James Davies’ illustrations, though relevantly simple, are full of character. His bold and graphic style is influenced by old cartoons and retro picture books, making them recognizable and instantly loveable. It also makes them ideal for children’s books.
Based in Bristol, Davies is the author and illustrator of Long Dog, published in 2018. He is also the man behind the best-selling Meet the… series. Aside from his books, he has worked for Penguin’s social media campaigns and is open to collaborations. But it’s his more personal work, shared through his Instagram page, that really caught our attention.
“It’s kind of easy when you’re an illustrator to only do work FOR work,” he shared in an interview with The Association of Illustrators, “but drawing should never be a chore – it’s one of the most fun things ever!”
According to Davies, illustrating also helps him to relieve stress. “Sometimes, when I’m in the middle of a crazy deadline, I’ll just draw and draw anything I can think of as a stress-buster,” he notes. “Sometimes I just want to draw characters from whatever book I’m reading (I’m catching up on Harry Potter now, very late) or just try a weird color scheme I’ve seen somewhere.”
It’s this flexibility which adds a layer of playfulness to his work. “It just doesn’t always work,” he admits, “but I just post everything on Twitter/Instagram and it’s interesting to see the things people really go for – it’s usually not what I’d expect.” Show him some love on Instagram: