INTERVIEW- Jon Boam, Imagination at work

I recently got to interview Jon Boam through email. He is an illustrator from Chesterfield, England. His imagination in vast and inspiring. I was more than happy to have the chance to pick his brain.

Can you tell us a little about yourself and your Art?

drawing is a thing I often do –
I’m just a bloke trying to make my way in the world,
my aim is to make images that I feel happy with and hopefully others will enjoy.

Your illustrations are so unique and creative. Your imagination is vast and that is something I personally really admire in an artist. What are your major influences for your work? Where do you get your ideas?

gosh Influences are gathered from all over the place – I like all the usual stuff, science fiction, fantasy, history, nature, ghosts, magic, technology, comics, cartoons and everything – I can’t help but be influenced and inspired by all there is on the Internet. I do look at the work of other artist’s & illustrators – I love looking at other peoples drawings and seeing the products of other imaginations.

I guess I’m thinking all the time and most of my ideas disappear back into the vortex, it’s only through drawing I can build them into some kind of understandable cohesive form.

Are you classically trained or self taught?

I did three years at Chesterfield Art College and another three at Leeds Met on the Graphic Arts course – I don’t know if art schooling is as necessary as just having passion.

I’m 34 years old but I’ve only been a “practicing illustrator” for the past 3 years – since graduating I did lots of different jobs it’s taken me a long time to come to a place where I felt confident enough in myself to share my drawing.

What are your favorite mediums to work with and why?

I like pens & pencils – for most of the stuff I’m producing at the moment I draw things up on bristol board with a pencil and rubber before tracing directly over my pencil lines with a fine tip pen

Bristol board (somewhere between paper and card) is sturdy enough to withstand plenty of rubbing out and then take pen lines – fine tip pens leave a cleaner line than pencil, things are inevitably scanned in and later coloured digitally

it’s definitely not a perfect process and I’m often wondering how I can make things quicker –
at some stage I’d like to play with digital drawing tablets and see how they change things.

As a published artist do you have any tips for other Artists out there trying to make it?

with regard to getting your work in print – you just need to keep doing your thing and contacting publishers etc with examples, get involved with zines and small press projects.

keep on sharing your works on-line – if you throw enough muck some of it will eventually stick.

Can you tell us about some of your published work?

Colour Me Menagerie published by Nobrow is an animal themed children’s colouring book, although I was terribly unsure about the drawings when I handed them over to my friends at Nobrow I’m very glad it was made. Such a great feeling to be able to give a colouring book that I drew to my daughter and all her little cousins & friends.

Tacos, pizza, or burgers? I’m going to guess you will say burgers. Your illustration with the Burger Wizard? with the totally awesome burger staff is one of my favorites. Can you tell us a little bit about that?

I dream about burgers!

my happy burger dude character was first drawn as part of a mural for UMBRO back when I was involved with the TOY illustration agency/collective he then got made into a sweatshirt, adopted as the public identity of Burgerac the burger detective and then printed on a tee for Lazy Oaf drawing club, the Burger wizard/master character was drawn as part of the BurgerMat project which is the brain child of my friend Burgerac.

Your mural work is really awesome. Do you paint murals often?

thank you, no not often – I’d like to do more, I always get a kick out of seeing my drawings big.

If given 5 words to describe your work what would they be?

drawing, comic, characters, lines, cartoon?



May I suggest picking up a  comic and checking out more of Jon Boams work here.  I love his work and I know after reading this you do too!

Kristopher Kotcher

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