My name is Jim Kay, and I have been working full time as an Illustrator for around seven years now. Here is a little film of me working in my studio:
I used to work at the Tate Gallery, and the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew. I have produced illustrations for lots of different publishers, but it was working with Walker Books and the author Patrick Ness that changed my life, thanks to A Monster Calls, a book written by Patrick (based on an idea by Siobhan Dowd), and Art Directed by the lovely Ben Norland at Walker Books. I find illustrating books extremely difficult, the hardest job I’ve ever had, but I think that’s why I do it.
In addition to illustrating books, I have also produced installation pieces for galleries, and concept work for film and television. I love museums, old books, David Lean films, creepy crawlies, gardening and just about any music from any century. I now live in Kettering, where I’m often seen walking our old greyhound, picking up litter, photographing insects, staring at trees; basically all the things that get me labelled as ‘odd’. I have fond memories of living in both London and Edinburgh, two great cities. I am currently illustrating Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets for Bloomsbury.
For anything Harry Potter related please contact the following email address (it goes to Bloomsbury who in theory forward it, although I don’t seem to get many emails through) JimKay@bloomsbury.com
For everything else please email Alison Eldred, who represents me: email@example.com
I’m not on Facebook or Twitter I’m afraid, partly because I have nothing interesting to say, but mostly because I just work ALL THE TIME, so never get chance to fiddle with these sorts of things.
Here are some links!
Alison Eldred my agent, and the best agent in the world, in fact probably one of the best people in the world.
Patrick Ness, stop reading this, and read his books instead. A genuinely lovely man, and boy can he write.
Ian Miller. Difficult to hang a label on Ian’s work – well it speaks for itself, just have a look!
Alexis Deacon. A lovely chap, and in my opinion, the most gifted draughtsman around at the moment. I wish I could draw like him, his blog is great.
Also, check out:
Brecht Evens. Beautiful depictions of nightlife, in all its sordid glory. A great storyteller too.
Every grubby art student should watch the films of Jan Svankmajer, his Alice changed everything for me.
The photographs of Anton Corbijn, quietly brilliant.
I am VERY fond of museums, libraries and galleries, and have spent many happy hours sketching among their collections, here are a few of my favourites:
The Museum of London: An astonishing and varied collection, growing every day as more and more artefacts are disgorged from the city’s depths.
The Hunterian: at the Royal College of Surgeons, London, a small museum, but fascinating. There’s no substitute for studying anatomy than using bits of real bodies. (See also the brilliant Surgeon’s Hall) in Edinburgh .
Kettle’s Yard: A different way of seeing art, in a tiny, intimate and beautiful house in Cambridge
The Natural History Museum, London. I think I’ve spent more hours sketching here than anywhere else, the architecture alone is worth going for. The NHM in New York is amazing too.
The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. The history of Kew is the history of Empire, Exploration, and Exploitation. The incredible Library and Archives cover everything from witchcraft to women’s suffrage, and the little known Economic Botany collection is a hidden gem. And of course, the living collections are worth seeing too, housed as they are in some iconic architecture. Brilliant place, excellent staff, and still at the cutting edge of science.
The V&A, THE museum for those with a love of art and design.