The first feeling you get when you look at something Cohen Gum has created, it just makes you happy. You get a nostalgic cartoon that your parents might not let you watch vibe, mixed in with some of your favorite comics from childhood. Then you look a bit deeper, and start to notice slightly-off interesting details. Little, likable-looking zombies, a confused hipster cow, you get the picture. Characters and details that take you inside Cohen Gum’s world. It looks fun and kinda weird in an awesome way and we want to live there. Which is why he is the artistic hand behind all the Uniquely J food storage.
If you want to make the most mundane details of your day more joyful (who doesn’t want that?), then grab some Uniquely J sandwich bags. Cohen’s busy, super cool designs will make even the saddest desk lunch a little brighter. Want to learn more about Uniquely J? Check out our story here.
Describe your artistic background.
Studying to be a web designer, I was introduced to Photoshop and Illustrator. I had no idea what I was doing but I loved trying to create characters (big emphasis on the ‘trying’), and I became obsessed. Must have been all the cartoons I watched as a kid. I can still hear my mum yelling ‘TURN OFF THE %#$@ING TV!’
I love clean lines in illustration and typography – I find it very addictive. That’s what pushes me. It went from a side hobby, to the odd exhibition, freelancing, taking on small client jobs, to now.
What kinds of things do you draw inspiration from?
Cartoons, comic books, and art. I like things that challenge the norm and make me feel a little uncomfortable or weird. My comic book collection is a great gauge on what I like. Science fiction and horror. If you’re into comics or just curious, I’m really enjoying Harrow County, Saga, and Descender at the moment — check em out.
Describe your aesthetic in 3 words.
Clean, intricate, then playful or unnerving (I can’t choose three).
What are your favorite snacks to eat while (or after) you work?
Lollies! Or as you like to call them in the USofA — Candy! Snakes, pineapples, jelly babies, strawberries and cream. The brighter the color, the more enticing. My liver hates me. Sugar is really bad for your liver, kids.
What drew you to draw for Jet?
It was the kind of work I love, iconography, patterns, character design, typography. Not to mention a brief that allowed me just to do my thang. The planets aligned — hoorah! It’s also exciting doing work for companies that appreciate the little details. Thanks guys!
What was your favorite part about this project?
Weeks of work and HUNDREDS of icons later — seeing it all come together in pattern form. That’s when it starts to look like an actual thing. I also really enjoy the final stages of polishing — redoing any elements i’m not quite happy with. It must be PERFECT! Imagine a crazed, teary, wide-eyed expression on my face.
If you could create your own product, what would it be and what would it look like?
Writing and drawing my own comics. Weird stories for weird people. OR a new line of clothing and accessories for miniature dachshunds. Little tiny pockets and buttons! So dayum cute!
What was the process like, creating these designs for our food storage bags in particular?
Reading through the brief, I had to convert a few US terms to Australian so I knew what was going on. Hoagie? Every icon had to be sketched out first to make sure I’d translated the brief properly. Once that was approved, I had to design each icon. I had to force myself not to start the pattern until I’d finished each individual icon, otherwise my brain was at risk of melting. It was too distracting. Piecing the patterns together was very time consuming and they had to contain the right amount of filled shapes and line work— otherwise it would look like spaghetti (nothing to shift your focus to). Making the pattern repeat seamlessly looks incredibly difficult, but it’s not so bad. Illustrator has some great tools for this.
Where can we find you?