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.

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)

Some shots of the production process for the culmination of my Hearn Station for Arts & Culture project.

The main book is perfect bound and printed on humble cartridge paper, which makes the pages pleasantly thick and gives the content an almost-matte effect (difficult to obtain from shiny laser toner).

I used this book as a chance to experiment with various inserts - there is a 32” foldout/gate fold, the pop-up business cards, and two flipbooks documenting my animations (which make the book sort of lumpy, but the perfect bind is surprisingly forgiving).

I’m quite happy with this project - it was a great way to spend the semester (and probably my most successful brand/identity design yet). 

Asker xchaospixiex Asks:
Just wanted to say that I absolutely love what you're doing with your art!
jbbartram jbbartram Said:

Thank you so much! It’s always lovely to get encouraging words :D

Wasn’t feeling mentally up to homework tonight (combination of looooong week + that thing that rain does to make you want to curl up and do absolutely nothing) so instead I decided to see what my new waterproof ink could do. Turns out that thing?


And my now-instinctual fern-esque seaweed (I can also draw seaweed-esque ferns, don’t worry), added so they could lurk. Eels love to lurk, didn’t you know?

Phew. Tomorrow will be a big day of putting the first round of finishing touches on a process book project, so to bed, to bed. To possibly dream of slithery eels.

Today’s studio fun: regressing to my childhood habits & making things out of natural materials - in this case, some type!

I’ll reveal the details about this project soon, but for now here are some process shots. The letters are made from copper wire, lichen-y bark, dried grass & last year’s plants, plain bark, cedar sprigs & some leftover bits of embroidery thread, and they’re all about 1” tall. 

These are some of the 2D assets I created for my final Open Studio project - my self portrait/brain diagram with and without a friendly cordyceps growth, the system as a whole, and the detail of the cordyceps implant (all done in watercolour).