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Speaking at Creative South! January 15th, 2014

Excited that Jamie Lawson and I will be teaming up for a talk at Creative South in Columbus, Georgia in April and with such a great group of designers! Hope to see some of you there. Here’s a little bit about it:

Creative South is one of the premier art and design events in the Southeast. It started four years ago as a grassroots event. Unlike any other conference, Creative South prides itself in nurturing personal design conversations with the creative community at all levels. It’s far more than just a networking event. With expanded educational workshops this year, more music and entertainment, the 2014 event will draw an even greater crowd.

Creative South exposes creative and marketing professionals, business people, and students to key speakers on the subject of branding and design in the digital era. It’s a showcase of cutting-edge design and arts trends, but served up on a Southern tablecloth.

CreativeSouth -  Jacqui Oakley Illustration

CreativeSouth Speakers - Jacqui Oakley Illustration

Waxwork Records Covers December 12th, 2013

Thrilled that my husband Jamie Lawson (from Poly Studio) and I are teaming up with the incredible Waxwork Records to do the art for classic horror soundtrack LP covers! It’s going to be awesome to collaborate together on something so near and dear to our hearts.

Waxwork Records is the label behind the amazing, ghoulish-green Re-Animator vinyl soundtrack by Richard Band, John Harrison’s classic 1985 score to Romero’s Day of the Dead & the soon to be out Rosemary’s Baby soundtrack by Christopher Komeda. We have the first two and can’t wait to get out hands on Rosemary’s Baby. That sounds a tad strange doesn’t it? The Day of the Dead & Rosemary’s Baby package features art by Jay Shaw & the Re-Animator art is by Ghoulish Gary Pullin. We can’t wait to join the ranks of this talented team.


Here’s a little sneak peek of my painting process so far. What film might this be?

WAXWORK - Jacqui Oakley - Painting Process

Here’s the striking Day of the Dead art and design by Jay Shaw:

Waxworks Records - Day of the Dead - Jay Shaw

Check out the stunning colours of this vinyl.

Waxworks Records - Day of the Dead - Jay ShawWaxworks Records - Day of the Dead - Jay Shaw

Art for the 1985 horror film, Re-Animator created by Ghoulish Gary Pullin with contains a massive 18″ x 24″ full color poster of his eye-catching cover art. This totally captures the vibe of the film.

Waxworks Records - Re-Animator - Ghoulish Gary Pullin

Waxworks Records - Re-Animator - Ghoulish Gary Pullin

Up next is the haunting score for Rosemary’s Baby with cover art by Jay Shaw which you can pre-order now at Waxwork Records.

Rosemary's Baby - Waxworks Records

Waxworks Records - Rosemary's Baby - Jay Shaw

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