Illustration January 29, 2016
by Lauren Festa
Illustration Month is our chance to highlight ADC Members who consider themselves illustrators, whether professionals, students or just really keen amateurs. The common thread is that they have a passion for drawing that just couldn’t be contained. Want to get featured? Resolve to become an ADC Member in 2016 as you sip green juices. Jeremy Booth is the kind of classic story we love. What started as a hobby started to pay the bills. The Louisville, Kentucky based illustrator toyed around with Photoshop for fun and for friends, but it was when he discovered Illustrator that he truly unleashed his talents. 4 years later, Jeremy creates brilliant, bold and clean-lined illustrations for brands like Samsung and Bulleit Whiskey, apps and techie websites and hopes to dip his digital paint brush into editorial very soon. He’s wide-eyed and wondrous and hopes that this year, he will learn all the more about this dynamic field.
Jeremy Booth, Illustrator
When did you discover your own talent and then later turn it into a viable working gig?
My journey started as a designer of sorts. In 2005, I received a copy of Photoshop and began teaching myself the program. I never really took it seriously, it was just fun. Between 2005 and 2011, I was a passive designer making things when friends needed something or when there was a local show that needed a promo poster. In 2011, I received the entire Adobe Suite and began taking design a little more seriously. Although design was paying the bills, I fell in love with Illustrator and what others were creating with it. I saw that I had a natural talent in illustration and I enjoyed it more than designing. I have been pursuing it ever since.
How long have you been an illustrator?
Was a career in the arts encouraged from a young age?
I was encouraged as a child to pursue whatever I wanted. As a young lad, I had no idea illustration would be a career for me. It’s crazy how things turn out.
Take us through your creative process.
Over the past year and a half I have discovered the power of sketching before going into my digital process. For now, it’s mainly to help with layout, but one thing I am pursuing this year it to become better at drawing. After sketching, I take everything to the computer and begin building out the illustration. Usually I start with building basic shapes as outlines until the scene or object is at a good place. Following that, I begin searching for a color palette, if I don’t have one in mind already. Once I begin adding color, I also figure out where my source of light will come from and add the highlights and shadows to my illustration. I’ll adjust shapes, layout and color accordingly as I conclude.
In illustrating, what are the tools you can’t live without?
1. Rotring 600 mechanical pencil
3. Dot Grid Book by Behance
4. Mac Book and 27” monitor
5. Adobe Illustrator
6. Coolors.co for color
What is one of the most exciting projects or a favorite one you’ve worked on or are working on?
At the moment it’s a lot of personal projects. I recently did a three-part series of vintage radios with a goal to use limited color and harsh shadows. I loved the process and how they turned out. I was to incorporate that style more into my work this year.
How do you describe your aesthetic?
Very clean with minimal color.
What is the biggest challenge about being an illustrator?
For me, it’s trying to figure out who I am as an illustrator. There are many styles I can portray within the clean vector-ized approach, but I want to find my style. That’s my challenge.
What do you love most about it?
Oh man, I love the process. Having an idea and being able to execute it. Having a finished product is cool also.
Any dream collaborations or brands you would like to work with?
Right now, a lot of my work and clients are in tech (websites, apps, etc.) but I wasn’t to dive into editorial work. It seems so fascinating to me.
Where is your favorite place to go or thing to do to get inspired?
Usually it involves getting out of the house and exploring with my wide. I work from home so any time we can get out and so come exploring it’s good for my soul and it recharges me.
Any contemporary artist on your radar? (illustrators or other)?
Indeed. Tom Haugomat, Jack Daly and Russ Gray.
For anyone considering illustration as a career or just something to try for curiosities sake, do you have any advice?
Yes, really focus on drawing first. It should be the foundation of an illustrator. I didn’t see the importance of it until a year ago. Also, take time to enjoy the process in which you make something. You’ll learn you may enjoy it just as much as the outcome.