Jess Tobin AKA Novice is a great artist who has been involved with Evolve from the start. Our Jess is an illustrator and a Youth Development worker. She’s also a member of Dublin’s fantastic Blind Elephant Illustration Collective. So all in all we have on our hands a very busy artist. We’re very lucky to have had ‘Novice’ on a few walls over the past 2 years. Each new piece has batted it out of the park. The large scale pieces more and more mirror her fantastic line work and wonderfully illustrated colour pieces.
Fashion and illustration influences can be seen in the striking female figures that have become her motif, we’ve watched Jess’s work progress from piece to piece.
Since taking her paint work outdoors she’s become a regular fixture on the ‘street art’ scene in Dublin, and further afield in Ireland. Painting recently at the mighty All City Paint Jam, Release the Pressure in Derry, Tzolkin Street’s Dedicated events, a regular fixture at Evolve’s own Phat Paint jams, and also as part of the all female street art crew Minaw collective.
We managed to catch Jess for a few questions on her art and what she’s been up to. Questions and pieces to check out below.
Tell us about the birth of Novice
‘As far as I can remember the first piece that I signed as Novice was in Cabra Park in June 2013.
But the birth place of Novice, as in me doing solo street art pieces was in the Bernard Shaw in September of 2012, so I’m painting 2 years now.
I chose the name Novice for obvious reason, I am a Novice especially to street art. But also because I believe that in life & art we are constantly learning. ‘In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, in the experts mind there are few’ Shunryu Suzuki
I have been doing art, drawing, making & all that sort of thing for as long as I can remember. Drawing is what I love. When I came to do street art I was doing a lot of illustration. The jump to using spray paint came when in my day job as a youth Development officer I used spray paint & graffiti as a tool through which to engage young people. I was hooked! It’s like drawing squared, because it’s bigger, takes longer to do therefore I get to spend all day creating a piece & it presents me with lots of creative challenges.
Evolve giving me the opportunities to take part in jams really set me on my way.’
Your art in 5 words?
‘Fashion, people, eyes, scale, minimal’
What’s your favourite artist at the moment?
‘Ahhhh there are so many that im inspired by. Street artist?It’s a group; Etam Cru’
Do you have any big pieces coming up?
‘A piece for Actionaid Ireland, it is part of the the Official 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence Campaign, I will be doing the piece on November 23rd on Fitsimmons Hotel. It’s big in importance’
What’s the piece or project you most enjoyed this year?
‘That’s too hard, there has been too many.This year has been so full of great projects. I’ve loved getting to do collaborations which means I get to learn from other artists, hangout & have fun.’
What does the future hold for Novice?
‘Continue to enjoy painting, improve, paint as much as possible & I would love to travel more to paint.’