Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Project triangle

When clients ask me about pricing. If I feel it's right to say with them based on what I know about them I say that I go by the classic business model of you can have GOOD, FAST or CHEAP and the client can only PICK TWO of those. I even say this on my process page of my main site.

I always knew of this concept but I recently discovered a that it has a name and other version of it. It called Project Triangle according to our helpful yet unreliable source of Wikipedia.

There are others project triangles listed here that I think are generally true.

  • College: Work, Sleep, Play – Pick two.
  • Men: Handsome, High-Earner, Faithful – Pick two.
  • Women: Single, Sane, Sexy, Smart – Pick any three. (also called The four S's of dating)
  • Operating System: Fast, Efficient, Stable - Choose two.
  • Bicycle Parts: Strong, Light, Cheap - Pick any two.
  • Opensource Software Development: Speed/Time, Inclusiveness/Openness, Quality
  • Schedule, Scope, Resources – Pick two.
  • Nation's populace: Ignorant, Free, Civil - Pick two.

So I guess I'm Faithful and Handsome... he-he! ...and my wife is Sane, Sexy, Smart!

What do you think? These are certainly not applicable in all situations but do you go by them even if you don't know what's called?

Oh one more thing. Join my Facebook Fan Page if you have not already. I'm proud and thankful to say it already has over 170 fans and it was created on Nov 22nd.

Saturday, November 21, 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

Friday, November 20, 2009

My Students work from Fall Quarter

I only taught one class at SCAD this quarter. It was Materials and Techniques I where they only used traditional mediums for the finals. Mostly mixed media techniques using colored pencils, ink, watercolor, pastels, and acrylic in a variety of ways and combination's. The assignments were a Double Portrait, Endangered Species Chocolate bar package art, anything to do with an octopus, and a Rolling Stone Review editorial illustration of an album. They all seemed to have a great time with it while actually learning something new.

Tuesday, November 03, 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 01, 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 02, 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, September 26, 2009

My Flickr Gallery

Just messing around with the Flickr gallery embedding tool.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

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.

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Deviant Art Portfolio website

Just created my Deviant Art Portfolio website in about 20 min. Really easy to use, and somewhat customizable. I don't think I would show it to clients for this free version with a sub domain and Deviant Art Link and the bottom. Good option for a quick portfolio for students with no money/time for their own domain name and do not know any Dreamweaver or HTML.

I have some new work on there that you might not have seen.

Check it now.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

I'm looking for a Summer Intern

I have posted on with SCAD an internship position available at Jay Montgomery Illustration. If interested please apply by email to and send your resume and portfolio or link to your website or samples of your work directly to me.


I'm an award winning freelance Illustrator for over 18 years and currently a professor of Illustration at SCAD Atlanta. I'm looking for an Illustration, Graphic Design or Sequential major or alumni from SCAD that has a passion for illustration of all types and the willingness to learn on the job. This would be for Monday and Wednesday for about 3-4 hours a day depending on the current freelance workload. Must provide your own transportation to NE Marietta, GA. Tasks include researching for reference, thumbnail sketches, scanning and concepts of real world current freelance jobs. Also, general organizing and cleaning up studio. I have big task of digitally organizing, adding keywords and uploading my 500+ stock art collection to an illustrator friendly stock art web site. Learn hands on about the business being a freelance illustrator; negotiating, pricing, client communication, promotion and having fun! To see the variety of work that I do please visit my website at

Intern skills needed:
Dependable, on time, excellent communication skills, competent on the Mac, drawing skills, Photoshop, internet research skills, Knowledge about Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Bridge, Adobe Flash, Filemaker Pro and Word are a big plus. This internship could be apart of your curriculum at SCAD and is unpaid.

Start ASAP until August 26th, 2009 Most every Monday and Wednesday as needed.

The home/studio of Jay Montgomery Illustration - 290 Vistawood Dr. Marietta, GA 30066.


Saturday, June 06, 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.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Vote for my T-Shirt Design!

Run, MILF, run. - Threadless T-shirts, Nude No More

Thursday, May 28, 2009

I'm on the cover of Oz

My work is featured on the cover of Oz Magazine for the May/June 2009 issue! Oz is a Southeast regional magazine leader in the Creative Communications Industry publications. 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 others.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Illustration Friday - Cracked

Oil painting about 12 x 20 done way back in 1997! Cover article about the Death of Calvinism. A dying tulip in a cracked landscape. The flower represents Calvinism and the dried up land is the lack of interest and nourishment of this theological system. Interesting to note: I snuck in the word SIN into the cracks and was caught! Had a great relationship with the Art Director and went on to do many many more covers and inside art for Tabletalk.

Dying Flower

Dying Flower detail

Tabletalk cover

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 24, 2009

Illustration Friday - Theater

Oldies but goodie. Did this back in 1994 I think while taking a class with Bill Mayer. I was influenced by his bright colors. This was a piece to represent an outdoor amphitheater. The music I was listening to was Enigma.

11x17 color laser print of background painted on top of with oils. Hands, crowd and smoke mist are oils. Microphone was painted in oils the covered over with a photo that I took for the reference. There were some minor tweaks to the scan in Photoshop but I say what ever it takes to get it the way you want it.

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, April 05, 2009

Ninja Mountain Scrolls Podcast

Came across this great podcast for Illustrators. It's mainly a group of guys that work in the Fantasy/SF markets, but great insight into the industry and daily lives of the fantastic artists. Go to the blog for MP3 links or better yet, if you have iTunes here is the link to the podcast there.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Life Drawing Portfolio

Just put together a life drawing portfolio. I recently went to a SCAD's life drawing session held on Fridays. i have not been in a while and really dig it. I want to do more and more. Created this in Keynote and exported out as a web presentation. Let me know what you think of the drawings.

Saturday, March 14, 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

Art Digital Magazine Interview

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

Read all about it.

Saturday, February 28, 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.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Octopus ladies all over the place!

About 2 years ago I started to notice a lot of octopus paintings that had women in them on the web. I still to this day don't know why there is such a phenomenon. I love octopus and I'm currently working on a watercolor painting of an octopus, but no ladies. Maybe I should have put one in there. Take a look at a web gallery I created and let me know if you know why there is such an abundant amount of these. In most cases I tried to credit the artist.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Infringement or Appropriation?

Recently there has been much discussion with my peers regarding copyright infringement, when is it OK to "reference" another artist work. Where do you draw the line on copying reference too closely? Should you get permission? Should you give credits? Once the work is created (copied) can you sell it, sell reproduction rights to anyone, can you even register the copyright of a slightly changed image? Well that's a lot to discuss and I currently don't have the time to go into detail with all of it but I wanted to make some points and share some links about it here.

Shepard Fairey of Obey Giant and the famous Obama Poster is getting some criticism about infringing on other artist rights.

Learn more about it here from a critique by Mark Vallen.

I can't say that everything that Fairey has done has been fair use. But I believe most of the political stuff is perfectly legit.

From the words of Julie Mueller Brown: "He "appropriates" work from older styles and changes it to fit his agenda, he is anti-capitalistic and makes reference to early socialism posters. Its perfectly legit!

Mike Lowery says "I say he's legit. The whole point is that he work references old propaganda in a way that strips it of its message and content. It's the same as Liechtenstein's comic paintings or Warhol's diagram paintings, no?"

Rick Lovell sees this as a great opportunity to learn about what right and wrong. I whole heartily agree!
"There is clearly a great deal of debate among artists, art historians and attorneys about appropriation and it's implications. This entry on Wikipedia (not the most scholarly source) is the tip of the iceberg, but it shines a light on an age-old dilemma about what art is, and what is art."

Steven Heller of the Daily Heller comments about this showing other interesting appropriations of art in his 02-11-09 post.


Now here is a case where copying is done on the sly and is wrong.
Comic Book illustrator David Mack has traced his way to fame.

Todd Goldman has many infringements to his name.

There is another infringement issue I would like to mention but it's still too fresh since it happened today and hits home. Ask me about it.

So the next time you use reference think again about if it's appropriate or not.

Here are some resources to consider to learn more.

What is Copyright Protection?

Stanford Copyright and Fair Use

10 Big Myths About Copyright Explained


Sunday, February 08, 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.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

25 Random Things About Me

I spent so much time on this and posted it on Facebook and I thought I could post it here to to make it more worth while.

1. I was an orphan for about 1 month before I was adopted in Decatur, GA in July of 1970.
2. My Dad is a Baptist Minister and my Mom might as well be too.
3. When I was 4 years old I drew tons pictures of big headed people on the church bulletin while my Dad was giving his sermons.
4. My big brother Monty was always better at everything than I was without even trying. test taking, girls, popularity, sports, friends, partying and for while drawing and painting.
5. I worked for my Dad’s company as a paper shredder for 2 (seemed like 3) Summers while in High School.
6. My first "real job" at 15 was skeet ball and other games operator at Six Flags over Ga.
7. My mom wanted me to play the piano and I practiced for 2 years in Middle School and did not get far.
8. I was second chair Trombone in Middle School for 2 years.
9. I played Soccer from 8 - 18 years old.
10. I missed 2 days of classes from 1-12 grade. I was one day away from getting and ward for it. But they only gave awards to perfect attendance and missing one day.
11. I was 10th in my class in high school out of 15… no no no… out of about 200.
12. My art teacher at Pebblebrook High School died my senior year of AIDS and I won a partial art scholarship to a college of my choice.
13. My curly hair was down to my shoulders all one length in college. Loved it, but then loved it short too my senior year. Now I’m in the middle.
14. My first “real” freelance job was my 6 qtr at Portfolio Center for Flowers Bread Company. I did two realistic billboards for Nature’s Own Bread for $3000 dollars. Wonder if I could get that price these days?
15. I met my wife on the 99x radio station phone dateline. A computer basically hooked us up based on our interests and profile.
16. First date was at Café Tu Tu Tango in Buckhead. No longer there.
16. I proposed to Cindi live on the air (on 99x of course) at The Beer Garden in Buckhead, GA. No longer there.
17. My Dad officiated my wedding, my bother’s, and countless cousins of mine.
18. Cindi and I went to Greece for our honeymoon for 7 days. We crashed driving a moped and Cindi got a huge bruise and hurt her ankle on Mt Olympus but we endured and were not going to let it ruin our honeymoon and it didn’t. I love her very much!
18. Our first child was born 33 weeks premature and my wife came very close to dying with a bad case of HELPP Syndrome.
19. My son Jackson was a stressful but pleasant surprise being 15 months older than my daughter. I love them deeply!
20. I work 7 days a week at least 14 hours a day. But it does not seem like work.
21. I wish I could draw out of my head better.
22. I wish I could get affordable health insurance for my wife with no riders.
23. I’m wondering how I can manage getting an MFA, teach 3 illustration classes, keep up with my freelance for needed income, spend time with my family, and eat and sleep.
24. I truly wish I did not have to sleep. I would get so much more done with my life rather than wasting it on sleep.
25. I wish I had more face-to-face time to spend with my friends on Facebook and visitors to my blog.

Thanks for reading.


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 07, 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"

Sunday, January 04, 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 01, 2009

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

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