The Tale of Mr Boris and Miss Babs

Private Commission, 2021

One Saturday morning in March, I woke up to a DM from a lady reaching out to me on Instagram; “Hi Jamie. Are you taking commissions at the moment? If you are, I’d love to meet to discuss. Thanks, Mrs C.”

Without any details as to what this enquiry entailed, she sent me her phone number and asked her to give her a ring – not my usual method of picking up new art projects. To my surprise this unexpected interaction would lead to one of my favourite projects I’ve ever had the pleasure of working on. 

Mrs C. had found my account after searching for a local artist to help her realise an ambitious and truly unique 80th birthday gift idea for her husband’s mother. Many years before, when the grandchildren of this family were young, their dear grandmother would tell fantastical made-up stories to the youngsters, many revolving around the adventures of two farm cats and their animal friends. Mrs C. and her husband, upon discovering the grandmother’s many handwritten stories earlier that year, wanted to have the tales of Mr Boris and Miss Babs created as a real, professionally illustrated and published storybook. 

The process of meeting this family and working alongside them to help realise the characters and locations in their grandmother’s stories was nothing short of an absolute pleasure. We had many phone calls and emails back and forth deciding the finest details, interpreting paragraphs into sketches and eventually producing a full rough layout of the book. From here the family were happy to let me jump into creating the final colour illustrations, and relaying with a local print expert to get the book printed. 

From first taking on the project to delivering the final 26 digital illustrations took around 3 months to complete, and it was such a delight to see the final version in print.

Back in black (and white)

It’s been a long time coming, but I am so happy to finally announce the rebrand that has been cooking away in the back of my brain for more years than I care to admit.

Introducing Drawn by Jamie, Art & Illustration.

I’ll be honest, much of my indecisiveness around rebranding has been mostly down to a long running identity crisis which has only begun to resolve itself if the last few years. It’s a funny thing, being a creative person – you have an innate need to produce stimulating creative work, and more often than not you put so much pressure on yourself to fit a particular mould that you slowly lose the expressionism and innocent creativity that birthed your artistic soul in the first place.

I was always very resistant to the cards that life dealt me when it came to my career. I didn’t want to be a marketer, I didn’t understand it, I wasn’t trained in it. And I sure as hell didn’t want to do anything that didn’t involve doodling away all day long. As the years have gone by and I’ve expanded my knowledge in marketing, applying my artistic skills where they are suitable or provide a unique solution as part of a campaign and discovered that there is in fact a beautiful niche for illustration led marketing creative and my brain has become a whirlwind of ideas.

As it turns out, my background in animation and pre-production design has designated itself as the perfect companion to campaign concepts – narrative, storytelling, composition and expression are all elements that are so highly important to both of these areas of study and I have been blessed with such an opportunity to marry the two of these worlds.

I’m excited to see where this discovery of heightened awareness of narrative art and illustration and marketing as a combined concept takes me as I expand Drawn by Jamie as a brand. Does this journey excite you too? If you are bubbling with inspiration and want to throw around some ideas about how this exciting and bespoke approach could benefit your business now is the time to get in touch before the secret gets out.