Thursday, December 17, 2009

Jay Montgomery Illustration Fan Page

About 2-3 weeks ago I created a new Facebook Fan Page for myself. I'm very thankful that I already have over 186 fans! Something special is happening on the Fan Page. Everyday until Christmas I will post one of my past Christmas Cards. On Tuesday I started with a card I sent out in 1999 shown here.

I'll continue to showcase a new illustration/card every day on the fan page until Christmas Day when I will reveal my 2009 card.

Also, I'm adding new images and products for purchase on my Zazzle Store.
Just added to the right panel here.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

New Illustrated Book!

You might recall an earlier post about a new book I illustrated. Well it's out! Just in time for the holiday's a yet another new book about Christmas...but this time it's special because it's illustrated by me! It's a different take on the ever popular poem "The Night Before Christmas" with 11 new highly detailed illustrations. "The Night After Christmas" by Jim Chapman was a challenge to illustrate and fun at the same time. I wanted to capture a more contemporary approach to the old tale to fit the modern subject matter of the this timely poem. It's about the cultural materialism that retailers have trapped us into forgetting the true meaning of Christmas. Here is a great description from the publisher Winepress Group.

Does Christmas seem like a stressful, unsatisfying ritual? Why do we go through this annual exercise of decorating, shopping, wrapping, and over-spending--only to vow we're going to do it differently next year? Was Christmas always this way? Or did our culture make it into something it wasn't meant to be?

If you've ever asked yourself these questions, you may well need this book. Christmas does, indeed, offer something more. Obscured beneath the tree, hidden inside the gift wrap, buried under plastic debt lies an enduring enigma that beckons us to reconsider. Somewhere in all the clutter can be found the key to a merry Christmas. For those who take a second look, there awaits a gift that can make every day a holiday.

"Delightfully riveting and insightful...I'm sure every person can relate. What a great reminder of what we so often forget!"

--Gary Smalley

It's a very nicely printed 24 page 8" x 8" hardcover cover book with book sleeve and spot varnishes. I designed the cover as well as illustrated it. I wanted to show hints of money in the design so I used a The colors turned out exactly how I wanted them. At first glance it's a typical Christmas book but at a closer look of each illustration you see something more. I had fun coming up with all the viewpoints compositions and details. The look of the credit cards were challenging for both the author and I. Since we could not show any credit card logos or anything close I had to come up with generic cards with all sorts of details. We went through several revisions until the author and his lawyer were satisfied that we were not going to be sued by the very companies that push all this materialism down our throats every holiday season. If you know what my family and I look like you will get a laugh at my photo references as well.

Now I have a book to give to my family this year for Christmas. Maybe your Christian friends or family would like a copy. It does make a great gift! I would love to hear what you think of the book and illustrations.

I would happily hand sign any books for free. Just let me know. jay at jaymontgomery dot com

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

I'm featured in a new Freelance Portfolio E-zine!

Greg Welch
is a designer that specializes in magazine publishing. He has done a great deal of print magazines and has been doing some impressive online magazines and PDF portfolios for all types of artists. He created this new Freelance Portfolio online magazine. One of my illustrations is featured in the premier issue on the cover and here it is. He promotes it heavily online and is gaining some traction and a bit of controversy even. Want to be apart of it contact Greg.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Ya Ya Kids T-Shirt Illustration

Recently finished a new Ya Ya Kids shirt for Manic Mommies Podcast. I had done 4 other traditionally with watercolor then touch up in Photoshop. This one was done in Photoshop after an creating a tight pencil with graphite.

No Whine Allowed

Here is video I created about my process.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Illustration Friday - Germs

This was for an editorial illustration for Texas Journey Magazine that I did a while back about children going overseas on vacations and trips. The article discussed ways to prevent and keep your children safe from all travel health issues. It was fun designing fake the stickers. I first created all the stickers flat in Illustrator and then applied them to the luggage painting using Photoshop's distort and liquify tools, then I brought that into Painter to add a uniform painted texture overall.

Go Abroad Detail

Just now did this different collection of all the stickers on skin just for the Germs entry to Illustration Friday. Speaking of which the creator of IF, Penelope Dullaghan, was just recently interviewed on Escape From Illustration Island. Check it out on iTunes!

Comments are appreciated!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

The Night After Christmas - sketches

I have been working on a new picture book of sorts for marketed towards adults for Winepress Publishing since early March 2009. It's called Night After Christmas - A Holiday Paradigm Revisited. by Jim Chapman. It's a take on the poem The Night Before Christmas by an anonymous author first published in 1823. It deals with a modern families struggle of materialism and lost sight of what Christmas was really all about. I did 10 full page illustrations plus a cover in a stylized realism manner. I had lots of fun coming up with the scenery which is loosely based off my own home and family. I had about 3 months to do 11 full blown, full page illustrations with repeating characters and scenes all while teaching 2 classes, taking 1 MFA class and many other freelance jobs. I thought I was done in June and then the author had lots of little revisions to some of the illustrations starting a few weeks ago. I got final approval on all the illustrations just last week! It's due to be printed and in the stores hopefully in a couple of months just in time for Christmas.

I wanted to give you first a taste of the process of some of the illustrations. I always start with pencil and here are some sketches I sent the publisher. The author had some very specific art direction from a Word doc and the story obviously gave some clues to set the scene. I had already done a fair amount of research and photo reference.

So from these I digitally painted the scenes in Photoshop and Painter. The finals are coming in a later post.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

mixed Media Art Contest: 2nd place winner

I was the first loser on! 10 bucks to pay the bills with.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Spiritual Connections

It's been a while since I was an official student of the arts. Since 2000 I have been a teacher of the arts. Well I started the journey of getting my MFA so that I could have the opportunity to teach full-time at a college level. The logical and most practical choice was to get my MFA from the place I teach, SCAD-Atlanta. I could teach and take classes at the same time all in the same place. Well this past quarter I did just that. I taught 2 classes (Getting Published, and Self Promotion for Illustrators) and took my first class with Illustration professor Julie Mueller-Brown. It was grueling financially, physically, and mentally! During the middle of the quarter I found a more flexible and faster way to get my MFA at Hartford Art School, Limited Residency MFA in Illustration. So I won't be continuing with SCAD for my MFA in Illustration. More on that later.

ILLU 714 Drawing for Illustrators was a great course to start off with and therapeutic in many ways. For the first time in a long time I had allotted time to draw for me. Well, I was drawing for my professor but it was much more wide open than any other paying freelance gig I have done in over 16 years. The 7 other students and I did TONS of drawing inside and outside of class. Part of it was to create 5 personal graphite drawings outside of class. Julie wanted us to just start scribbling on nice drawing paper and see what happened. Below is my journey of those drawings. She is going to use my series of drawings as an example of the process for when she gives this assignment again. I went from literal symbols and words to almost abstract expressionism. Very different from what I am used to and a breath of fresh air.

I would love to get any feedback on these good or bad.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

I'm on the cover of Oz

My work is featured on the cover of Oz Magazine! Oz is a Southeast regional magazine leader in the Creative Communications Industry publications, for the May/June 2009 issue. Also, in the magazine I'm featured in an article titled “Undercutting”. I represent an Illustrator’s point of view on pricing illustration, educating the client and negotiating effectively with all types of clients. The magazine is not online yet, but distributes them at various retail outlets around Atlanta that tend to cater to the communication, marketing and media professional, like Sam Flax, King Plow Art Center, Utrecht, Binders and more.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Bridging These Truths Publicity Galore!

On Tuesday the 21st of April my family and I were asked to come to an Image Awards ceremony at the Emory University Chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). They were honoring student leaders with awards. Great group of people indeed. At the end of the ceremony they unveiled my poster of Bridging These Truths. The my client and visionary Brenda Stanley and I donated a 30" x 18" canvas gallery wrap of the poster to the NAACP chapter. It will be displayed in the TV lounge of the Dobbs University Center in a week with a plaque of recognition. Here is the article about it in the Emory Wheel.

The poster also posted on a very popular blog with a link to my prints for sale web page. You might have to scroll waaaay down to see the post but it's there!

A large framed print of this also was recently auctioned off at the 2009 SCAD-Atlanta Scholarship Gala donated by your truly.

It has been talked about at length on the radio, speeches, presentations and the Georgia School Board is very interested in displaying it in a large amount of their schools.

It's getting LOTS of other publicity, sales and traction even 100 days into Obama being in the White House.

It's also not to far fetched that the poster will be seen and given to Michele Obama. Because it's not what you know it's who you know and Brenda knows!

Stay tuned!


Friday, April 10, 2009

Ya Ya Kids are worldwide!

As in all over the world wide web. This week the marketing efforts of the Ya Ya moms and owners of Ya Ya Kids had a great little shout out on a very popular and current podcast I clued them in on. Manic Mommies is an audio podcast for any manic mommy. What mommy is not a MANIC MOMMY? Anyway, why this is important? I did all the illustrations for the shirts and I did their logo! It's cool to hear about other talking about your work unprovoked! Check it out below.

Here is the link to the Manic Mommies show notes where you can download the show as an MP3, or listen on iTunes. Listen to the whole thing or fast forward to about 16 min. and then again at 50 min.

For all you mom's it would mean a lot to me to check out the Ya Ya Kids website and buy a shirt. They are very cool! Super soft high quality environmental friendly shirts that are made in the USA.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Resort Map

A while back in the beginning of November I was contacted by the owner of Chestnut Bay Resort in Northeast Alabama. He needed an illustrative map of his resort on Lake Weiss. He tried to get done through a relative and disaster stuck with this rejected map.

So he sought out a professional. He invited me to come up and take some photos and walk around the place. I can't remember the last time I was in Alabama, but before this trip I had never been to Centre, Alabama. The resort was unexpectedly nice and new and still expanding. Great for family retreats and lots of outdoor activities. So got the photos in Winter time and had to make the birds eye map for Spring or Summer time. I was quite swamped with SCAD and other freelance so I brought on board my good buddy John Nelson to help me out.

I met with John and talked about the basic layout and details and without him actually going to the Resort he sketched out in Photoshop a fairly accurate rendition of the place.

After a couple of rounds of over the phone revisions we had a final drawing.

Then I colored it in Photoshop.

They are going to use it on brochures, a large poster and a homepage clickable map showing photos of the different areas. See it on the

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Art Digital Magazine Interview

A few weeks ago I was interviewed by Max Eternity of Art Digital Magazine.

Read all about it.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Life drawing and the Masters program at SCAD

A few weeks ago I did a still life drawing for my portfolio submitted to the SCAD MFA in Illustration application. I had fun coming up with what I was going to draw. I thought it turned out really well for a 2 hour rendering.

Check out my whole MFA in Illustration Portfolio let me what you think.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

World of Wine Map!

This map is a long time coming. I started working on this in July of 2005 with restaurant owner Tim Moore. It was to be a 11 foot by 5 foot mural for his restaurant Terra Grille which is now Terra Terroir. We went through what seemed like countless revisions and tweaking with all the info on the map.

It's a vinographically correct map of the world. A term we coined when producing the map. The state and countries are enlarged to the size of importance and quality of vineyards in the region. On the left hemisphere is the "old world" way of wine making and on the right hemisphere is regions that produce wine in a relatively modern way. It has tons of facts, popular vineyard locations, and interesting tidbits for all wine lovers. When seen at a large scale it's great conversation starter for wine enthusiast.

Then sometime in late 2006 the job stopped for due to a change in direction of the restaurant decor and Tim starting a family. The job was put on hold indefinitely. Then in late 2008 I decided to finish this map and make it my own since no reproduction rights were ever sold. I changed the name of the map and some descriptions and made it more my own. Now it's done and available for sale as prints, posters, and reproduction rights. Click on the map to see an interface where you can zoom in to all the different areas of the map.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Bridging These Truths

Over the last 2 months or so I have been involved in a large project creating a poster about change and hope in America. Brenda Stanley of The ABC's of ICU came to me with her creative vision and very rough sketches. From talking with her we had an immediate connection to the subject matter and drive to complete this highly detailed and symbolic poster. It was originally intended to be part of a presentation at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Downtown Atlanta (Dr. King's Church). Through the creation of the photo illustration all the other people who were able to see it saw a much bigger purpose for it. This poster had to go public and be made available to all. There are a lot of Obama and MLK Jr. posters, paintings and novelties out there. But we have not seen anything close to the detail and idea of the Statue of Liberty, King and Obama with all the civil rights moments throughout US history that has lead to this point in history of our 44th president, Barack Obama. So go to this brand new page to see in much more detail and read more about it. Show your support and recognition to this historical event in American history by purchasing a print for you and gifts to others. Print sizes from 20"x 12" to 60" x 36". Comments welcome.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Sting Portrait

Here is a personal piece that I also did as a demo in one of my illustration classes.

Story behind the face:
In 2007 Sting and the rest of the Police became a knight of the L'Ordre Des Arts (Order of Arts and Literature) an honor bestowed by the French minister of culture in recognition of significant contributions to the arts. The green and gold medallion behind him is the what is awarded to all knights of the 'Ordre.

Acrylic painting on lauan hardwood plywood. Image size: 9.5" x 11.75"

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Orangutans in watercolor and colored pencil

I can't believe I have not posted this yet. This was an illustration I did in Fall of 2007 as demo for my Materials and Techniques I class. The assignment was to pick and endangered species to be used for an existing Chocolate bar that features endangered animals and raises money to help support the species habitat and humanity. See more at I, of course,
choose the Sumatran Orangutan, located in Southeast Asia. This layering process of watercolor and colored pencils lends it self well to renderings of animal textures and landscapes. 15" x 9"



Comments welcome.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

In With the Old... Out With the New!

Happy New Year Everyone!

Here is a blast from the past. I did this illustration as a collaboration with and old buddy and illustrator friend of mine John Nelson. He did the concept and tight pencil and I did the final art. I think we did this back in 1994-5 for a New Years Eve Party we had when we were roommates in Buckhead. I thought it turned out great! Recently we have been toiling around with the idea of starting a new illustration company with the prospects of doing this sort of collaboration again.

I just posted this as a new product offering on