Get to know Jon Emmony, the digital artist working with The 1975

Jon Emmony: Kezia Quarcoo

Emmony’s surreal landscapes and animations have scored him jobs with boundary pushers Grimes, Gareth Pugh and The 1975.

After teaching himself 3D animation on YouTube, he cut his teeth working for Nick Knight and now his briefs range from transforming Kate Moss into an ethereal digital creature to 30ft virtual installations in Selfridges.

Emmony's Selfridges work

The best thing about social media?

It encourages people to collaborate.

Worst thing about social media?

People comparing themselves to others.

What’s the best thing about social media?

You can meet anyone, you can speak to anyone in the world at any time and it encourages people to collaborate, especially in the creative industries. It opens doors.

What’s the worst thing about social media?

People comparing themselves to other people and being scared to be different and feeling like they have to fit in with a certain standard. It can feel quite templated and people feel like they need to follow that path.

Which film most inspires what you do?

The Red Shoes. The mix of reality and dream and the feverishness of it always sticks in my head as something I’d have liked to have made.

Describe your favourite item of clothing

This suit I have on now from Prada. I wear versions of the same black outfit every day because it takes my mind off of that process. I like the consistency.

What would you do if you weren’t a digital artist?

I guest lecture at London College of Fashion and I really enjoy it. I learn so much from the viewpoints of people who aren’t afraid or don’t have a vision of what industry should be or the rules of it.

How did you get into what you do?

I grew up in Sidcup and studied photography at Greenwich University. I always loved art and photography seemed an immediate way to make images and I was thrilled at the speed of it. I half regret I wasn’t in the Central Saint Martins bubble. But at the same time there was a definite other thing going on in the suburbs, it was quite interesting to see images you can make away from the city. I knew I wanted to work for Nick Knight.

I interned at ShowStudio and then worked as the digital art director. I started teaching myself 3D animation on YouTube because Nick’s work involves a lot of technology ad image making in an alternative way. It appealed to me because it reminded me of playing video games as a kid. I started influencing some of the work Nick was doing and suggested some things. We were figuring out how to use digital technology to extend reality or disrupt images. Since then I have been working on music, fashion and arts.

Vilebrequin campaign

What's been your pinch-me moment?

Often I make something with a lot of detail and it’s often only seen on a phone. I work with The 1975 and seeing my visuals on a huge screen in their arena tours has been really exciting for me.

Why London?

Just the variety of viewpoints you encounter, meeting different people of different backgrounds with different ideas.

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