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Print Holiday Sale! November 18th, 2013

HOLIDAY PRINT SALE – 20% off all the prints in my shop until Nov 30th! Just use the code 2013HOLIDAYSALE at the checkout in my Etsy shop.

Prints - Jacqui Oakley Illustration

Whale print - Jacqui Oakley Illustration

A great way to kick off the month ahead, the great people at Nook (mainly Julia Brekenreid, Steve Wilson and sometime collaborator Jen Hsieh) have planned two events to bring you original work and objects that inspire. The Illustration community in Toronto is packed with incredible talent & here’s an event showing off the great work, so do come and see what’s available and bring friends!

Friday December 6th will be the art show & the print sale will run on the Friday night 6-11pm and through to Saturday December 7th 11am-6pm. They’ll be lots of great prints and artwork to buy for holiday gifts or a treat just for yourself! At these sales I never make any profit since I’m always buying up the great art from my fellow illustrators.

Nook is located at 156 Augusta Avenue, Toronto ON M5T 2L4 in Kensington Market.

Nook holiday show - Jacqui Oakley Illustration

Here’s a selection of a few of the prints that’ll be on sale at the Nook sale. I’ll be bringing most that are in my Etsy shop and there will be deals!

Woodpecker - Jacqui Oakley Illustration

Nook holiday sale - Jacqui Oakley Illustration

Gorilla Print - Jacqui Oakley Illustration

Whale print - Jacqui Oakley Illustration

Carnitas print - Jacqui Oakley Illustration

Lion print - Jacqui Oakley Illustration


Cityscapes & Fortune Magazine August 27th, 2013

Usually I get contacted by art directors to draw portraits or animals, so this job was quite a unique and a fun challenge! I always have such a good time collaborating with David Powell at InRe (South Texas College of Law Alumni Magazine). The article that I illustrated was about law graduates choosing to work at smaller law firms rather than joining bigger corporations, and this is what I came up with:

I wanted to do something slightly different with this job and rely more on pattern, adding a nice contrast between the small court house and the bigger corporate buildings. Neither of these options could be shown in a negative light, so I had to come up with a way to differentiate them from each other while still making each feel a favorable career choice for the recently graduated lawyers.

Here are some of the project’s process including my pencil linear, some reference and my inked illustration before I added colour digitally. For this project I wanted to go for a less vibrant palette than I normally would use and so I looked to other reference for inspiration and some new ideas.

Some business/corporate magazines can be afraid to think outside the box when it comes to design and illustration but this was not the case with the Fortune Magazine covers of the past. In particular I was taken with the colour palette and the gorgeous way the city was abstracted in this 1954 cover by the very talented Neil Fujita. With my illustration I wanted to have buildings as focal points since I wasn’t particularity excited to draw lawyers, so I took these illustrations (shown below) as jumping off points to try something different and go a little more stylized than I usually would.

Here’s a gorgeous 1951 Fortune cover by Jerome Synder which has a similar feeling to the Fujita piece and was also a source of inspiration. (via Unkee E’s Fortune Cover Tumblr)

Jerome Snyder Fortune Cover - from Jacqui Oakley IllustrationAnother piece by Jerome Synder (il duomo), that caught my eye for the way it smartly stylized buildings. Sadly I had to draw law offices and not a cathedral, so no fun steeples for me. Jerome_synder - il duomo - Jacqui Oakley Illustration

Obviously I didn’t want the illustration to copy Fujita’s or Jerome’s style and so I’ve combined them with my own look using organic cloud forms, and trees and tweaking the colours slightly. What I loves about this project is that is helped me incorporate something new into my toolbox that I can use again down the road. Those moments in illustration where you try something new and it works out are always satisfying. It’s nice to know that as an artist you’re continuing to experiment and grow and not to just rely on tried and true techniques and subject matter. Throwing something new into the pot every now and again is always a good idea.

Along with this opening illustration I got to draw a whole bunch of lawyer portraits and David and I thought it might be fun to link them together with the building patterns and colours of the main spread. It was interesting to combine the black ink portraits with these graphic shapes. Again, here’s something new that I was excited to see work.

Thanks again to David and the lovely job he does designing InRe with his exceptional attention to detail.Buildings - Jacqui Oakley Illustration


Here’s some more vintage Fortune covers that really stand out. Love how these are simultaneously both very painterly and really graphic. Artists/designers back then could really do it all couldn’t they?

Below: FORTUNE July 1952 – Illustration by Jerome Synder (via Unkee E’s Fortune Cover Tumblr)

Fortune Cover by Jerome Synder - Jacqui Oakley Illustration

Below: FORTUNE January 1968 – Illustration by Romare Bearden & Art Direction by Walter Allner (via Linda Rubes‘s brilliant Vintage Fortune Tumblr)

Fortune Cover by Romare Bearden 1968 - Jacqui Oakley Illustration

Below: FORTUNE April 1953 – “Jet Airliners”, another one from Neil Fujita with Art Direction by Leo Lionni (via Linda Rubes‘s brilliant Vintage Fortune Tumblr)

Neil Fujita - Fortune - Jacqui Oakley Illustration
Below: FORTUNE May 1952 – illustration by Jim Flora (1914-1998) (via Unkee E’s Fortune Cover Tumblr)

Jim Flora - Fortune - Jacqui Oakley Illustration

Below: FORTUNE July 1949 – illustration by Ben Shahn with Art Direction by Will Burtin (via Linda Rubes‘s brilliant Vintage Fortune Tumblr)

Ben Shaun - Fortune - Jacqui Oakley Illustration


King Kong Mural / Agenda NYC August 1st, 2013

It was a great to be able to go to NYC and do a live art installation with my husband Jamie Lawson for Basecamp (and Flexfit) at Agenda’s NYC show this past July 10th and 11th. The Agenda Trade Show is a forum for streetwear lines, such as Brixton, Reebok, Herschel, Vans etc., with a strong emphasis in style, art, music and culture. We were given a big 12×8′ freestanding wall and kindly given free reign by the awesome Basecamp folks to do as we please. We thought since this was the NYC Agenda show we’d go with a New York theme and the first one that came to mind was obviously everyone’s favourite monkey, KING KONG!

KING KONG mural  - by Jacqui Oakley & Jamie Lawson / for Agenda & Basecamp

Day 1. We arrived at Agenda’s Soho location armed with paint, brushes and coffee.

KING KONG mural  - by Jacqui Oakley & Jamie Lawson / for Agenda & Basecamp

Here’s the time-lapse video of the whole thing!

It began with a whole lot of yellow….

KING KONG mural - by Jacqui Oakley & Jamie Lawson / for Agenda & Basecamp

KING KONG mural  - by Jacqui Oakley & Jamie Lawson / for Agenda & Basecamp

KING KONG mural  - by Jacqui Oakley & Jamie Lawson / for Agenda & Basecamp

KING KONG mural  - by Jacqui Oakley & Jamie Lawson / for Agenda & Basecamp

…. and then at about the 3 hour mark blue was added and I discovered I was too short for this kind of business.

KING KONG mural  - by Jacqui Oakley & Jamie Lawson / for Agenda & Basecamp

It was pretty fun painting to the Agenda crowds. Even the most intimidating dudes decked out with sunglasses and $800 sneakers were really enthusiastic and sweet to chat with.

KING KONG mural  - by Jacqui Oakley & Jamie Lawson / for Agenda & Basecamp

At this point Jamie meant business, bringing out a clipboard. You might be wondering about the addition of the baseball hats. Well, Basecamp is the visible face of Flexfit one of the largest vendors of custom, private label hats, hence the baseball hats added to the mural. They had a pretty great Wu-Tang hat that we are now the proud owners of. Basecamp promotes the intersection of art and culture and sponsored the artists at the Agenda NYC show as well as past shows in Long Beach and Las Vegas.

KING KONG mural  - by Jacqui Oakley & Jamie Lawson / for Agenda & Basecamp

KING KONG mural  - by Jacqui Oakley & Jamie Lawson / for Agenda & Basecamp

Nearing the 6pm deadline of day 1, it’s hard to stop painting. We’re having such a good time.

KING KONG mural  - by Jacqui Oakley & Jamie Lawson / for Agenda & Basecamp

…and this is the end of the 1st day. Time to eat Chinese dumplings and rest our weary legs.

KING KONG mural  - by Jacqui Oakley & Jamie Lawson / for Agenda & Basecamp

DAY 2. Surprisingly we got so much done the first day that on Thursday we could take our time and add some fun details and of course the finishing touches of neon orange.

KING KONG mural  - by Jacqui Oakley & Jamie Lawson / for Agenda & Basecamp

KING KONG mural  - by Jacqui Oakley & Jamie Lawson / for Agenda & Basecamp

KING KONG mural - by Jacqui Oakley & Jamie Lawson / for Agenda & Basecamp

We had some time on Thursday to check out the other Basecamp artists. The lovely Sofia Maldonado did this amazing piece bringing in some cloud installations. She was also sponsored by the amazing art blog Hy.gen.ic.

Mural by Sofia Maldonado / for Agenda & Basecamp

There was another beautiful mural on the first floor by Javier Bergasa. We also got to chat to a bunch of the companies there and met some great people at HB Super & Outdoor Tech.

Javier Bergasa mural  for Agenda & Basecamp


A close-up of King Kong. He’s getting there.

KING KONG mural  - by Jacqui Oakley & Jamie Lawson / for Agenda & Basecamp

KING KONG mural  - by Jacqui Oakley & Jamie Lawson / for Agenda & Basecamp

Thanks so much to Rubens Benchimol for this photo of Jamie and myself painting the final red touches. It’s obviously very serious business.

KING KONG mural - by Jacqui Oakley & Jamie Lawson / for Agenda & Basecamp

… and we’re done!

KING KONG mural - by Jacqui Oakley & Jamie Lawson / for Agenda & Basecamp

KING KONG mural  - by Jacqui Oakley & Jamie Lawson / for Agenda & Basecamp

KING KONG mural  - by Jacqui Oakley & Jamie Lawson / for Agenda & Basecamp

KING KONG mural  - by Jacqui Oakley & Jamie Lawson / for Agenda & Basecamp

KING KONG mural - by Jacqui Oakley & Jamie Lawson / for Agenda & Basecamp

Thanks so much for having us in NYC Andy Song & Andy Chang of Basecamp / Flexfit and Corbin Cones and Stephan M. Timonier of the Promote & Preserve (formerly Hy.gen.ic) art blog. Many of these beautiful photos, especially the black and white ones, were taken by the talented Stephan. All these guys were so much fun to hang out with and so enthusiastic. It really was a pleasure to work with them.


DOS Art Show Wrap Up July 29th, 2013

The DOS show on Friday July 19th at Toronto’s Evergreen 15,000 sq foot Brick Works warehouse was amazing. Not only did I get to show with 39 talented artists, this time I actually got to sample some of the delicious food from restaurants Big Star (Chicago, USA) and La Carnita (Toronto, Canada). Huge props have to go out to Clay Rochemont (HXfour), Andrew Richmond from La Carnita (and his very busy kitchen staff), One Method & Hashtag Gallery for all the work they put into this. Sorry if I’m missing anyone. I know an event this size took so much time, work and enthusiasm to pull off. Amazing work everyone.

DOS Jaguars - art by Jacqui Oakley & Jamie Lawson

This was the 2nd year the show was put on (hence the clever name DOS) and the DJs, restaurants and the artists were paired up in collaborations, or “battles”. It was an awesome experience being paired up with my husband Jamie Lawson (from Poly Studio). It could have been a disaster if we got too competitive with each other but it worked out perfectly. We each started from a silhouette of a jaguar head’s profile and then went our own ways with each of our our 3ft x 3ft paintings. At the end they had similar underlying sensibilities in colour and graphic shapes making for a cohesive pair, but the detail added to each made them look unique.

Below: Close up of Moon Jaguar and Sun Jaguar by Jacqui Oakley (Hamilton, Canada)  -vs-  Jamie Lawson (Hamilton, Canada)Jaguar - DOS - art by Jacqui Oakley

Earlier in the night and after an insane but brief downpour, the crowds start to form at Toronto’s Evergreen Brick Works. Prime taco time with the shorter line-ups!

DOS - Jacqui Oakley Illustration

I couldn’t resist doing another paper mask for this show, so of course this one had to be a Jaguar. I’ll post some process shots for this fella soon.

Jaguar mask - DOS - paper art by Jacqui Oakley

Here’s the crazy great line-up for the show:

DOS poster - Jacqui Oakley Illustration

Here’s some detail shots of the Jaguars. Each of these pieces focused on South American mythology of the Jaguar. According to Mayan beliefs, the journey of the sun across the sky and the darkness of night represented the infinite journey of human consciousness and its transformations. Mayans believed the big cat’s spotted coat represented the night sky. I focused on the Moon Jaguar, traveling throughout the night sky, showing the stars in his spots and battling in the underworld, hence the night blooming flowers, night creatures and insects that feed on corpses.

Jaguar - DOS - art by Jacqui Oakley

Jaguar - DOS - art by Jacqui Oakley

Jaguar - DOS - art by Jacqui Oakley

For Jamie’s piece his Sun Jaguar focused on the Jaguar traveling throughout the day sky and focused on pattern and shape from the intensity of the sun’s rays. The Aztec calendar had 4 suns or cycles of creation and destruction. The first, most primordial sun, was represented by the ocelot or jaguar.




Earlier in the night the crowds started gathering in the ‘art corridor’. This place got packed pretty quickly as the night went on. Nice to see so many people introduced to such a variety of good work.

DOS - Jacqui Oakley Illustration

Bryan Espiritu (Toronto, Canada) paired up with  Hydro 74 (Orlando, USA) to do their versions of Ouija boards:


Below: Dubelyoo (Atlanta, USA) & Gene Pendon (Montreal, Canada) shipped this canvas between the two countries to create a stunning tribute to one of the greatest fighters in history.


Below: Eduardo Bertone (Madrid, Spain) -vs- Doublenaut (Toronto, Canada). Great to meet Eduardo who traveled all the way from Spain for this.

DOS - art by Eduardo Bertone

Jamie and I were so happy to grab a print of this great piece by the talented Doublenaut brothers. These prints are still for sale at Hashtag Gallery.

DOS - art by Doublenaut

Below: Loved these pieces by Mike Giant (San Francisco, USA) & Tom Gilmour (London, UK)

DOS - art by Mike Giant & Tom Gilmore

DOS - art by Mike Giant

Below: the wall mural completed the night before the show by Peru143 (Toronto, Canada) & Skam (Toronto, Canada)

DOS show - Peru143 & Skam

Below: these two were not a pair in the ‘battle’ but they’re both pretty striking faces by Andy Kittmer (Muskoka, Canada) & Nick Simhoni (Toronto, Canada)

DOS - art by Andy Kittmer & Matt Darling

Below: One of my favourite pieces of the night by Carson Ting, AKA Chairman Ting (Vancouver, Canada)

DOS - art by Carson Ting

Then we ate! Sadly we didn’t get a chance to grab food from Chicago’s Big Star but we did manage to try a few treats from Toronto’s own La Carnita, one of the event organizers.

DOS - Jacqui Oakley Illustration

DOS - Jacqui Oakley IllustrationBelow: Incredible sculptures by Kwest (Toronto, Canada) nicely paired up with Bacon’s (Toronto, Canada) large paintings:

DOS - art by kwest

DOS - Jacqui Oakley Illustration

The Brickworks is still filled with old ovens and paraphernalia from the days when it was a working brickwork factory.

DOS - art by Jacqui Oakley

DOS show - art by Jacqui Oakley

The floor got packed at night.


DOS - Jacqui Oakley Illustration

Jamie Lawson tempers the heat of his Jaguar with an ice cold paleta:

DOS Jaguars - art by Jamie LawsonMe with my Jaguar Mask:

Jaguar mask - DOS - paper art by Jacqui Oakley

My Jaguar drawing that I sold as prints for the night. I’ll pop it up on my Etsy shop soon and it’ll be at the Hashtag Gallery DOS closing show on Friday August 2nd. Make sure you pop by the see all the DOS work.

Jaguar Sketch - Jacqui Oakley Illustration

Thanks for all your work putting this Clay (HXfour)! Great work everyone:

Mike Giant (San Francisco, USA), Tom Gilmour (London, UK), Sam Flores (San Francisco, USA), Joseph Martinez (Denver, USA), Zach Johnsen (Portland, USA), Johnny Crap (Montreal, Canada), Joshua Davis, Chuck Anderson (Chicago, USA), Faith47 (Cape Town, South Africa), DALeast (Beijing, China), Eduardo Bertone (Madrid, Spain), Doublenaut (Toronto, Canada), Dubelyoo (Atlanta, USA), Gene Pendon (Montreal, Canada), Bryan Espiritu (Toronto, Canada), Hydro 74 (Orlando, USA), Matt Barnes (Toronto, Canada), David Glantz (Toronto, Canada), Eric Quebral (Muskoka, Canada), Rcade (Toronto, Canada), Taka Sudo (Vancouver, Canada, Graham Curran (Los Angeles, USA), Ben Tour (Vancouver, Canada, Vladimir Kato (Toronto, Canada), Kwest (Toronto, Canada), Bacon (Toronto, Canada), Skam (Toronto, Canada), Peru143 (Toronto, Canada), Chase Tafoya (Los Angeles, USA), Dresden The Barbarian (Los Angeles, USA), Che Kothari (Toronto, Canada), Nick Simhoni (Toronto, Canada), Jacqui Oakley (Hamilton, Canada), Jamie Lawson (Hamilton, Canada), Andy Kittmer (Muskoka, Canada), Angie Fey (Toronto, Canada), Matt Darling (Toronto, Canada), Nancy Rose (Toronto, Canada), Shingo Shimizu (Toronto, Canada), & Carson Ting (Vancouver, Canada)

If you missed the first event, here’s my post with shots from UNO. Can’t wait to see if there will be a TRES!