Meet a member: Jax Purchase

– Interview by Sophie Gordon

This month I got the chance to find out a bit more about one of our newest members. With an interest in collaboration and the multimedia possibilities of writing, Jax joined 26 after our event in Falmouth earlier this year. It’s the partnership that keeps on giving!

Tell us a bit about yourself – where are you from and what do you do?

I grew up in Surrey and am now based in Lewes, East Sussex. My working life started in the music industry at Abbey Road Studios which was the first creative space I found myself in. This fuelled my passion for creative writing and I began to write lyrics and short stories. My work moved through various creative and wellbeing industries, writing was something that I continued to do in my spare time. I’m currently studying for a BA in Creative Writing online at Falmouth University with the ambition to have a full-time career in my craft. Alongside this, I have multiple writing projects on the go – always adding to my portfolio.

Where did your love of words come from? 

My grandpa introduced me to poetry as a child and it was his collection of poetry and short story books that ignited my love of words. This included illustrated books like Badjelly the Witch by Spike Milligan. As I grew up, music added to the mix. I was always drawn to lyrics and started paying attention to those in 90’s grunge bands and pop music, which I found fascinating –  the freedom of expression through lyrics resonated with me.

What made you join 26? And how long have you been a member?

I joined 26 in April this year. It was the opportunity to collaborate and be part of something bigger. I love working with others on a project. Getting together and brainstorming ideas, bouncing off each other, and with my interest in the multimedia format of writing, collaboration fits well with this form.

Have you been involved in any 26 projects?

I have just submitted my first 26 project – 26 Orphans for The Foundling Museum as part of this year’s Bloomsbury Festival.

What’s your ideal scenario for writing? (A coffee shop? Quiet retreat? With or without music? What do you do to get yourself in the right frame of mind?)

Ooh, great question. All of the above? I think it depends on what I’m writing and at what stage I’m at. A coffee shop or bustling place works well for ideas as inspiration is all around us. A quiet retreat would be perfect for when you need to empty what’s in your head as quickly as possible (in case someone knocks on the door). I do like to have music playing in the background most of the time, though for writing and editing it has to be instrumental and ambient (no lyrics to distract). The right frame of mind comes once I sit at my desk and start typing.

What are you working on at the moment?

I’ve currently got a few projects I am working on. One is a collaborative, multimedia piece of writing where I have combined photography, video, music and spoken word within a visual piece of art. I have some individual poetry projects alongside bringing my portfolio on my website up to date.

Could you tell us about a piece of writing you’re particularly proud of?

It’s early days in my writing career so I’m proud of all the pieces I have put out there. If I had to choose one, it would probably be the biggest to date, which is a collaborative project which is being released later this year for a National Trust exhibition at Sissinghurst Castle.

Where do you get your inspiration?

Everywhere! I love spotting those individual moments that are hidden all around us, using them in a creative piece to inspire and connect with others.

– Interview by Sophie Gordon

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