Storytelling through digital media

Jake’s background in the arts started out with playing video games when he was young. He was inspired by the gameplay and artwork. This led Jake towards game design and entertainment arts, where he continued to later expand into feature and TV animation as well. Alongside this, Jake was always interested in traditional works, drawing and painting in many types of media. One advantage this path has provided Jake, is the ability to work heavily from both reference and imagination, as entertainment art requires a lot of storytelling and communication oriented design illustration.

Currently, Jake is still quite motivated to create social commentary and inquiry based illustrations. As for professional work, Jake is finding some success in adding editorial work to his repertoire. Additionally, he is creating a game world that focuses on micro-biology and fictional mushrooms and plants inspired by biological processes.

Balancing digital and traditional

Like many other people currently, a typical work day for Jake consists of working from home. He has an easel in the corner holding something in progress with a range of started paintings behind it. Jake, however, does the majority of his work on a Surface tablet computer which allows for extremely efficient edits and shipping of art assignments. A black book contains his illustration ideas, job leads, words of wisdom and project notes and usually lives beside Jake’s work table.

“Almost everything I make initially exists in paper thumbnail form before it turns into either digital or a traditional work, which provides a nice balance between the two modes of production.”

A personal relationship with nature

Jake’s personal relationship to nature was formed while growing up in the interior of BC. He recalls being surrounded by forest at his home and having a frog filled pond and a rock quarry behind his house where he would search for snakes. Jake has done some nature “journaling” activities where he spends an hour outside walking around his neighbourhood while documenting in his notebook every type of animal life he can find. He says you’d actually be surprised by how much nature is still around us. Jake feels we need to face up to the fact of how much displacement humans have caused and how thoroughly these intricate and wondrous systems of other organisms have been placed into the back of our minds.

Intentions vs. action in art

“It is not their responsibility, no. Art of course has so many purposes and a diverse set of vehicles for carrying out intentions is probably an asset.

Jake believes that while art has so many purposes, it is an asset that art has a diverse set of vehicles for carrying out the artist’s intentions. One may be moved by serene images of majestic landscape, or faced with a dilemma regarding their own participation in environmental harm. Personally for Jake, since he is closer to illustration than fine art or general abstraction, he greatly admires the boldness in other artists to really hold up that mirror and tell the truth of the matter. He’s certainly made his share of cartoons in both frustration and jest!

The best place to find more of Jake’s work is at and @collingejake on Instagram