Billie Jenkins

Billie JenkinsWebsite //

Twitter // @BillieJenkins_

Billie Jenkins writes sort of stories and sometimes collages pictures to go with them out of old photographs taken from the stacks of newspaper that fill up over half her kitchen cupboards. She studied at Camberwell and the University of York, loves making forts and drinks lots of tequila. She is a co-founder of Corinne& and created newspaper Three Traces which is available from Soul Bay Press.

How would you describe what you do?
I write small traces of stories, sometimes unfinished, sometimes without a clear start. There’s always one vivid idea that trails off at all sides. I think that how we really experience ideas anyway.

What do you feel is the most important thing about your work?
That all the murky collections of words draw to a point, like lots of transparent pieces of paper overlapping to form an opaque shape in the centre. It might be an idea or a feeling but I want there to be that stand out moment.

What keeps you motivated to create, and keep creating work?
The easy part is the writing as the words are always ticking over up top, making it into something substantial is the tricky bit. I’ll collect words all day and collage in front of the TV all evening, then they sit collecting dust. Every so often I have to take a long weekend and sit in one room until I’ve forged them into the final piece.

Where do you see your work heading in the next twelve months?
Aside from work for Corinne& I want to produce another book. It will expand on the idea of Traces again but in a lot looser format. I’ve already got some pages, I’m trying to think of the end project so it doesn’t get locked inside sketchbook covers. I’m compiling a dictionary of creatives favourite words, and we just entered the Camberwell Open Arts Project so hopefully well be allowed to deface a South London property in the name of Corinne&.

Who, what, where or how do you get your first inspirations?
It always starts with about three sentences I can’t get out of my head, it’s actually quite frustrating if you want to expand in them because nothing can compare to that initial preoccupation.

What has been your biggest success, or source of pride?
I’m proud of the people I’ve been close to over the last seven years. They’ve grown up to become such interesting people.

What do you think are the important issues facing yourself, and your industry at the moment?
I think it’s worrying the role that unpaid internships play in the creative industries, they have such a significant effect on a persons career opportunities. At the moment the publishing industry is in a really exciting place, we’ve never been more empowered as an individual to create a voice for ourselves that reaches an audience.

Have any relationships, friendships, business or otherwise, been significant in shaping your work as it is now?
In Lizzy Pollard, who I’ve been friends with for about eight years, I’ve been lucky enough to find someone I can work with in quite a demanding way, whether it be creatively on ideas or organising projects. There’s something quite amazing about the momentum you can achieve when your pushing each other. Also Charles Lewis, who I met at York, he has this strange energy that combines intellectual scepticism and genuine enthusiasm, it was during three years living with him I felt my ideas really ’grew up’.

What is your favourite word?

What would you do with the perfect Sunday afternoon?
A drunken camping trip with my favourite people on a secluded island only accessible by rowing boat.

1 TT - write over print out scan back in