This week's spotlight is on one of my favorite illustrators!
a.k.a. Aaron Jay
I met Aaron thru www.threadless.com.
I cannot get enough of his totally awesome and adorable drawing style!
1. Tell us a little about yourself.
Originally I am from the lovely countryside of east coast of England, however now I live in the slightly grimy city of Coventry where I just graduated with a degree in Illustration. However, its not all bad, considering I can walk to any fast food place I want and the beer is cheap :P. Unfortunately our landlord doesn't allow much more than the hamster and 2 fish we have at present otherwise I would be halfway towards owning a zoo as I love animals so much with cats being the best by far. I am not married however I do share my flat with my lovely girlfriend who somehow puts up with my annoying behavior and madness and there are no kids not for a long time yet haha, although training a mini me would be awesome.
2. How did you get into illustration?
Since I was a little kid I drew pictures nearly every day making up random characters with felt tip pens, after a while I decided to make my own Pokemon with their own stats and details, before long I had made 450 of them which I still look at now and then. At school I loved studying art, design and even textiles. Of two of those classes I was the only guy. It was really terrible having all those girls fussing over me, haha. Anyhow, after school and A-levels I went to uni to study computer programming, propositional calculus and computer architecture all of which I found pretty boring. After a year I decided to change to something fun which I would actually enjoy and after finding all my old fine art pieces and putting together a portfolio I got into the Illustration course which has lead me up to this point.
3. What illustrations are you most proud of that you have done?
Generally speaking I find my most recent pieces are the ones I am most proud of, this is partly because I am still learning and trying to make progress and in part because I get bored of an image after a couple of days and have to make something new, currently my most favorite image consists of a giant fellow who has other people as teeth.
My New Teeth
4. Do you have a favorite time of day or certain ritual (music, TV, tea, etc) that you work the best with?
I cant seem to get anything done in the mornings apart from answering emails and even then I have to have a preparation coffee before that happens. Usually I wait until about 6 in the evening to start work, only doing concept sketches before this time and finishing these images often continues until 5 in the morning most days. I don't always have music on most of the time its just the tv on for company as music can affect my mood too much for me to work properly. Its probably worth noting that I have a coffee between each stage of an illustration as a reward.
5. Who is your favorite Threadless illustrator?
Oh this is a tough one, with regards to work ethic and getting things done I would have to say Greg Abbott and Wotto who are always working and winning. When considering just imagery I would be inclined to say Aphte and Againstbound with Ben Chen catching up real quickly, I am sure I have missed some off but this really is a tough one.
7. Anything else you would like the masses to know about your art?
Erm, well, I guess the weirdest thing about my art is that when I create a litte sketch of a character I get really upset about erasing it even if it doesnt fit with what I am working with as I get reallly attached to them and want to bring them alive. Something else that could be interesting is that nearly all my images start off as me just drawing circles until something just clicks, I rarely sit down with the intention of just thinking up an idea.
8. 10 random things about you
1. I give my computers girls names
2. The feeling of winning is better than the money for me
3. I use the "secret"
4. my phone is 5 years old
5. I can almost juggle at a decent level
6. I get sea sick really easily
7. I used to skateboard everyday
8. I used to be really scared of puppets
9. I can hypnotise chickens
10. I am a sweet shot with a catapult
I hope you all now agree with me about Aaron's amazing style.
I totally adore his work and can't wait until one day he's super famous and I can buy a book of all his awesome illustrations!
Be sure to join his Fan Page to keep up with all his latest works!
Thanks for talking to us Aaron.