Stones Throw's art director Jeff Jank is the first artist featured in FRESH 1: CUTTING EDGE ILLUSTRATIONS – OBJECT, one of a series of design books published this year by Daab. Fresh 1 covers a broad spectrum of over 300 illustrators working within various types of spatial environment; 335 pages. Short except below.

Jeff Jank is the creative director for Stones Throw
Records in Los Angeles, California overseeing the label's
identity in print and on the web. He has designed work
for MF DOOM, Mayer Hawthorne, nearly every release
for Madlib, and is the illustrator of Quasimoto, a character
which he uses as security to translate his attitude towards
commercial illustration while taking this toy to work with
him, producing cover artwork, posters, box-sets, t-shirts,
trainers, toys and even coffee. Stones
Throw started in 1996 and has become one of Hip hop's most charismatic and
influential record companies.

Q: As art director and designer for Stones Throw Records since
its early days, your cover artwork for musicians including
Madlib/Quasimoto, J Dilla and MF Doom has been a major
influence on the visual direction of underground Hip hop.
Could you describe your own creative background and how
you became the visionary art director within the record label?

A: I go back all the way to high school days with PB Wolf,
who started the label. We did some music together, I did the
demo tape covers for his first rapper Charizma. Years later he
starts this label Stones Throw. I didn't like their cover art. Next
thing I knew, I was doing the cover art, learning how to do the
technical computer stuff by trial and error. We ended up moving
to Los Angeles to work closer with Madlib, four of us including our
label manager Egon all up in a house. That was 2000 when the label
became full time work. None of us knew completely
what we were doing, but we knew what we wanted to do. It was only a few years later when someone called me an art director that it dawned on me what an art director did.

Q: What sort of relationship does this
creature Quasimoto have with your own identity?

A: Madlib created Quasimoto in the 90s as a character to
rap with when he didn't want rappers to invade his work space.
Rappers are always drinking your booze, ruining your shit,
leaving messes. Anyway, I started making drawings for
Quasimoto as a character for a record called The Unseen,
an album which I loved and listened to several times a day
for weeks. By the time of the second album, Madlib was including references of the drawn visual side of Quasimoto
into the lyrics, so the cartoon image became a part of the whole package. I identify with it as a part of a collaboration.