Tom Jay - Illustrator

By Col

First up in our collaborations with artists and illustrators is Tom Jay.

Tom is a London based illustrator working on commissions and projects for a wide range of clients, from ourselves to The Independent. He graduated in 2010 with a 1st in Illustration from University College Falmouth where his favourite times were spent chasing waves around the Cornish coast, trying to colour inside the lines and at the many pubs around the town.

Tom kick started his relationship with us through two bike packing inspired pieces for our t-shirt range. Ride Natural and Woods

We hit him with some challenging and digging questions.

ak. How best would you sum up your style in one sentence?

tj. Texture filled print based illustration.

ak. What are the greatest influences on the work you create?

tj. I did a lot of printmaking at college which influenced my way of making imagery. There’s a huge amount of illustrators and artists past and present who’s work is really inspiring, Jon Burningham, Charlie Harper, Norman Rockwell, Travis Coburn… I could go on.

ak. If you're not sketching away in your pad where are we likely to find you?

tj. When I’m not at the studio, I try to get out and do things as much as possible. I try and get back to the South West when there’s waves, but if not then some long distance cycling is on the cards. I try and get away on a few trips every year, I recently did a cycle trip around Italy and Croatia, I went superlight on my road bike, only taking a 20l Airlok Extra. My dad is a caving instructor back in Devon so I help him out sometimes as backup at Pridhamsleigh caves on Dartmoor.

ak. OK let's say you found yourself stuck in the middle of the ocean during a raging storm, in a rowing boat, what three items would you wish for from your artbox and why?

tj. I think I’d want some paper, a pencil, and a scalpel. I could illustrate a note about my impending doom, and if I made it through the storm I could use the scalpel to fashion a spear or something for fishing.

ak. Just how big is your portfolio?

tj. Flipping huge.

discover more about his work at

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