Jazz Alba is a Toronto based graphic designer, known for his Simpsons style recreations of famous moments in pop culture and basketball. He caught the attention of many with his work covering the 2019 Toronto Raptors Championship Run and has since had his work featured by notable publishers like Complex and NiceKicks , in addition to collaborating with brands such as FootLocker and Puma.
Between a family, full time job and your work as a part-time designer, I imagine your schedule can get pretty busy. With the pressures of staying attentive and up to date on everything, what are 5 ways you stay organized and manage your time?
Put everything in the calendar. This is super important for me to organize my meetings and I have a shared calendar with my family for appointments.
Create a systemic way to organize folders. This one may not apply to everyone but as a graphic designer, this is really important be able to find things easily. I make sure to properly name every file and layer.
Pen & Paper. It’s basic but often when I can't use my laptop, it's great to have a notepad and pen available.
Tutorials. These are often overlooked but I'm always looking for ways to improve my sells and make me a more efficient worker.
Take breaks. Have a breather. You need that to reset your focus to be more efficient. When I was drawing around the Raptors championship stuff, a reset every now and then was super helpful.
You’ve covered some of the greatest moments in sports and pop culture through your designs. What are your top 5 moments you’ve drawn and why?
Raptors champs team on the couch - a nod to the start of every Simpsons episode.
Anything Kawhi because everyone loved it!
The Last Dance - a great mix of everyone tuning in to watch the show.
Bianca Andreescu Rogers Cup win. This was a huge moment for Canada!
NBA x Disney bubble . I love the characters and being able to represent the current state of basketball.
Who are 5 people you haven’t drawn before that you admire? Can you draw them for this interview?
Hmm... The drawings would take me some time but these are some people I definitely want to draw, if not already in the works!
Jamal Murray (and maybe just all of Canada basketball)
The whole Denver Nuggets team is dope. I’d like to draw them.
1990 Toronto Raptors - The McGrady/Vince Carter Era was the best!
Toronto Raptors coaching staff - people dont see them enough but they were a big part of the win.
Jack Armstrong and Matt Devlin with the tagline “Helloooo”
You’ve really set yourself apart by owning the classic Simpsons style but throughout the years you experimented with many different styles. What are 5 things you’d recommend to any artist looking to establish their own style and set themselves apart?
Find your niche. I picked Simpsons + Sports (mostly Raptors) or sneakers. There's a great book called Feel Like An Artist which has a quote “don't wait until you know who you are to get started”. Finding a niche can take time but just try things out.
Enjoy what you do and take a break if you’re not feeling it.
Keep track of every idea. Save every image. Save all your thoughts. These small ideas could generate the big picture one day.
Be consistent. If you keep changing your style, no one will know what you're about.
“Just keep going”. Don't worry about the hate. Just do you if you like it.
Lastly, your work has inspired many and we’re curious to know, who are 5 artists that you are inspired by that others should check out?
Matt Groenin (obviously!) - the creator of the Simpsons
Kaws - he has done a lot with the Simpsons (Kimpsons) and uses colours really well. He also does a great job merging cultures like the classic bus ads.
Also special shoutout to my cousin Bigseph who's a dope graffiti artist