Wesley Merritt is the alter-ego of illustrator & educator Paul Jackson. Paul discovered Wesley in 2008, and has balanced his not-so-secret identity as a rogue Yankee illustrator with his career as an academic. Paul currently leads the MA in Graphic Branding & Identity at London College of Communication, part of University of the Arts London. He is a graduate of the Royal College of Art and is currently working on a PhD exploring the interface between narrative drawing and world-making, with a particular focus on the cognitive worlds generated by verbal cues, and how drawing acts as a framing device for storyworlds.
Wesley (and Paul) grew up obsessed with the American heartlands, and loves traditional, neo-, postmodern & spaghetti westerns. Wesley's work begins in a fairly traditional fashion; sketchbooks, line drawing, lots of looking, idiosyncratic digital colouring techniques and photocopied magic. Wesley was born out of a love for David Hockney, Saul Bass, Robert Frank, Sergio Leone, and advertising from the 1960s. He (frequently) references Renaissance paintings, Wim Wenders, Bruce Springsteen, Postmodernist ideologies, Penguin’s Great Ideas, Wim Crouwel, Graham Greene, Dadaism, Eric Ravillious and Battersea Power Station.
Wesley has worked with Publicis, Vodafone, Penguin Books, Random House, Hodder and Stoughton, Harper Collins, The Guardian, GQ, Esquire, New York Magazine, The Daily Telegraph, Jamesons, Remember A Charity, Snickers, Kiehl’s, Wall Street Journal, Canadian Globe + Mail, Bloomberg Media, FIFA, Journal Condé Nast, Men’s Health, Reader’s Digest, Time Magazine, Waitrose Magazine and The Washington Post. He has exhibited at London's Coningsby Gallery, as well as at London College of Communication and has received an editorial award from the Washington Post and was shortlisted for the Folio Prize.