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.

I started painting these moths around midnight and now, at 2am, two are finished! Moths EVERYWHERE / ALL THE TIME / FOREVER.

Now that my first two moths are done (there are two more waiting in the wings, but I need a bit of a break from endless stitching!), I’m starting in on (in-between freelance things) some more concept art/character development for my Artemis/Aphrodite story, as rambled about here.

I’m not quite done these two wee portrait-paintings, but I think that they are, thus far, turning out as they looked in my head (yay). 

Here we have a fine specimen of the rare Clarissimis caligavit, or Bright Cloud Moth. Usually nocturnal and quite secretive, I stumbled upon it napping on a tree in a nearby alleyway not far from where I spotted the Mooncream moth last week.

Another moth-friend finished, hooray! This lady isn’t quite as large as the Mooncream, with her 8.25” wingspan and 3.25” long body, but she still took a mighty long time to embroider. She’s made from fake fur, velvet, felt, wire, hot glue, feathers, and a million miles of embroidery thread. 

I’m happy to report that this is the last process/progress post for this moth - as soon as daylight comes back (and the rain stops), I’ll be taking it outside for its official photoshoot!

Until then, some final teaser photos of the wing/body connection process. Every time I look at the last photo, I can almost hear my new mothfriend going, “SOON.”

Moth #2 update! I’m finished the two top wings & am starting in on the bottom ones. I hope to be done this creature by the end of the weekend (she said, wistfully).

Reluctantly stopping before this goes on for another few hours & I forget about sleep. On the upside, I’m happy with how these wings are turning out!

Since the cat (moth?) is now out of the bag, I’m going to blog the progress of this (so far unclassified/named) next moth-buddy.

I purposely chose a colour scheme I might not normally use for the first bug’s wings, but this scheme is much more in my wheelhouse - red, mustard yellow, blue…feels like home!

The last photo is my full progress thus far - these wings are only about 2/3rds the size of moth #1, so they’re going a bit more quickly (phew!).

I’ve just realized that the already-posted Mooncream moth photos give no sense of its scale. This insect is approx. 5” long from toetip to tail & has a wingspan of 11.5”!

Everyone, meet Lunultrices polymitario (common name: Mooncream Stitchwing), Lunultrices polymitario, meet everyone.

A gigantic, crepuscular member of the order Lepidoptera, the Mooncream moth is usually sighted flittering heavily through the thick summer dusk, stopping to feed on night-blooming flowers and resting languorously on gnarled trees.

I found this specimen resting on a tree near my apartment last night and was thrilled to find this morning that it had spent the night, allowing me the chance to take considerably better photos of its impressive wings.

This Mooncream moth’s body is made from fur-pieces salvaged from the scraps bin at a fabric store, hot glue, wire and feathers. The wings are hand-embroidered and took approximately 30 episodes of the West Wing to complete (yes, I measure art-time by TV episodes, what of it?).

When I was taking these photos, I fooled a family walking by and some neighbours having breakfast on their porch into thinking it was real, which added to the joy of having finally finished the thing!

I spotted something strange in a tree tonight. I’ll go back tomorrow morning & see what it is.