Jenni Sparks is an illustrator, designer, map maker, hand-letterer and fun lover. Originally from a small seaside town in South West England, but now based in East London, she's living the dream of being able to colour stuff in for a living while listening to music all day. In “Hometowns” project, she continues with the series of illustrations around the theme of place and create ten prints about different areas that have distinctive personalities. Eight of them are London based locations and the other two are about Bristol and the trendy seaside Brighton. Her culture maps are really cool and underline the distinctive moods of a place, the iconic aspects of a particular area as well as themes drawn from the artist’s own experiences help to inform the visual guides.
From Soho to Chelsea through Shoreditch and Camden, Jenni Sparks has spent over a year on the “Hometowns” project exploring the true life and values behind each street, describing urban life honestly without glamour or touristic aspects. Appearing playful and fun, with black and white illustrations and vitaminic title colours, the maps meticulously highlights the London boroughs and neighbourhoods complete with the quirky in-the-know hallmarks and landmarks that make the city so unique. The artist wants to touch on deeper issues such as gentrification and the multicultural aspects of city lifefor example Brixton includes riots and David Bowie tribute.
All areas are full of fun facts such as celebrity birthplaces, local markets, social stereotypes, pubs but even messier visual aspects – suchas rubbish bags, cigarette butts, and nitrous oxide canisters – revealing theuglier side of an urban generation. The ongoing series aim to illustrate other smaller cities and develop the collection further. Prints can be purchased in both small and large sizes here.