Jamie Mehta BA (Hons) Illustration with Animation

Jamie Mehta

Illustrator / Puppeteer based in Manchester.

The exaggeration of storybook whimsy on a grandiose scale inspired my art to become an outlet of expressionism. I deconstruct my characters to illicit an abject comfort and then adorn them with the personification of the inanimate. This is elevated through a focus on physiognomy (characteristics of the face or body) that culminated in my final degree project, a 20-ft Ballerina Bug Puppet, which is a spectacle with an identity.

My CP3 Essay focused on stop motion work during which I was especially intrigued by the wonderment and disturbance evoked by puppets. As my intentions wandered over to puppet making, my illustrating sat dormant. My solution was to combine both mediums into a synergistic state that had both talents leaning on each other, resulting in three life-size puppets made in six months.

Making the puppets involved aluminium wire covered with fleece fabric, the design in reference to an illustration I had created. I was tentative while working with the materials in part due to the naivety of total control. Once I accumulated enough mistakes and victories the working replaced insecurity into a confidence for the processes involved.

Puppetry takes my illustrations to an alternative destination, polished further by my aptitude with composition and cinematography. Puppet making was an experimental vessel that achieved a peculiar morbidity I originally sought after. With nostalgia creating a universal attachment to puppets, unexplored contexts can be expanded upon when being perceived by ages 0-99. My art aspires to captivate on sight, and I aim to continue to accomplish this through the emblazoned lens of expressionist illustrating and puppet making.

Alumni Award Highly Commended