Your Cart

The Journey So Far

This is a post for the OG fans. The handful of people that have been following me for years. Maybe you were a Patreon supporter, maybe you purchased my original merch, maybe you’ve seen my first video on YouTube.


This is also a post for new viewers, visitors and guests. You probably came through a YouTube video or Procreate tutorial. And you might be wondering, what's Jaywalker Pictures? Who is this guy and what's his deal?


Childhood

Like most artists, growing up I loved to draw. At some point in my teens I wanted to become a video game artist. I went to art school for this and eventually did work in a small game studio. At this point, I thought I knew it all and over time lost interest in art. Eventually I decided to go back to school to try something else. If you want to know more, watch this video - How I found my art style



My first two digital paintings in photoshop as a teenager.



The blog

In my early 20s I was travelling through Singapore, China and Mongolia and created a blog to post photos. As usual I struggled to think of a name for it. A friend suggested “Jaywalking” a pun on my nickname Jay and the idea of talking a walk to see the world.


Top left: Mongolia Top right: In Singapore I interned at CNBC Bottom Left: Beijing Station, Trans Siberian behind Bottom Right: Singapore (if you squint you can see the Merlion in the top right lol)


Tumblr

After the trip ended I wanted to keep the blog going, so I posted drawings I did in my spare time. At this point in my life I was no longer pursuing art as a career and had lost interest in video game art, but I was still drawn (pun intended) to creative pursuits.


During this period I transitioned to Tumblr and kept posting my art. I was working in digital marketing and learnt the importance of a brand. At the time, the idea of an artist having a logo and brand was a little weird, I mean, I wasn’t a company selling a product or service, but I just thought it was cool. So I came up with a name and logo and Jaywalker Pictures was born. The idea was a simplified logo of a smiling face. People thought it was me, but the idea was I wanted it to be something anyone could relate to.



I told myself I was just doing this for fun, but if I had to be honest, I was beginning to feel an itch. Even though I’d stopped pursuing art as a career, there was something magical drawing me in. This is where I began to learn that art was more than just video game characters or technical prowess.


You can see in the screenshot above the artwork “Elevator Crush” - It was probably the first drawing I ever did that was about something other than a dude with a big gun or sword.


The webcomic

This is when I discovered the magical thing that was still drawing me in. And that thing was…


Storytelling.


It was weird. Good storytelling is something you feel, it’s not something you necessarily see. And as an artist that was used to training myself based on visual things, it turned my world upside down. I knew how badly I wanted to learn this, but at the same time I was completely overwhelmed by the enormity of the task.


So I started a webcomic.


The drawings were completely crappy. But the point was not to care about technical ability. See, storytelling only cares about the sequence of images, not the quality of the image itself.


Eventually I learnt about beats, arcs and how to deliver a punchline in 4 panels or less.



It was amazing, I was discovering something that was completely foreign to me, while having fun. AND as a by-product managed to build a pretty incredible audience of thousands of people across Line Webtoon and Tapas.


But I always knew this would end as it was being overshadowed by something else I was working on…


YouTube

YouTube was something I had always wanted to dive into but never had the balls (or skill) to do. In 2015 I launched with a few travel vlogs. It was probably the most fun I’d had creating anything in my life. But it wasn’t until the next year that I really tried to post regularly and build an audience. Eventually I posted this video:



This established my channel. With 1.5 million views and over 30,000 subscribers, it was a special experience. Even to this day, people tell me they remember watching this video, that it had an impact on them or that it inspired them to create art. My work, stories and ideas were making a dent in the universe. This was far more satisfying than having my name in the credits of a video game or film project.


I continued to learn to create better videos and for the first time ever dived back into digital painting. Only this time I wasn’t painting video game characters, I focused on my weaknesses, environments, storytelling, colour and light.


I also did a major commission for indeed.com using my art style for a series of experimental social media advertising campaigns:

Between 2016-19 I launched a merch store and Patreon. As a reward for Patrons I would draw them in my art style. Thank you for your support.



Today

It's been a long journey, so if you are still around - Thank you. They say once something goes on the internet it's up forever, so I wanted to take a moment to capture this little bit of my own art history.


There is a whole other story bridging the gap between those YouTube days and today, but I’ll save that for another post. Since coming back to YouTube the creator landscape has completely changed and so my brand, channel and art has transformed again to meet this challenge.


I’m excited for what’s to come.


-J