From the Comfort of my Own World
Who is Jeff Feltham?
I’m a wide-eyed kid from the suburbs with too much time on my hands. I’m an improviser for sure, I sort of live three lives in one and I really have no routine that ties them all together. I’m a freelancer, a student, and an artist. It’s not easy by any means mentally, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. I’m thankful I get to live my life the way I do.
Being an artist allows me to wander off to my child-like state of mind on demand, which is awesome. I’m glad I can tap into my pre-internet brain on-call.
Freelancing has its ups and downs, but the ability to feed myself by doing something I love is more of a blessing than a curse you know?
Life as a student most definitely has its moments, good and bad. I don’t leave my house much other than for class so I’ve sort of missed out on the social scene, but I don’t mind it as much as I thought I would. School imposes routine and discipline into my rather improvised way of being and for that I’m thankful.
All in all, yeah man. Life definitely served me up a fresh plate of everything early. I stumbled upon my passion at 16, came inches from losing my life in a rollover car crash at 17, fell in love at 18, definitely been a character building few years for me. I’m happy to be here and my main goal with all of this is to inspire everyone to be themselves as people, and as artists. You only have so much time on the earth to give what you got, so be you to the max and give everything you have back to the world in whatever way makes you feel most alive.
A big shoutout goes out to the people who know me like I know me. My family, my closest friends, and the people watching over me. I’d feel like an alien without you all.
Who are some people you have worked with and who would you like to work with in the future?
That guy took a chance on me before literally anyone, all love, tremendous respect for him. “Bare Flesh” just hit 3 million listens on Soundcloud, couldn’t be more psyched about that.
I designed and performed back to back VJ sets for him @ The Phoenix Concert Hall. That was a lot of fun. Shoutout to him for giving me the opportunity and the experience.
I designed his VJ set for Bluesfest. That shit was a movie. I’ve been listening to Lovell since Concept Nothing so to hear him shout me out on stage while I was there performing with him was just insane to me. Much love to the entire camp for taking the chance on me, its love for life. I’m treated like family whenever I’m with them.
Fellow designer Max Cohen and I collaborated on the “Bloody Hands” visual for the Murda produced Pressa song. Still one of my favorite and most memorable collaborations to this day, shout out to Max we snapped on that shit. I remember calling my mom and saying I had an Interscope contract to sign, that felt so good.
I designed Pressabrick the mixtape, much love to him for putting faith in me I wish him the best in 2018.
Designed tour merch recently for them. Shoutout to them and everyone who made it possible for me to help out.
I’d really like 2018 to bring me more opportunities with different mediums, clothing, and movie posters. Although I wouldn’t mind having another billboard lol. As far as artists go, damn. I’d love to try to work with Joji, he’s dope. I’m really bad at picking artists cause most of my placements are random as hell. I’m grateful for any artist who gives me the opportunity to put my work on a platform bigger than me.
How did you end up directing the art for Pressabrick by Pressa?
Haha. This one is kinda funny. Being the anti-socialite I am I was kicking it in the student lounge alone foot tapping and messing around with photoshop like always, and I did the good old routine Instagram check. I noticed Pressa was asking for a designer on his story, so I hit him because I had mad time to kill between classes. An hour or so later I had 20 high res pics in my email to choose from and from there I put together that cover. It took us a proper 2 days to get perfect, but I’d just work on it between classes or at home in my studio when I had the time. Thankful he took the chance on me and gave me that opportunity, really humble guy and an easy person to work with for sure.
Can you speak a bit more on Night Lovell's Bluesfest show?
First and foremost I wanna say thank you to Jonathon (Lovell’s manager) for giving me the chance to do what I did in the summer and what I’m doing today. That day was really validating for me, I felt like I’d finally made it out the bedroom I’d trapped myself in for so long. That’s my big brother and to know all of this came together over an Instagram comment about a pair of shoes is pretty crazy to me. Bluesfest was one of the highlights of my life. What kills me is over the phone I told them I knew how to do stage visuals but I really didn’t know shit about them. For the next 4 days, I learned the basics of After Effects (shoutout Lynda.com) and learned how to create animations. I remember sleeping from 4-5am the night before the show, stressing, trying to perfect everything. Not only was it my first-time VJ’ing a show (I downloaded and learned the software for that the day of lol) but it was my chance to make my first impression as an artist, I had to make it count. Despite the sleep deprivation, the show couldn’t have gone over better, and needless to say I’m more than happy to be apart of the team today. Since then we’ve put together a lot more unreleased concepts that I hope the world will one day get to see. Shoutout to everyone in Ottawa, I was treated like family off the rip and that’s all I could ever ask for.
What’s Your Daily Rotation Looking Like? As Far as Music Goes.
As a commuter and being surrounded by millions of people on the daily it’s a mix of artists that compose the soundtrack to my life (not a cudi reference, I’m not that clever). My music is sort of binary it’s either hip-hop/r&b or shoegaze (it’s like a subgenre of indie rock). A weird combination I know but it works for me. I’m an unapologetic Frank Ocean fan, I love old Playboi Carti, Future, Daniel Caesar, Lil Peep, etc. As far as my shoegaze/alternative rock library goes, my favorite band is Beach House. Anyone close to me knows I worship that group lol. I also love this band called Palace (shoutout to who put me on you know who you are), Gus Dapperton, and Yellow Days. All of my music sort of balances out my mood and my mind. I sort of have an album or a song for every feeling I have throughout the day, it’s cool. Music is a really important part of my life.
Who Inspires you?
I spent the tail end of my high school career studying, not only great designers and artists but people I idolize for their impact on the world. It took me long enough but I finished the Steve Jobs biography and that left a massive impact on me for sure. It reassured me that work ethic and passion is the key to success and leaving your mark in whatever you do. As for art & design my idols are definitely Massimo Vignelli (designed Manhattan city, RIP helveticapapi we love you), Peter Saville (mastermind behind Joy Division’s “Unknown Pleasures” artwork, unfortunately, you can find that shit on urban outfitters tank tops which pisses me off but hey #influence2strong), and Paula Scher (an absolute ICON, resuscitated the identity of both the MoMA and The Public Theatre in NYC). I think it’s important I source my influences from times before me, it’s important to me that I learn from those who paved the way to this day in my industry. I want to be there someday.
What Do You Plan on Accomplishing and Focusing More on This Year?
I want to slow down on freelancing, that’s probably my number one priority. I have a great clientele at this point, people who both put food on the table and put me on a pedestal to shine. 2017 for me was definitely the year of fostering trust and picking the good apples and I think I did just that.
I’m definitely going to keep shooting film. I light up every time I get the Downtown Camera notification on my phone and the link to my dropbox. Art & design is more of a career than a hobby at this point, photography sort of took that place in my life and I’m glad I can have something other than design to spend my time doing, keeps everything interesting.
My goal as an artist this year is to just keep pushing myself. I’ll go crazy if I have to. I don’t do any of this for the money if I did I’d be broke. I just wake up and try to make something from nothing every day. I believe that daily challenge is what keeps me happy, alive, and so passionate about life and what I do for a living. I love what I do because it gives me a chance to help others, make my money, and a platform to make a change in the world.
I’m trying to focus on more thought-provoking and emotional evoking art. I want to impact people to not only be who they are but to speak their minds unapologetically. The world is changing every day, as a global society. And as people, we move forward and make change by not holding our ideas back in our careers, in our lives, in the struggles (big or small) most of us face every day. I want to make clothing for sure that carries that same underlying message of unity and social change for the better. I'm not making any promises but if I get the time and I find a good screen printer in the city I’ll definitely be experimenting.
2017 was the year my parents started believing in me, 2018 is the year I get the world to take notice.
To see Jeff's work, visit his website here: https://jlfdesign.myportfolio.com/