Jarvis is Doodling His Way to the Top!

We’re are super proud of our latest edition to the Bright Artists and we expect Jarvis to follow in the new break through acts that Bright is so recognised for.

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Jarvis joined us in November and its been 6 weeks of agent frenzied action. In just two short months we’ve helped Jarvis to secure books with UK publisher, Nosy Crow, and Harper Collins and Penguin in the US! Jarvis is so versatile his titles are totally unique, with specific looks and projects to sit with each house. This was totally possible with the amazing work and ideas Jarvis was just bursting with, in his very cool and chilled manner. Jarvis is understated and utterly brilliant.

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We discovered Jarvis through our slush pile, we couldn’t help but notice the hand-crafted passion he puts into all of his work. He leaves his mark with every stroke he makes on the page, capturing that lively workmanship in every image he makes. He has a knack of story telling from his animation background with well executed and well thought through book ideas since arriving with us, which made the senior agents in both the UK and US get to work immediately in securing his début books.

We recently caught up with Jarvis to see how his doodling was going. We asked him a about all things illustration, his recent book deals, and bingo calling.

What excites you about illustration?

I’ve always be fond of doodling characters, but up until now I haven’t put them into their own worlds – it’s really exciting to actually sit down and think up different settings and stories to drop my characters into. Everything I’ve done in the past has really helped to make me a better children’s picture book illustrator; I’ve been a bouncy castle painter, a record sleeve designer, an animation director, and even a bingo caller!

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How did these previous jobs help you to get where you are now?

As a record sleeve designer, it was always about creating a series of striking images. I only did this for a year, but the amount of experimenting I did in this time gave me a great understanding of different visual techniques. I started out my young career from there, and now I’m working at a successful animation studio, which I’m still involved in as a director. It’s interesting to see that a few of the great children’s picture book makers have a background in animation.

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How do you approach a new piece of work?

The way I work is always visual, as I’ll have an image in mind and pull a story out of it. I doodle and doodle and doodle until I get it right. I love creating images that look ‘hand crafted’, so I’ll use paint, chalk, paper, and pencil, before getting lost in Photoshop. I’ll work on it until the image has that right balance between something that feels alive and something that feels hand made. I like to leave pencil marks, scratches, and textures – as long as it doesn’t feel artificial, I’m happy. Often the first sketch really captures a moment and I like to keep that feeling in the final art. This adds an authenticity and believable nature which I think works in telling stories.

I want the books I create to be very personal. Of course it’s about collaboration, but I like the idea of creating something from start to finish all by myself, in a style that is unique to me. I love the nature of children’s books, what they can do and how they can be kept and loved as a mini-treasure.

I count myself very lucky to have had the start I have had at Bright and I’m eager to get going on the different projects with Penguin, Harper Collins and Nosy Crow.

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Follow me on Twitter and have a look at my site!

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