Alex Gamsu Jenkins is an illustrator and cartoonist from south London who graduated from Camberwell College of Arts in 2015 having studied Illustration. Since then, he's worked for everyone from Adobe and Vice to The New York Times and Netflix, building quite the reputation and following for his satirical, often grotesque work.
He says he tries to avoid any pretence and instead wallows in humour, whilst touching on the absurd and surreal. With nearly 600,000 followers on Instagram, Alex enjoys sharing little comic strips and illustrations that are joyfully dark, creepy and unexpected. With this in mind, it was with some anticipation that I met Alex in London earlier this year.
There was nothing to fear though. We talk about Alex's journey so far and how he had a bit of a delayed start in the creative industries. How he's carved a career out of dark and humorous illustrations, comics, and more recently, animations. Interestingly, Alex admits he hopes to move away from the genre one day. We can't help but discuss the pandemic and how it's impacted him and how he realised he'd been running for a long time since graduating six years ago. It's an episode full of the highs and lows of freelancing, finding our creative voices, learning when we can pick and choose clients and projects.
We also spend some time talking about TV shows, movies and culture from our childhoods – discovering we're both equally as forgetful as each other. One thing that I really found with Alex is his curiosity, kindness, and interest in other people. It was quite refreshing when you consider how successful and popular Alex has become on Instagram alone.