Big Jeff sketching at a live gig – Photo by Jamie Macmillan

Big Jeff was our first ever non-artist Ambassador back in 2018 and has remained very much part of the IVW family. Jeff is very public about his mental health challenges and is well known in Bristol as a prolific gig goer.

We took Jeff on tour for IVW in 2020 where we supported him early in the week and, as the week progressed, he ventured off on his own. He published an online tour diary sharing his experiences and encouraging other people with similar challenges, to go to gigs across the week. 

As someone who paints as a way to explore and express his feelings, including attending regular sessions with  Arts In Motion, Jeff turned up to a gig directly from a class. With his paints and sketchbook in hand, Jeff decided to paint the artists at the gig and has never looked back.

He launched his first ever exhibition in the spring of 2021 to critical acclaim and continues to carve out a career in art alongside his passion for music.  

He has a regular show now on Soho Radio, a huge following on social media and is a well-loved and recognised face in and around the Bristol music scene and increasingly, beyond.

We are working with Jeff and his team to restart his IVW blog as venues open up, covering music tips, touring and his In Conversations series with a focus on mental disability and well-being.

If restrictions allow, we will work together to route a tour for Jeff for IVW in Jan/Feb 2022, which we will accompany him on at the start of the week. The tour will see him travel around the country once again, and we will facilitate meetings with groups of like-minded people so they can share experiences of how they deal with mental health challenges and how music, arts and culture have enabled them to grow in confidence and live independent lives.

Duration: Ongoing