Monday, December 3, 2007

Rosie the riveter as CalPERS

This was a cover illustration I did this past Summer for Directorship Magazine. The concept was to show the strength in numbers with proxy statements of a very large California retirement System known as CalPERS. So they had the initial idea of using the well known image of Rosie the Riveter by illustrator J. Howard Miller's "We Can Do It!" - Many women first found economic strength in World War II-era manufacturing jobs.

So my idea was to show a similar image but with the proxies in her fisted hand. Which appropriately covered her face so that showed very little identity with a particular person or race. She needed to represent every person.

Rosie As CalPERS

My intern at the time was gracious enough to pose for the reference shots and she did surprisingly well. The painting was done 90% as an acrylic painting. The type and logo was added in Photoshop.

They loved it show much for the cover they asked for 2
giclée prints of it to give as gifts to the leaders of CalPERS.

In the last month I did these two illustrations for the same client. The first one is typical of my style and what people usually contract me to do. They were very happy with the end result and so they wanted me to do another with the same on time and on budget customer service, but in a different style. The comic book hero one was something very different for me. I have had a true appreciation for comic book artists', but even more so now.

Credit Score Confusion for Mortgage Technology Magazine.

Mortgage Protector for Broker Magazine.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Ben Folds portriat

Acrylic painting demo I did for my class. I love his piano style and lyrics.

Ben Folds

Smoker's Choice

Another demo I did for my class. Conceptual landscape watercolor illustrating 1 of four words. I chose the word choice in dealing with the choice of quitting to smoke is a personal decision that know one can make for you. So my idea is to show a super close up of a ugly ashtray. On a cigarette stands a teen on the tip of a cig like he “walking the plank” to his doom. He has made the choice to walk away. Outside on the ground is himself there to help him get through it because in the end it’s your choice and yourself that gets you through it. I am imagining what this might be like not from personal standpoint with smoking, but from other life challenges being strictly a personal decision and no one else’s.
Smokers Choice

Monday, November 26, 2007

Art Fairy - Hidden Pictures

This was a ink drawing I did mid in September 2007 as a demo for my Materials & Techniques I class. I was also influenced by my 6 year old daughter who loves art and fairies. So I decided to do double duty and created a picture for her to color and hang in her bedroom as well as find the art objects in the scene. I might even submit it to Highlights for publication. See if you can find all the art supplies.

Art Fairy - Hidden Pictures

Here is a terribly low res video of my process.

If you would like a printable version for your child to do just drop my an email and I'll email you a PDF to print.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Wall of Outstanding Alumni Award

I got this email earlier this summer about receiving an award from my undergraduate college, LaGrange College. I was to be included on the wall of outstanding alumni. I had never heard of the wall and I did not think it was that big of a deal. When the college then sent me a packet of stuff to fill out and addresses to send out invitations to friends and family, they needed a specific kind of black and white photo, and shared the details of the ceremony I realized it was a big deal. This past Saturday my family and got it together and drove down to LaGrange to receive the award during the homecoming celebration. My Mom and Dad drove 8 hours round-trip just for a 4 hour visit in Lagrange, I'm truly loved! Here are some highlights in pictures.

Receiving Award
President Stuart Gulley presenting to me the award of outstanding Alumni. Five others got the same award. President Gulley said I was one the the youngest recipients ever.

Wall of OUtstanding AlumniThis is the framed print I received.

Oratory text
On the back they put the oratory that they read during the ceremony. I'm truly honored!!

Wall plaque close up
I took the photo myself and got Cindi to help pick the right one out of about 40. I then printed it in my studio I mailed it off.

Me and my Mom
I owe a huge debt of gratitude and moolah to my Mom and Dad. My Mom went back to work to help pay for most if not all of my college experience and my Dad managed the money. This award would not be possible without them and a whole bunch of prayers. Thank you soo much Mom and Dad!!

Memo Jack and Suzanne
My grandmother drove for about 3 hours by herself down to LaGrange just for the ceremony. This wall plaque is in Smith Hall, the oldest building on campus.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

22 Q&A interview

I get asked almost 2-3 times a month these days for an interview from an illustration or design student. I recently filled out a 22 question email interview and thought I would share it here.

1. Where are you from? The surrounding suburbs of Atlanta, GA.
2. How long have you done illustration for? All my life, but professionally for 12+ years.
3. How did you find out that illustration was something you wanted to pursue? After I graduated from LaGrange College with a BA in Drawing a Painting and Graphic Design I did not really know how to go about making a living as a freelance illustrator until I went to Portfolio Center (PC) in 1992 and saw all the illustration sourcebooks and trade magazine and talked with my professors. I wanted to do art but I thought gallery work was too unstable and I did not mind illustrating other peoples ideas so Illustration was more stable and appealing to me. Some would say I “sold out” by going into commercial art, but everyone got to make a living and I make a living doing what I love.
4. What was your first job as an illustrator? I had small rinky dink jobs in high school and college, but my first big break as an educated illustrator came while I was in my 5th of 8 quarters at PC. A teacher at PC who taught advertising by the name of Mike Weed of Henderson Advertising saw an illustration I did on the walls of PC that won best of show and thought I could take on an two illustrations he needed for Flowers Bread Company. They were two billboard illustrations. I did them for a total of $2500 (I think), so I was thrilled and that job and illustrations lead to so many other freelance opportunities.
5. What college did you attend? LaGrange College and Portfolio Center
6. What illustration did you enjoy doing the most? The ones with the most freedom and money of course. Editorial jobs have a little of both.
7. Which project are you most proud of? I guess the one that I got the most money for which was $13,600 for a Roadway illustration. This is not a normal pricing that most illustrators expect, but it sure is nice.
8. Did you ever have any doubts about being an illustrator? Of course, but I really did not know what else made me happy and challenged so I stuck it out through the tough times. The head of the illustration department at PC told me that I would not make it as an illustrator, which definitely gave me doubts, but I wanted to turn that negative comment into a positive and prove him wrong. I think I did. Also, I had doubts right after 9/11 when I had a 2 year old and a baby and I was the sole income provider doing full-time freelance. Man that was tough!
9. Is this a job you would consider to be very time consuming? Is it hard balancing a family and a job as an illustrator? Absolutely! If you want to be your own boss in any market it will take more time than a full-time cubicle job, mainly because your are every part of the business; customer service, marketer, creator, president, maid, accounts payable, purchaser, manager, etc.
10. How did you go about selling your ideas to a client? Most of the time a basic idea is already formed by a doodle, text or verbal description before the client even contacts me. If they want me to come up with an idea, I’m more than happy to do that by talking with them and getting all the pertinent info, then I do 3-4 inch numbered thumbnails sometimes with a text description beside them. I do anywhere from 2-6 different ideas I send this to them usually via email attachment. Then I get feedback and go tighter.
11. Do you do anything else besides illustration? What are some hobbies that you enjoy doing? With freelance illustration, teaching 3 illustration classes, my family time with my 5-6 year olds, cleaning, eating, taking care of my house and getting an average of 6 hours of sleep 7 days a week there is little time for hobbies. Art IS my hobby I would create art even if I won the lottery.
12. Owning your own business, do you suggest people going into the graphic design field to also pursue a business degree? Or does it just come to you? Is does not just come to you. There is a right and wrong way of doing things and you could go years of doing business tasks a certain way that could be done way more efficient and right if you had at least taken some sort of business class. I business degree might be too much for an illustrator, I would at least take a very concentrated business class or to while still in college. If you want to start your own design firm a business degree would definitely be worth while.
13. Who is your inspiration? Did your parents always approve of your career choice? Actually, early on my older brother was the start of my inspiration by wanting to finally be better than him at just one thing. My parents from the get go always supported me and encouraged me to follow my dreams even though they did not understand completely what my passion was all about. They are not visual artist’s but they can appreciate what I do.
14. What is something you would suggest to a graphic designer graduating straight from college? Build up a network of other graphic designers, illustrators, photographers, writers, etc. of who you can call upon for advice, work, and general support. These maybe other students in you classes or contacts outside of class. You can also do this by joining a trade org like GAG or AIGA.
15. How many illustrations do you do a year? It varies between 50-80 a year. I also do a fair amount of graphic design, production work, and stock art sales.
16. How long does it take to illustrate something for a top client? As quick as 3 days and as longs as 1 month. Most of the time it’s about 2 weeks.
17. What is a subject you enjoy illustrating the most just for fun? Posters for bands, musicians, and lately I have been wanting to do a painting of an octopus lady.
18. Have you accomplished everything you have ever wanted to do? If not, what are some goals you want to accomplish? Absolutely not, I’m always striving for more. I Strive to get 3 $10K jobs a year. Has not happened yet, but I’m thinking long term. I would like to teach full-time a get descent health insurance for me and my family.
19. Do you have any regrets? I wish I would have gotten my Masters in Fine Art or Illustration.
20. What medium do you use the most? Photoshop, Illustrator and Painter. I’m getting back to the traditional stuff from the classes I teach at SCAD.
21. What theme occurs the most in your work? Usually some sort of business concept that’s politically correct. Mainly due to the client’s needs.
22. How would you describe your style of work? Stylized realism or Tradigital.

Thanks for reading,

Friday, September 14, 2007

Press Release for the end of Summer

In June Jay was interviewed on the AM 1620 Radio Sandy Springs in GA on a show called Following Your Passions. In August Jay was featured in the international e-zine NewWebPick which has over 3,000,000 readers. Also, in August Jay has signed up with a German Art Representative dieKleinert which is forming a new USA representation. While teaching classes at SCAD-Atlanta over the summer Jay has done numerous freelance projects ranging from program cover art for the Breeders' Cup horse race (seen here), and marketing illustrations for Atlanta Gas Light, Shaw Carpet, Porsche and directly working with Kenrico, a Japanese health product company, creating a map the the Japan town of Shizuoka. In October Jay will be receive a special award from his alma-mater, LaGrange College. In a ceremony at homecoming he will be included on the Wall of Outstanding Alumni.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Porsche Is Recycling Now...

...due to the ever important Professor Greenleaf posters created by yours truly. Here is a quick process of what the Porsche saw.

They first gave a very specific description of the Green Squad. You don't have to read all this, but it explains the image below.
Here's what I'm thinking - perhaps we could come up with some sort of an illustrated green mascot who bears the Porsche crest (attached). Maybe the mascot is a friendly-looking green tree with a face and limbs with hands/ fingers -- one of them pointing toward the reader. Perhaps the crest can be on its trunk. One the tree idea -- actually make them a group of three trees -- the tallest in the middle. Make it recognizable that the middle and left one are guys and the one on the right is a woman -- maybe its the way her treetop/branches is styled. In addition to the Porsche crest on their trunks (like a badge on a shirt), put: Porsche Green Squad. Perhaps you even put a green shirt on them with those words -- I don't know. You could also make the one on the left wear glasses, if you like. Have them all pointing to the reader. For the green squad, let's put them on shirts that say Porsche Green Squad with the crest underneath it like a badge. And again, a woman on the right, tallest guy in the middle and another guy maybe with spiked hair/branches or hair/branches in twists, wearing black glasses on the left. This would give them each a personality. Be sure not to put like red lips or anything like that on the woman...not that you would. In both scenarios, mascots are pointing to the reader.

This was way to complicated and too much like Treebeard in my opinion. They scratched this idea and went with this other idea they had.

Professor Greenleaf
Another idea is to make the mascot a green leaf -- a bigger version of the one you have at the top of the poster. Give him a face, as well as legs/feet/arms/hands -- and of course one hand pointing toward the reader. His one concern is making sure the names mascot is stated within the logo so that additional text is not needed. So for the leaf -- perhaps you can give him a suit coat that has the Porsche crest eblem on his top right pocket and put a hat on him that says Professor Greenleaf...and maybe have him pointing with a stick that usually denotes a professor. For the green leaf, in addition to the crest, please have him wear glasses and put his name -- Professor Greenleaf somewhere.

First Sketch

Second sketch with revisions. Mechanical engineer outfit.

Final art created in Photoshop with revisions.
Slimmer leaf, lab coat, no logo on coat, and his right hand pointing.

Prof. Greenleaf telling it to the people of Porsche.

Makes you want to choose green doesn't it!
Thanks Professor Greenleaf!

Whole process from first call to final delivery was 7 days.

Atlanta Gas Light Weather Forecast

Right after I finished the first job for AGL they wanted me to do another. This time for postcard for the Metro Atlanta area. They wanted a generic TV screen showing a 5 day forecast of 100% thunderstorms. Quite simple when you think about it, but when you actually do it there is a lot of design decisions to be made. I loosely based it on the Weather Channel screen with some significant changes. This was 80% done in Adobe Illustrator, the 20% was the clouds and distorting the flat screen elements in Photoshop to fit the screen in perspective. They wanted it cropped on the top to make the screen as large as possible on the postcard. I completed the whole screen if needed in the future. The whole process took about 1.5 days of work and 8 days of waiting for the clients response.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

3-D Gas Condo

I wanted to show you an illustration I did for Atlanta Gas Light back at the end of July. It was for brochure mailer to architects and residential builders showcasing that Atlanta Gas Light now has the technology to install gas lines in high rise condos and apartments. They wanted tri-fold brochure that would fold to a 3-D building shape that would be mailed out in clear acrylic box instead of flat boring brochure. Once I get a sample I'll post a picture. This is the art I gave them flat with measurements and a 1/8 inch bleed all around. It was completely done in Illustrator. The clouds/window reflections were done with the gradient mesh tool.


Thursday, August 30, 2007

Breeders' Cup 2007 program cover

I just finished this program cover for the Breeders' Cup Horse Race in Ocean City, New Jersey. They came to me wanting a montage of scenes representing the event while it looking like a vintage travel poster. They sent me several photos for reference and I came up with 3-4 designs, they picked one with some edits, and I completed it all in Photoshop and Painter. I was quite happy with the way it turned out.

Breeders' Cup 2007 program cover detail

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Shaw Carpet Fashion Ladies

Back in mid June I did some "fashion illustrations for Shaw Carpet. These were for 3 different carpet sample boards showcasing a modern alligator skin texture, a retro shag texture and a classic houndstooth pattern. I had to incorporate these styles into sketchy fashion illustrations. A bit different than what I'm used to but it went pretty quick and it was fun. These are watercolors with india ink on illustration board.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

New Web Pick Interview

I'm featured in a 5 page spread interview in NewWebPick E-Zine issue 11. This month's issue marks the first anniversary of "NewWebPick" for subscribers, first launched with Issue 5 in August 2006. It has over 3,000,000 readers. It only cost $1.49 for the full version a lite free version is coming soon. This truly international flash based E-zine has over 570 pages of new illustration, design and some funky and crazy artist from all over the world. I'm about 1/4 the way into the magazine. It premiered on August 1st. Download it now!

Here are some teaser spreads.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

New Web Pick Award

My website was just picked as a Super Pick of the World! by Which is a "international digital designer union and a community of international digital designers, is one globe designing information focusing on the digital design." Since it's produced in some foreign city where English is not the primary language the English translation is a bit off but readable.

I'm also going to be featured in a 5 page spread interview in their NewWebPick E-Zine issue 11

As of now, it's not out but will be soon.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Worries at Home Ribbon Design

I just finished a new version of a collection of some old illustrations of mine for a print to be sold in military bases and print shops. It's to help keep up the moral of the troops family and loved ones. I've created several new versions using these four scenes of the soldier.

Worries at Home Ribbon Design

The basic story of the figures are when the soldier is being deployed he misses and worries about his family, then he starts to receive letters that things are going fine and then he can focus on his soldier responsibilities. Original is 30" x 40"

Updated Sketches and Experiments Gallery

I just updated my Sketches and Experiments Gallery with 8 new images. These are all traditionally illustrated using various techniques. Some are demos from my teaching at SCAD.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

My radio interview

Well I had my interview on June 12th and probably very very few heard it. I was told when I got there that the AM radio signal reaches as far as 1 whole mile from the station. Most live broadcasts and archives are only available through there website. It's basically a internet radio station. So if you can stand listening for an hour to my um's and uhh's and some local commercials here it is in mp3 format. It's about 20 MB so it's not recommended for dial-up users. The first 5 min or so got cut so it starts real abrupt.

Jay's Radio Interview

If this link does not work try the Radio Sandy Springs Following Your Passions web page. Scroll down to the bottom to see the links.

Comments are welcome.

Friday, June 8, 2007

Wealth Management Concept Illustration Process

Just a few days ago I finished up 3 illustrations for Suntrust. This is a process of one of them dealing with the abstract concept of Wealth Management. They wanted something beyond the obvious wealth symbols while showing generations in a generic way. I tried to make it as short as possible but it's still about 8 min long. Has music too! Go Home Productions Mash Ups Annie Rush and Ride (Rabbit Hole Mix) Used with permission.

The Mansion Process

In May I completed a new illustration of a hotel/condo that is not built yet called The Mansion. This is a part of my sped up process of how it was done. The final drawing took me about 3 days working 14 hour days. The video is about 5 minutes long. Music By The Postal Service (John Tejada Remix).

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Radio Interview 06/12/07

For those of you that are in the Atlanta, GA area I will be interviewed on a local radio station, Radio Sandy Springs. The weekly show is Following your Passions hosted by Bernard Kearse, of Kearse & Associates, P.C. The show discusses peoples' passions about work, hobbies and the things that make life worth living.

The show does take calls from listeners, so please spread the word to some of your friends and contacts. The call-in number at the station is 404-943-1620 or toll free at 1-866-356-0789.

Who: Jay Montgomery and Bernard Kearse
What: Interview about my passions. See if you can guess what it is.
When: Tuesday, June 12th, 8-9 PM
Where: Radio Sandy Springs on your radio dial 1620 AM.
Why: Learn more about the mysteries and true passions of Jay Montgomery!

A copy of the interview will be available on the Radio Sandy Springs website soon after.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

New print available - His Life

Just announce a new painting is available for for print purchase. Late 2006 I was commissioned by new company called Heirloom Christian Arts. It was a complete pleasure working with Camilla Raymond on the project which gave my ample time, creative freedom and generous compensation to create the new painting based on a one inch high piece of jewelry. I transform the message and detail into a 24" x 36" painting using a relatively new medium called Chroma Atelier Interactive Acrylics. It's an acrylic paint that allows you keep it wet on the surface on your painting for much longer than conventional acrylic paints. This gives way to an oil painting look without all the harsh mediums of oils and using water as thinner. I loved the process! I even made a step-by-step demo of the process for my Materials and Techniques II class at SCAD-Atlanta. If you would like to get a PDF of the step-by-step process please email me. The painterly feel and hand done look is a little different from most of my work, but it was fun to loosen up. Let me know what you think!

His Life

His Life - Detail

Signed and numbered edition of only 50 giclee prints in various sizes, greeting cards, and more are available exclusively through Heirloom Christian Arts.

Thanks for looking!

Monday, April 30, 2007

Atlanta From Above

I went on my first helicopter ride on April 27th for an illustration I'm working on. The Creative Director wanted me to go up and art direct the photographer, Scott Johnson, to take the photos at the right angle and elevation for a new building coming up in Buckhead called Mansion on Peachtree. It was quite incredible and enjoyed every second of it. I took my camera and snapped away until my fully charged battery went dead. I got several photos for hopeful future references. One photo I have already used for reference for another job I'm working on. It really came at the right time it was quite amazing.

AtlantaFromAbove - 01.jpg
I flew it all by myself and took pictures at the same time!

AtlantaFromAbove - 23.jpg
Savannah College of Art & Design - Atlanta, Where I teach.

AtlantaFromAbove - 08.jpg

Go here to see a select group of untouched photos.
I'll be sure to post the final illustration once it's done in about 2 weeks.

Saturday, April 7, 2007

Aqua Teen Hunger Force Movie backgrounds

It was well over two years ago when Art Director, Bob Pettitt, contacted me to see if I was interested in doing some movie backgrounds for this movie. At that time I had never heard of Adult Swim much less Aqua Teen Hunger Force. The show and movie is admittedly not for everyone and it's main target market is teenagers who like dark alternative, and crude humor. So be forewarned! Anyway, all they needed were some layered Photoshop backgrounds that they could mess with to create scenes for this 15 min Adult Swim show into a full length movie. Over all I did 7 backgrounds for my first movie art experience. Well, I had to keep it quite until now. With the many delays and postpones of the premier it's now finally here and I can show the stuff I did on the web. I'm going to be attending the ultra exclusive movie premier on April 8th right here in Atlanta and the Plaza Theater. I'll try my best to not trip on the red carpet and smile for the deluge of paparazzi and interviews. Click this link or image to see page I created with the backgrounds and be sure to zoom into each image to see all the hard work.

I would LOVE to hear any comments on these and the movie on my blog or here on my news page. Make sure you go see the movie starting on Friday the 13th, April 2007 at a local theater near you.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Piece Accepted in West Coast Art Show

My Fixation and Fusion illustration has just been selected for eMotion Pictures: An Exhibition of Orthopaedics in Art.The eMotion Pictures exhibit will open in San Francisco on March, 2008 at the Moscone Convention Center in the West Lobby. Approximately 200 pieces of art from artists and orthopedic surgeons will be displayed in a professionally-designed scheme with placards next to each piece telling about the artists and the work’s relationship to orthopaedics. They will advertise the show locally in San Francisco, and distribute the information to the media internationally. eMotion is planning to produce a book of the artwork and the artists’ stories that will be available at the exhibit. So stayed tuned for the book.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

On the cover and inside my alma mater

This month I am proud and honored to be featured not only on the cover with one of my illustrations but on the inside with a one page article about me in LaGrange College's Alumni Magazine - Columns. I graduated with a BA from LaGrange College, LaGrange, GA, in 1992. Studying there played a huge part in who I am today. Majoring in Drawing & Painting and Graphic Design, in a liberal arts college, I learned the base set of skills that made this illustration for the cover. Even though this cover was not originally done for Columns, the Editor, Dean Hartman and Designer, Stacy Jackson, thought it would be appropriate subject matter and concept for this issue. I originally did this for PTO Today magazine in 2003. I tweaked the layers a bit so the Stacy could separate the people on the inside spread. What's even more interesting is that I was found by the creators of Columns from the LaGrange College alumni website where this my other blog is listed as one of the blogs that all alumni can see. Dean and a photographer, David Beard, came to my studio for an interview and photos. It was a good experience all around.

Click to enlarge and read.
The article is a good representation of who I am.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Photo & illustration montage for repeat client

In 2006 Hinman Dental Meeting of Atlanta, GA commissioined me to do thier main image for the 2007 convention. They liked working with me so much that they came back to me to do the main image for 2008. Just finished this at the end of January. Completely different solutions for the same company. They were thrilled.