Saturday, December 27, 2008

Who Hub Interview

I just completed an interview on I thought I would share it here as well.

Jay Montgomery - Illustrator
Interview by

What is your specialty in illustration?
If you can imagine it I can paint it...within reason, time and budget of course. Most of what I promote tends to be of a corporate nature for advertisements, magazine covers, and trade show graphics. I also do a bit of webs and print graphic design. What I spend most of my time doing is teaching illustration at SCAD-Atlanta.

What are your regular clients like? What do they expect from you?
My regular clients tend to be Art Directors, Graphic Designers and small business's. They expect to get a stages of development for approval and revisions, artwork provided digitally, on budget and on time.

Have you completed formal art studies, or are you self-taught?
In 1992 I got a BA in Drawing and Painting from LaGrange College, in LaGrange, GA. In 1994 I received a certificate of completion from Portfolio Center, in Atlanta, GA with concentrations in Illustration. I am planning this Spring 2009 to start my MFA in Illustration from SCAD (if they will have me).

How did you get your first full assignment? What did it involve?
In 1993 while still a student at Portfolio Center I got a advertising agency job illustrating 2 billboards with no text. It was for Flowers Bread Company for Natures Own Bread. It was my first big break and lead me to get many other freelance jobs. You can see it here:

What past or present day illustrators do you admire most?
Norman Rockwell, JC Leyendecker, Drew Struzan, James Jean, Rob Day, Tim O'Brien, Brad Holland, Mark Hess, Bill Mayer, Matt Mahurin, Kinuko Craft, Teresa Fasolino and many more. You can see my work as well and many of these illustrators work for sale as stock on this new website.

How similar are your current drawings to those you did as a child?
My work tends to be many realistic. As a child I I already showed an interest in drawing as close to reality as possible. i was never one for drawing comics or cartoons, although I really respect and enjoy those even today.

What was your favorite comic book as a child?
Surprisingly, I did not read many comic books as a child. None of them stand out as a favorite.

Do you have a particular style, or does it vary a lot?
I stay in the realist style going from exaggerated perspectives to stylized to photo real. I like doing a lot of styles and it depends on the need of the client as to what style is done.

What is hardest to draw?
People in general. But I tend to do quite I bit of people in my illustrations and I have certainly excelled in drawing all the different body parts. Faces being my favorite.

What type of music do you listen to while you work?
I try to be as eclectic as possible. Ranging from classical, rap, hip hop, new rock, alternative rock, classic rock, hard rock, techno, retro 80's and 90's, disco, new age, and what ever else suits my fancy. I also really enjoy listening to audio books and podcast's while working.

Do you have a favorite work of art?
The Sistine Chapel ceiling by DaVinci. It's one big illustration commissioned by the church.

What do you do when a client simply says "I don't like it"?
I ask what specifically do you not like about it? I can address that issue better than trying to read the mind of the client. Honestly I don't hear that too often.

What new techniques have you been experimenting with lately?
I am always experimenting with ways to combine digital and traditional painting. Whether I start traditionally and end up digital or the opposite. I love it all.

What part of your work do you do on paper and what part digitally?
Usually I start with pencil and paper then scan that in and work in Illustrator and or Photoshop. I also work in Painter when the job calls for it.

What research do you do for your illustrations?
I really enjoy the research. Since most of my illustrations are realistic there needs to be a sense of authenticity to them. I get as much as I can from the client, and always do internet research from a wide variety of sources, not just Google. I also take photo reference of what I illustrating when ever possible. I take photos of myself and friends family dressed up in silly outfits and poses keeping in mind the lighting and and angles of the pose or still life for the most effective composition.

Do you have colleagues with whom you share techniques, tricks, ideas, etc.?
Always. A good friend of mine that I went to school with and was roommates with John Nelson share techniques and business practices. We also collaborate on projects when it's a good fit.

Do you have any specific goals as an illustrator?
To satisfy as many clients as possible and to be known the "go to" illustrator for all you illustration needs. If I can't do it then I know someone who can.

What illustration web sites do you frequent?

my own website:

and many more.

What are you working on now?
I am currently working on two large civil rights posters to be presented on MLK day 2009 at Ebenezer baptist Church, in Atlanta. At the same time I'm working on my 4th annual illustration that's used for the Hinman Dental Meeting Annual National Convention. I also just finished an illustration for a new drug's ad campaign. I'm really busy!

What advice do you have for someone who likes to draw and would like to make a living from it?
Draw, draw, draw, from life, from photos, from other artists. What ever you enjoy. Go to school and get formally trained. Take as many business classes as you can. Get a portfolio website and promote it by doing adding your link to any art directory just like this site. Mail out postcards to a targeted list you gather your self mainly by visiting your local book and magazine store. Keep experimenting and surround yourself with other artists. Don't be a hermit, get out a meet people face-to-face.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Prints and Products!

I was one of the earlier adopters of when I set up an account in 2001. I mainly did this for printing some personal stuff and to see how it works. Well they are still around and going strong. My Zazzle store has recently doubled in size with the amount of products offered with my art work on it. I have recently had a boost in sales this Christmas Season so I'm quite happy about that.

create & buy custom products at Zazzle

Also I'm just getting started with as of today.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

I'm featured on Illustrophile!

Charlene Chua of was kind to feature my site today (12/02/08) on this blog dedicated to showcasing illustrators and commercial artists. I have also been asked to do an interview with them... stay tuned.

Thanks Charlene for the extra publicity!

I also have been meaning to post several new pieces I have done as demos for classes. I hope to get to it soon.

I have been busy with a new illustration for the Hinman Dental Society, a civil rights poster, and a resort map. More updates hopefully soon.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Ya Ya Kids T-Shirt Illustrations

Just finished a series of 4 t-shirt illustrations for a new line of clothing geared towards Moms and kids. The company is called Ya Ya Kids. The business model is to have Moms post photos of their kids getting their "ya ya's" out by doing crazy fun things. The visitors to the site and company would then vote on the photos to see which of them gets turned into an illustration used on t-shirt and other apparel. These would then be sold on the web site as well as in retail stores. We are just getting started and have high hopes. The illustrations are at the printer now being printed. Check back for actual pictures of the shirts and updated Ya Ya Kids website so you can buy your own.

After many rounds of concepting we decided to go with a Dick and Jane style applied to modern and sometimes irreverent subject matter. Most the the Dick and Jane illustrator worked in watercolors and white gouache. These watercolors were painted on Ampersand Aquaboard and then were modified slightly in Photoshop to touch up some colors and facial details. These are not the same backgrounds used for the t-shirts. The warm background texture was added in Photoshop. The shirt illustrations were set up to be more of a vignette so they would work on several different colored shirts. I will not post those until the launch of the shirts on the Ya Ya Kids website.


Loch Mess Monster

Princess Puddle Jumper

Baby On Board

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Carpet Cut-a-way illustration

While SCAD has got me really busy, this month I finished up a Carpet cut-a-way illustration for Dow Chemical. Nothing too terribly exciting but really functional and clear. I had to scan swatches of the actual carpet layers and compose them in a isometric perspective. Created using Illustrator and Photoshop.



Sunday, October 12, 2008

Paperless Office Editorial Illustration

Assignment for a Mortgage Servicing News. Art director's brief description is pretty much all I got: "man in small office building throwing papers out of window.
Pile of paper on the street..." I took it a bit further adding too many details.
This is the concept that the AD asked for and eventually went with.
This is another concept that the AD did not ask for but liked better. The editor liked the other requested concept so the AD had to comply. This has happened over and over again with editorial clients. I thought it was the AD's job to pick the artist and the art. Isn't that what they went to school for?

I had originally painted the colors as a normal blue sky day. I liked the way a changed it. After some thumbnail sketches it was totally created on the Mac using Illustrator CS3 most 85% of the shapes and Photoshop for the painted looking parts. Total time: about 10 hours on and off for a week.

A cropped detail that surprisingly and most frustratingly communicates exactly the same thing as the un-cropped version. I could have done half the work and got paid the same! Arggh!!

Comments good and bad are welcome!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Flavor Icons

A new potato chip package design that I have recently been working on needed some small flavor icons. This is what I came up with. These chips are going to be sold mainly in vending machines with the potential of them in the stores later.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

New Book Illustrations

I just finished some book illustrations for the book publisher Winepress Publishing. It's for a book titled "Righteousness and Life From Grace". These are to be used as 2 spots and 3 half page black and white illustrations. As for what they wanted pretty much all I got was this text below, with a few other questions asked. So this is simply how I translated those words into illustrations. It was quite fun to work on but that sure was a lot of people to render. Finals were created in Photoshop at actual print size at 400 dpi.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Cutaway Illustration

Over the Summer I completed a fairly complicated cutaway of a support structure for railroads. Tensar makes and designs grid systems for various industrial applications. This illustration was about railroad ballast and the slope systems. This was created using mainly Adobe Illustrator and the train is a Poser 3D model. The final was 20"x 16". Now every time I see a railroad, wall system, or slope I will have a much better understanding of how it might be built.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Current Conservation Magazine Cover

This one I'm quite proud of. I did this illustration when I was at Portfolio Center in 1993. Today I got my copy of the latest issue of Conversation Magazine and it's on the cover! I'm really glad to be apart of such a worthy cause. I'm in good company with past covers art as well. Several very well known illustrators have graced the cover and now me. Thanks to Society for Conservation Biology. Also, this has been on another magazine cover and won a Best Cover award back in 1995. An oldie but goodie. Check out some other past magazine covers here.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

My process

Here is a demo I did for my Electronic Illustration class. The link to the web page not only describes my process of painting and modifying the same Photoshop image for 3 different looks of the same image. The web page itself was an actual assignment as well. The style was something really different for me and I had lots of fun illustrating it. Let me know what you think.

The Devil Painting Process

The students created 3 different tarot cards of their choice in a style of their choice using Photoshop and Painter and then they created a web page based on those cards talking about their process. They all worked very hard on these and a great job overall. Here are some links to the students web pages.

Mary Wall
Matt Kelly
Sarah Pettis
Fiona Handshin
Min Choi
Tanya Rodes-Colee
Alan Hawley
Jacob Smith

...more student links to come soon.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Orphan Works Legislation

The Orphan Works Act of 2008

Two new versions of the bill was introduced to Congress the week of April 25th.
New to both bills is the requirement that the U.S. Copyright Office to create and undertake a certification process for the establishment of searchable electronic databases of visual works, so that the public can view orphaned works.

From what I understand the better of the two bill is the Shawn Bentley Orphan Works Act of 2008. Due to the fact that the act would enable users to exhibit orphan works to the public, the sponsors say, if the copyright owners are unable to be located after a "thorough, documented search." The legislation spells out the requirements that would be necessary to meet the standards of a search, and how a court can review the search to decide if it was adequate and done in good faith, If no copyright owner is found and the material is used and then later the copyright owner comes forward, the bill requires that the user must pay the owner "reasonable compensation."

On this site are provided sample letters from individuals representing different sectors of the visual arts. Illustrators, photographers, fine artists, reps, licensing firms, and designers: If you are opposed to the Orphan Works act, this site is yours to use. For international artists and our colleagues overseas, we’ve provided a special link, with a sample letter and instructions as to whom to write. Two minutes is all it takes to write Congress and fight for your copyrights.

Pick a sample letter or write your own. Type in your zip code. Your letter will be automatically addressed to your congressman and senators. Click and send.

From the ICON5 website.

The Orphan Works Bill

The Orphan Works bills recently re-introduced in the House and Senate could have a profound effect on every illustrator and the protection of our copyrights.

ICON urges you to inform yourself on this important issue. Several organizations are following this closely, and the following links will provide further information. Please check them regularly for updates and advice on actions you can take.
Illustrators' Partnership
Graphic Artists Guild
American Society of Media Photographers
National Press Photographers Association
Stay informed at these sites above.


Friday, May 2, 2008

Puppet illustration for Crusader Magazine

Recently finished a spot illustration for Crusader Magazine. It's a puppet from a puppeteer Julie Shockey.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

His Life Accepted in the Upstream People Gallery

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.

His Life

His Life - Detail

Just found out this week that the painting was accepted into the
10th Annual Judeo-Christian Juried Online International Art Exhibition

See it here!

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


eMotion Pictures Book

eMotion Pictures: An Exhibition of Orthopaedics in Art
I entered my artwork from a past job into the AAOS eMotion Pictures.

I got the printed book the other day that has a great collection of artist's work about orthopedics. I have cronic back pain and live with it daily. Click the photo of the book and read text on the page for more.

You can see this and the other works of art on the AAOS Emotion Picture Gallery.


Recently I donated a print of mine where the image was picked by a very nice lady in Hawaii, Angel Visoria representing Habilitat, which is a long term residential program built on the "Therapeutic Community" model. This approach is considered by experts to be the most effective method of treatment for substance abuse and chemical addictions. Habilitat was holding a charity luau based in Kaneohe, Hawaii, selling framed artwork to help raise money for this non-profit organization. I donated a giclée print of Imagination. An illustration I did almost 10 years ago. While I was at it there is a 1st Annual SCAD Atlanta Scholarship Gala that was holding a silent auction from student and faculty and I donated a framed print of the same piece.

I also decided to frame and donate a print of Worries From Home. I have very few pieces of art that actually fit into the fine art "match your couch color". This is what I came up with and I hope that the prints raise as much money as possible.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Path Tree for Dentists

New Illustration for the 97th Thomas P. Hinman Dental Meeting 2009. This is the 3rd year in a row I have had the pleasure of working with the Hinman Dental Society on creating the main image used on all their advertising, materials, signs, printed materials.

This upcoming years theme is about continuing education. So my idea was to show a tree representing growth and the branches turning into path ways leading to certain areas or dentistry.

Technique specs:
17” x 21” image with a 1.5” crisp white border all the way around. Total board size is 20” x 24”. It was painted in acrylic on a gessoed board of masonite. Nice a sturdy and archival quality. There is no white type on the paths in the original. That’s part was done in the computer. With the original you really get to see the textures of the surface unlike a digital file or print will ever do. Let me know what you think.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

eMotion Pictures: An Exhibition of Orthopaedics in Art

I entered my artwork from a past job into the AAOS eMotion Pictures.

Almost 1,200 entries were received from 17 countries and 45 states, representing a broad spectrum of orthopaedic conditions. The artists' words were strong and the artwork powerful.

A jury of art professionals had the difficult task of selecting the artwork for the exhibit. The jury included René de Guzman, director of visual arts at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts; John R. Killacky, program officer for arts and culture of The San Francisco Foundation; and Paul Pratchenko, professor of art, painting and drawing, San Francisco State University. The show features 200 works of art from 152 artists.

I'm honored that one of my illustrations is on exhibit in San Francisco until March 2oth for. It's a gallery show of all sorts of orthopedic art for doctors, patients, artists and children. Read about my chronic back problems story here and see the other artists work. A book is available with all the artist's work including mine available here.

Autotrader called me a few months ago to do some Illustrator characters that would then be animated in flash for online training. I did one version with outlines and one without. Still waiting to see if they want me to do more. 

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Pharmaceutical Convention Main Image and Icons

A revision of another illustration I did for another Atlanta convention. They wanted a classic charm of the city of Atlanta.

Main AAPS Conference Image

This Pharmaceutical imagery for the 2009 AAPS convention was all done in Photoshop and Painter. They wanted a old world classic feel using modern equipment and objects. Tough to pull off. What do you think?
AAPS icons