Jessica Bartram Design & Illustration

I'm an illustrator and designer currently working on a BA in Graphic Design & Illustration (convenient, eh?). My work can be found here (illustration & art), or here (graphic design, mostly). Videos related to my work can be seen over on my Vimeo page

This is a blog on which process shots and final versions of both personal and school-prompted projects appear, as well as selected photographs (many from my phone - only the good ones, I promise).

If you have any questions/are interested in a commission for either art or design, please email me at jess [at] thecommonwealthstudio [dot] ca.

Considering I spent over five hours cleaning my studio today, I thought it would be nice to post some current photos of my tiny art-haven.

Possibly the most exciting part was moving my ferns and succulents back to the windowsill (they were in the living room for the winter as my studio window was always full of frost and frigid drafts) - it’s lovely to have some green things to see whenever I look up.

Tomorrow I’ll get back to work in my revitalized space. For now, I’m just sitting at my desk and taking in the incredible cleanliness!

This image is up on my website (with the rest of the finished Once Deer illustrations), but I wanted to get it up here as well, mostly because it’s one of those pieces whose creation was fraught with worry.

I spent the bulk of the painting process stressed out and convinced I’d have to scrap this and start over, but once it was done and the text put on, it suddenly became one of my favourite illustrations of the series.

Funny how that happens, eh?

Now that the semester is done, I’ve started my massive web-update - click the image above to go and see the first round of finished projects (many of which have either appeared here in full or part).

This was a ridiculously productive few months - I’m posting almost every project I completed this semester, which is a fantastic feeling. Stay tuned for the second round of projects, coming soon!

Anyone want a ferny background for their computer? If yes, these are the ferns for you!

I made this to fit my Macbook screen, but it’ll hopefully scale OK for other screen sizes.

Fern away, my friends!

Assorted photos of my last few days of work, in which I decided to get the last few (read: four-ish) illustrations for my Once-Deer book done so I can give my book illustration prof a copy of the whole story in class tonight (keener alert!).

Note the deer skull in the first photo - it (and the rest of the skeleton, which still lives up at the cottage) was the inspiration for this whole story. You can see more photos of my deer-model here & read a bit about its discovery. 

This means I’ve now finished two full illustrated books. My goal is to have a couple more stories written/illustrated/bound attractively for Canzine in the fall. Onwards!

Side note: I think I might have to re-scan my endpapers (last photo) & make them screen-sized, as they look neat reflected like that. Mmmmm ferns.

Another entry in the category of ‘wow, my friends are pretty much the best people and I want to show everyone how superb they are!’

This one is a talented illustrator, my Canzine buddy, a super awesome adventure-pal, and an all-round fantastic human. This comic is beautiful, as are the others on her blog! Check ‘em out!!

(via lovestorycomics)



expo 67

The 1967 International and Universal Exposition or Expo 67, as it was commonly known, was the general exhibition, Category One World’s Fair held in MontrealQuebec, Canada, from April 27 to October 29, 1967. It is considered to be the most successful World’s Fair of the 20th century, with the most attendees to that date and 62 nations participating. It also set the single-day attendance record for a world’s fair, with 569,500 visitors on its third day.

THAT TOP PHOTO. I’ve seen most of these other structures, but not those perfect cartoon trees!

(oops - this was meant to be on my inspiration blog, but it’s so very awesome I’ll just keep it here)

I’m apparently stuck on drawing eels these days. This conglomeration of squiggly buddies is begging to become a pattern, so I think I’ll oblige.



My final project of third year (well, sort of - I have a couple little things left to do for book illustration) is DONE!

This is the final result of my natural typography - a wee, hand-bound book & a miniature curiosity cabinet containing the sturdier, less likely to rot/disintegrate/get all brown & crunchy letters.

I had fun trying out a new sort of stab binding - this one’s meant to look kind of like bird feet? It turned out pretty well, but next time I try something of this sort, I’ll do it on a smaller book. 76 pages + cover = a whole lot of awl work.

I’m up all night to get work done [repeat ad nauseum]

(LAST PROJECT / due Friday / HOORAY)