Hey Jake, tell us a little about yourself...
I'm Jake Yorath, an illustrator and graphic designer based in the UK. I've been professionally involved in motorsport for a few years now, but I went full time freelance only a few years ago. I've produced work for various clients, including the British GT Championship, Nissan Nismo and Aston Martin. I try to bring a fresh, simple, bold style to anything I create.
So, you’re clearly a motorsport fan: what got you into cars and racing?
Like most fans, it was my family - both my dad, and my step dad, are motorsport fans. My dad would take me to BTCC, FIA GT, British GT as a kid - that's a lucky upbringing. I was heavily influenced by my step-dad's book and VHS collection too. He has loads of Group C stuff on tape, and tonnes of great books on sportscar racing.
And what got you into design? How did you discover it was something you were good at?
It was mostly an accident. I'd been doing some motorsport photography for a while, but that's a horrible business, it wears you out, grinds you down, and costs so much cash. Plus, even more so than in design, there are always 40 billies lined up willing to do your job for free! I happened to create a poster based on one of my photos, and a Flickr user suggested I'd 'missed my call as a graphic designer'. Thankfully, it appears I hadn't, because here I am! I think photography and design have a lot of similar elements - I always maintained that you can't really teach someone to take a good photo. You can teach someone the techniques and the theories, but they've still got to be able to see a good photo in their eye, and it's the same with design and illustration.
In terms of your style, it’s very bold and quite unique. What inspired you, or was it a style you ‘stumbled’ across?
It's developed over years and years. I have influences from all over - from current illustrators, to old-school artists, movie posters, even ancient stuff. I was in a museum in Oxford a few weeks ago and bizarrely, I really loved a few properly ancient pieces from Egypt, Crete, the Far East. I love bold, simple, design, especially with strong colours and contrast, and the simplicity of line in early art is actually really cool to me. Yes, I appreciate that is a wildly hipster-like thing to say. In my own work, I've found that it's actually as hard to not illustrate something as it is to illustrate something - leaving a detail out can make the difference between something kinda alright, and something I really love and I'm proud of!
Basically, I wouldn't say I've stumbled, it's developed. I'm almost entirely self taught - I've never really taken an art course, or courses in the programs I use, I mostly just used trial and error!
I've also been really lucky to have friends, clients, mentors who are honest and give me space and great feedback. Having friends who are artists in other fields, where I can have an open and honest discussion, is really helpful.
Who are some of the clients you’re most proud of working for?
I can't prioritise one client over another. It sounds like a lot of crap but they're all special to me, because each one has allowed me to continue to do what I love, to differing degrees. Sure, some of them have been more fun to work with than others, some have held more prestige than others, but each client contributes a few more quid to the rent, or new jeans, or a few pints. Each one teaches new things, and allows you to creatively develop slightly differently!
Web: yorath.co Twitter: @jakeyorath