Monday, December 29, 2008

Koi Fish

Koi Fish
Originally uploaded by jaymontgomery

Here is a demo I did for class using Strathmore Illustration Board starting with a base of thin oil washes in the main areas and colored pencils for the details. It's about 10 x 8. I have always loved the beautiful colors of the koi fish. It's available for sale on for only $350. I know you want it!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Whohub 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 mainly 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 a 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.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Jib Jab animations

Check out my family animations! I sent these videos out on a DVD for all the relatives that don't have high speed internet.

Try JibJab Sendables® eCards today!

Send your own ElfYourself eCards

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.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Jay's Best Of Fall Quarter 2008

I have put together a collection of the best student work from my classes this past Fall quarter. Everyone worked really hard and got a lot accomplished. There was a great deal of excellent work created not only in my classes but all the illustration classes. Congrats to all! I hope you are all having a great break. See you soon.

ILLU 205 Materials & Techniques I - 22 illustrations from 8 students

ILLU 304 Advertising Illustration I - 27 illustrations from 8 students
ILLU 306 Book Illustration I - 21 illustrations from 8 students

Click on the image to find out more about this procrastination.
Jay's Student Work Mosiac


Tuesday, December 02, 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

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" 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 serveral 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

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Jay's New Beard

Jay's New Beard
Originally uploaded by jaymontgomery

I'm trying out somewhat of a beard and mustache for the first time in my life. It's growing on me. This is my double portrait photo.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

New ad in Oz magazine

Look out for my new ad in Oz Magazine this up and coming Nov/Dec issue.


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 04, 2008

Flavor Icons

Flavor Icons
Originally uploaded by jaymontgomery

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

I'm an illustrator and I Vote

This is a fact filled insightful blog post by a fellow illustrator friend of mine Micheal Gibbs originally posted on his blog Perceptiion (An Illustrator Looks at the World with Two Eyes)
I whole heartedly agree with Micheal on this and have checked his references.

During a campaign season, I'm always looking for some sign of how a candidate might impact me directly as a freelance illustrator.

This year's sign came when Republican nominee John McCain displayed complete contempt for copyright law — at a time when copyright is very much in the forefront of illustrators' and other creatives' minds because of orphan works legislation pending before Congress.

McCain, apparently thinking that intellectual property is his for the taking, used Jackson Browne's "Running on Empty" in a campaign ad mocking Democratic nominee Barack Obama. Browne, a musician well known for his progressive views, has sued for copyright infringement.

While the ad is believed to have run on television in Ohio and Pennsylvania, it also appeared on the internet until it was removed as a result of a cease-and-desist order.

But few, if any illustrators have the resources to fight copyright infringement in the way that Jackson Browne has. (And the orphan works legislation, as it's currently written, provides less incentive and makes it more difficult for artists to pursue infringement claims, while making it easier for infringers to infringe.)

And the fact that the ad made it to the internet underlines one of the realities that illustrators, musicians and other artists face in the internet age: the ongoing abuse of intellectual property, particularly on the internet, where people seem to assume they can grab an image or a song and use it for their own purposes, without permission and without compensation. A presidential candidate should understand that intellectual property is just that — the artist's property — and that artists make a living by selling rights to use that property. The orphan works legislation, which does have some merit, weakens artist's legitimate rights as it is now written. I prefer a candidate who understands intellectual property, not one who steals it.

As Browne's attorney Lawrence Iser says of McCain's use of music without permission, "it's ridiculous and it's setting a terrible example." [1]

This is not the first time the McCain campaign has done this. In fact, it's almost a habit. McCain's been sued by Abba (for using "Take a Chance on Me")[2], Frankie Valli ("Can't Take My Eyes Off of You")[3], John Mellencamp ("Pink Houses" and "My Country")[4], John Hall ("Still the One")[5] and most recently, Mike Myers of Wayne's World (a "We're Not Worthy" sketch used in a YouTube ad)[6].

While both candidates have issued position papers that uphold copyright law and acknowledge the need to deal with new copyright issues in the digital age, McCain's repeated contempt for copyright and lack of respect for copyright holders suggests he has no understanding or appreciation of the issue. Barack Obama, a generation younger and considerably more computer-savvy, notes that "intellectual property is to the digital age what physical goods were to the industrial age"[7] demonstrates the understanding that McCain either doesn't have, or does have but chooses to ignore.

And further, Obama actually addresses other issues of importance to artists, such as supporting increased funding for the NEA, providing affordable health care to artists, and supporting the Artist-Museum Partnership Act which would allow artists to deduct the fair market value of their work, rather than just the costs of the materials, when they make charitable contributions.

It's tough to make a living as an illustrator. But I chose to be — in the words of Jackson Browne — a happy idiot and struggle for the legal tender. I believe Barack Obama will make that struggle just a little easier.

references: [1], [2], [3], [4a], [4b], [5], [6], [7]photo credit

Thanks Michael for letting me post this. I will also add another very disgruntled band to the McCain Campaign. Van Halen's "Right Now"

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Illustration Friday - Island

It's been too long since I have entered anything to Illustration Friday. Here is my entry for the Island. This was a oil painting I did for an inside spread for In Touch magazine, In Touch Ministries a while back. Original is 24" x 10" and is for sale.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Illustration related videos I like on You Tube.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Election Decisions

If you have not made up your mind about the election, maybe these facts, links and photos will help. From Washington Post article you see that 60% of the population get a bigger tax cut with Obama. Calculate your Obama tax cut here.

Isn't it interesting how Sarah Palin votes Pro Life and she let her 17 year old pregnant daughter make the "decision" of what to do with her baby. Sounds like "pro choice" to me! Vote one way but when it comes to your own personal life do another. Hmmm.

Check out more videos about the election on my YouTube Election playlist.

Jon Stewart brilliantly shows the facts about Republicans talking out of both sides of their mouth.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Podcasts are cool!

When I'm working at my computer or just in my studio, instead of listening to the overly commercialized local FM and AM radio stations or nothing. I'll listen to my 3000+ mp3 music collection in iTunes usually on full random or I also listen/watch a lot of podcasts and vidcasts on itunes. I love these on demand shows about any subject imaginable. If you have any sort interest/hobby or want to continue your education on a daily basis I highly recommend getting iTunes which is free and podcasts which are for and usually commercial free. They have literally 1000's of podcast you can search and subscribe to and listen to at anytime on your time. I'm currently subcribed to 45 podcasts. I thought I would share some of those here. Most are illustration related mixed in with a The Daddy Cast and NPR Story of the Day. Download iTunes before going to these links. Click on the icon for a direct link to the iTunes podcast page within iTunes. Sorry I can't figure out how to reduced the space below this.

Friday, August 08, 2008

GA Aquarium Visit

I have never been before, but Cindi and the kids have. So I really felt left out. So for Fathers Day and my Birthday I was given the gift of admission to the GA Aquarium! We just now got to go this past week 08-05-08. Really expensive but worth it! Here is a link to 96 photos slideshow on Flickr.



Tuesday, July 08, 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.

Friday, July 04, 2008

4th of July Fun

Had some fun on the 4th with the family doing art through a straw.

We all did a few and then went to see the real fireworks.

This is one I did I thought was pretty cool.

Fireworks Original white paper
I thought I would try it against the dark sky in Photoshop. I like this one better, but the original in person can't be beat.
Fireworks Black Background

Fireworks Black Background Detail

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

My Disney World Vacation!!

Well after catching up on things and putting out most of the fires from being gone from home for over 14 days I have finally gotten together a collection of photos and videos of our trip. We all had an absolutely incredible, exhausting, intense and fun time. The pictures and videos only tell part of the story but you will get a glimpse. This image below only represents 54 of the 118 selected photos out of the 470 photo that we took. Once you click on the picture below and see the individual photos check the titles of each for somewhat of a description. They are in chronological mostly order. Please post comments here, on Flickr or YouTube for any of the photos.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

More on the Orphan Works Bill

As simple as 1 2 3 4

1. Read about what it is with lots of links here:

2. Send an email to your congressman here:

3. Sign this NEW petition here:

4. Then spread the word by forwarding this blog post or copy and pasting this where ever.

Timing is of the essence do it now! do it again and again!


Wednesday, June 04, 2008

My Student's work from Spring 08 Qtr

All my students worked really hard on their assignments and some finals actually turned out to be exceptionally good. Here is a link to a web gallery I created showcasing their wonderful work.

Also my Senior students in the Self Promotion class did great job on their promotional materials. Here are links to the most important promotional material - their website. Send them an email from their website they all would love to hear from you.

Maggie Blair Boyd -
Ashley Oliver -
Geoffrey Parmet -
Sarah Pettis -
Lauren Rolwing -
Jill Rycerz -
PJ Svejda -
Daniel Tirado -

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
Drew Botts
Fiona Handshin
Min Choi
Tanya Rodes-Colee
Alan Hawley
Jacob Smith
Ryan Stover
Briana Westmoreland

...more student links to come soon.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Orphan Works -Update

The Orphan Works Bill is NOT dead for the 2008 committee!

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 02, 2008

Goofy Looking Puppet

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

Friday, April 18, 2008

Holy Shroud of Ron

I recently had the pleasure to work with Tony Hendra, the former big time editor of National Lampoon and Spy Magazine. I did an illustration for one of their mock ads for this satire publication called My Wall Street Journal. They just released it to slap Rupert Murdock in the face for buying the Wall Street Journal. It's 25 pages is filled with hilarious articles and mock ads.

I had the challenge of creating a Shroud of Ronald Reagan. You know, like the Shroud of Turin, except this a is replica of a face-peel left on a towel. The holy image of Ron was left on the towel in all his holiness glory.

Check out the print ad shown in My Wall Street Journal.

Murdoch is Outraged!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Orphan Works Legislation is back and bad!

from the SCADATLILLU blog

Our beloved representatives in Wa
shington have in front of them a rancid piece of legislation that could shake the Creative world to the core. All us who create images must educate ourselves to the law as it pertains to our business and our livelihood. Brad Holland and the Illustrators Partnership have struggled mightily over the last few years to safeguard our creative work, but Congress is about to yank the rug out from under us all unless we quickly come together and demand our rights as the rightful owners of our own creations.
This article sums up what's going on, as well as this radio interview with Brad Holland so please take the time to read it and call or write your congressional representatives and let them know how bad this legislation is.

Go here to download sample letters to congress, bullet point letters, and a list of lawmakers to e-mail them to. The more proactive we all are in this, the more likely we are to be heard. Our futures as artists and illustrators depends on it.

If you are a resident of GA here are direct links to the email web forms for Senators:
Saxby Chambliss
Johnny Isakson

If you are a resident of another state find your senators contact page here.

Use the sample letters linked from this post to the IPA, add to them to them or write your own.
Do it now while you are here. It will only take 5 min.


Wednesday, April 09, 2008

"His Life" painting Accepted in the Upstream People Gallery

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

His Life

His Life - Detail

24" x 36" Interactive Acrylic Painting on Masonite.


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.

Thursday, March 27, 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.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Best of my students work Winter 08

I just finished organizing and creating a new website gallery for the selected student work in my Winter 08 classes: Materials & Techniques I, Book Illustration, and Self Promotion. These images all have descriptions and mediums used. Congrats to another great quarter students!

Also, if you have not already, click over to the newly developed portfolio websites of four illustration major seniors. They all worked very hard on their websites and it's time to start promoting them. With any good site design there needs to be several people to test the site. There is always room for improvement on any site, so check out how it looks on your browser and if there is any problems with navigation or technical issues be sure to let them know.

Erik Mehlen -
Walter Hartley -
Andrew Phillips -
Colin Geller -