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.

No comments: