Depression, Art, God: How Illustrator ‘Jackkrit Anantakul’ Turned Suffering into Creativity

Catch up with “Nuea” Jakkrit Anantakul, or Hello iam JK, as he illustrates a new chapter full of smiles and happiness.
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Many might be familiar with his alias “Hello I am JK”, the name that has brought this talented artist an international recognition for graphic illustrations, experimental typography, and motion graphics all full of unique character.

A New Chapter

“I’m working hard as always,” Jackkrit told us with a smile. The soft-spoken artist explained that the demand for his work has not changed since a state of depression few upon him a few years back. What has changed, however, is his newfound purpose that enables him to get up and greet each new day “without pain.”

“These days, I call myself a Christian illustrator, and I work harder to create hope for society.”

The Volvo Way X Jakkrit Anantakun

พบกับ คุณจักรกฤษณ์ อนันตกุล ศิลปินและนักออกแบบแนวหน้าของเมืองไทยที่มีผลงานปรากฏต่อสายตาชาวโลก ได้ที่งาน The Volvo Way – freedom to experienc ลานมรกต (ข้างเซ็นทรัลชิดลม) วันนี้ – 19 พฤษภาคม เวลา 11.00 – 22.00 น.รายละเอียดเพิ่มเติม คลิก https://volvoca.rs/thfte Meet Mr. Jakkrit Anantakun, Thailand’s leading artist and designer whom his works are being manifested throughout the world at the event. The Volvo Way – freedom to experience Morakot Fairground (next to Central Chidlom) Today – 19 of May from 11.00 – 22.00.More information, click https://volvoca.rs/enfte #VolvoCarThailand #TheVolvoWay

Posted by Volvo Cars Thailand on Thursday, 16 May 2019
A public art where Jackkrit conjures up lovable characters to tell the story of his creative process under the theme ‘The Volvo Way – freedom to experience’

His latest public art piece in collaboration with the luxury car brand, VOLVO x Jackkrit (JackBrick), is one illustration of his ‘new era.’ It reflects a transition of concepts, ways of working, and the goal of delivering strong positive vibes to the society.

The Volvo Way – freedom to experience [2019]

“The allure of my work is the use of colours that add smiles and spread positive thinking. Most of my international clients are happy with this classic style.”

An important step in the artist’s journey through the world of graphic art took place at the company, You Work for Them. At this small studio, he was exposed to a range of abstract and experimental work, genres that he is now vividly known for. During this same time, he also acquired analytical, communication, and marketing skills for the art world.

Today, Jackkrit is a designer, illustrator, and artist whose portfolio compiled up fast with great diversity. His clientele list includes Google, Wallpaper UK, Monocle, Facebook, Unicef, U2, Vans sneakers, and other international brands.

Experimental Typography

“I began to gain online recognition for my typography work. I think the fact that English isn’t my first language had helped me approach my design in a more liberal and fearless fashion”

Graphic elements as Typefaces

His reputation continued to build upon foreign websites. “Dozens of international magazines contacted me for interviews (laughs). A lot of big brands wanted me to collaborate with them,” Jackkrit said with a fond smile as he told us about his life seven years ago. “But during those time when everything went great, I had the question circling in my head.

That question was…why are we here?”

When Christ Was His Savior

“I noticed that the high I got from each success rose and fell within a short period of time. Whenever I experienced intense happy feelings, they would soon be replaced by a deeper sense of sorrow. That’s how my depression set in.”

“I started to feel more and more pain inside of me. I tried to flip through books for answers. The Bible was in my bag all the time. And one day I saw the sentence, ‘When we accept Jesus Christ into our lives, we are given a new life.’ It’s a life where we’re not living for money, fame, or for ourselves. But we should live for others too, like Jesus Christ did.”

 “A light flickered inside me, and the sorrow disappeared. It was an astounding moment.”

From there, the artist began to use his talents and skills to serve God. He started helping out at church more often, and it was through those activities that he had a chance to spend time with the troubled kids in the neighborhood. “The first time I was there, I saw the aggression shining strong in their eyes. Of course, I didn’t know what to do. All I knew was that the task needs my heart, all the money in the world can’t fix it.

In the beginning, I would go sit and draw in the communities. I would bring some paper and colored pencils with me. They eventually came up to me and asked if they could draw too (smiles). Once we started communicating, I noticed their hearts slowly warming up. Later, I started organizing workshops for the children. It made them feel that they could create something of value, something that they can be proud of. I think it’s a form of art therapy.”

Graphic illustration for Unicef

Unknown and Friends

It can be observed in Jackkrit’s later works that his focus is on positive stories and thoughts. This is particularly prominent in his collaborations with clients like Facebook, Google, and the UN. And when a talented artist sends positive vibes out to the public, the positivity instantly becomes contagious.

Take for example the character design of Jackbrick (Under Construction), which is one of Jackkrit’s latast works. These little brick friends come with an interesting origin story.

“Sometimes I use my drawings to tell stories. Sometimes there’s a plot twist (laughs). I want people to realize that money and fame we’re running after do not bring about true happiness. I named the first character ‘Unknown,’ who in my head is a painter. And if you notice, the word ‘painter’ also contains ‘pain’”

JK for Vans Sneaker

“Unknown is a fictional brick character who at first shut himself off from the world. But as he grew, he began to learn that life isn’t a fixed thing. It can morph. This character relates to me in the sense that once I had also shut myself off. But today I choose to dream up new colors and draw up a new life for myself. I could be a watermelon if I want. I could also be a pizza or a cake. This is the concept that I use to develop stories and characters.

This project is called ‘Under Construction.’ It involves many characters with various personalities. These are stories of both happiness and sorrow that lead up to the takeaway that…it’s always possible for us to recreate ourselves.”

INFORMATION:
Email: helloiamjk@gmail.com
Website: helloiamjk.com
behance.net/helloiamjk
Facebook: helloiamjk
Instagram: helloiamjkstudio

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