art scene, on television, radio, and magazine interviews. I’ve also given student talks, including at ACAD and UofL. I am interested in doing more guest talks in hopes of inspiring others interested in pursuing my same line of work. On my journey within the world of commercial art I have gained practical insights within the industry that I can offer to others.
As a beltline resident who walks everywhere, I’m continually inspired by my urban environment, and gain further inspiration by spending time in and around the community observing people. It’s not uncommon to catch me figure drawing from life, an instance of this being my train commuter series of drawings. By being a fly on the wall I can record the happenings within the community as people's daily patterns spark a narrative within my mind, forming the basis for an illustration.
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