My name is Jez, and I'm a children's book illustrator and character designer based in Wellington, New Zealand. I've been working as a freelance artist for close to eight years, and I've done work for clients in children's publishing, and feature and television animation.
Have you always been creative and artistic?
Yes, I have! I didn't grow up with video games or cable television when I was young, so other than playing legos, and climbing trees, I drew for fun. My mum and dad would sometimes bring home reams of scrap paper from work, and it would feel like Christmas to me because I had all of that paper to draw on- the sort of thing boys would draw- robots, army men, battle scenes, that sort of thing.
How would you describe the style of your work?
I would describe my work as cartoony and whimsical. I draw (pun intended) a lot of inspiration from picture books and animation from the Golden age.
What’s in your pencil case and what’s your favorite tool?
Most, if not all of the work I do is done digitally, so I guess my favourite tool is my Cintiq stylus. However, for personal art (art that I don't post online and do only for my self gratuitously), I like playing with analogue tools- like brush & ink pens, coloured pencils, watercolour, and occassionaly gouache.
Who is your favorite superhero?
Batman. Mainly because his character is a lot more believable that others.
If you could have one super power what would it be?
Flight would be fun, but time travel or the ability to manipulate time would be even more exciting, and exceptionally handy when deadlines are looming.
Where do you look for inspiration?
Life. I get my inspiration from just observing the world around me, and from stories people tell. I also draw a lot of inspiration from history
Who are your favorite artists or comic book authors?
OOF! This is a tough question to answer. In my pantheon of artists that I admire, Norman Rockwell is definitely on the top. Then Alice and Martin Provensen and Aurelius Battaglia for their whimsical charm and excellent use of colour. Ronald Searle for his mastery of shapes and overall character design. Special mentions would be Chris Appelhans, Benji Davies, Carter Goodrich and Peter de Seve
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