ArtTour International presents Artist of the Week

Marty Jones

“The purpose of MJ Arts is to provide the individual as well as the professional community with the graphic tools they need to communicate their message to the world in a manner that is honest, attractive and in keeping with the timeless values that build society.

Marty Jones has been a professional illustrator for over three decades and is committed to communicating a ‘sense of wonder’ to the world. Using hand-drawn and digital media, he creates images in a manner that reflects the contributions of the great illustrators of the Twentieth Century; in a format suited to the Twenty First Century.”

What are you currently focusing on?

” Aside from ongoing client work, in 2005, I illustrated a Korean-language children’s version of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s A Scandal in Bohemia. As with nearly all Work for Hire graphic projects, the budget was small, and the timeline was very tight. Sherlock Holmes has been a hero of mine since childhood. Thrilled to have the opportunity of illustrating a Sherlock story, I spent a lot of hours illustrating the book; but the short timeline meant that I had to ‘cut a lot of corners’—I did not serve the work well. In 2016, I began again using Doyle’s original text, determined to create the illustrations that I wanted to create:

2005 version 2017 version I’m way behind ‘schedule’—which is an entirely arbitrary deadline. For 20+ years, I have worked as a Building Code consultant and architectural draftsman; I am moving away from that work. After 35 years of working with local government, I have lost the desire to continue. In the months ahead, I will be rebooting my Digital Video Editing business.”

Where are you from, and how has that influenced your art?

“I have lived in Portland, Oregon, for nearly all my life. My wife and I are living in the house I designed and built for my parents after graduating with my degree in architecture. We have always lived in the homes that my parents grew past. Our middle adult child and his wife now own my parent’s first house. I live in a forest. My forest happens to be on a suburban lot, and deer visit us. There was a time when I thought that building my parent’s home to live in was one of the dumbest ideas I’d had. I wasn’t entirely wrong. However, I live in a forest that serves as a wildlife sanctuary. Raccoons play on our roof at night, when I do most of my illustration work—a playground for on which they make a lot of noise bouncing around. This ‘dumb idea’ became a gift. This is a beautiful place to work. “

Have you experienced any significant changes in your work this last year?

“Ten years ago, I acquired a degenerative neurological disorder that no one knows how to fix. I dislike the ‘D’ word—I prefer to think of myself as ‘uniquely abled.’ While I have created digitally-manipulated graphite images for years, drawing with a pencil has become an annoying experience. My hands shake, and I can’t create the quality I desire.

My hands have no trouble with a computer mouse, so nearly all my images are entirely digital. I often use hand-drawn image files from my extensive portfolio; I also have software that can create a ‘hand-drawn’ image from a digital photo. My Dad would get these far-off looks in his eyes, and he would say ‘Life doesn’t always turn out the way you plan.’ I wish I’d realized at the time that he was talking about MY life.

Everything is a significant change now. I have no intention of letting my situation halt my career. I find work-arounds. At the same time, I also realize that I have a lot of experience that I can pass on to others. I’ve included Illustration Tips’ in my Chronicles in Ordinary Time blog posts.”

For more information about this artist visit:

Retail Amazon

Author pages: UK

youtube: mjartscom’s channel

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