London-based illustrator and artist James Jarvis has caught our attention this week, with his career’s work ranging from Nietzsche inspired philosophical sketches to playful, plastic cartoon toys.

We had a look into some of Jarvis’ work and learned a bit about his approach to design.

After attending Royal College of Art until 1995, Jarvis went on to found and direct Amos, a toy brand which has since retired. He has further been commissioned by a number of leading brands, such as Coca-Cola, Lacoste and Nike for graphic illustrations and campaigns.


Above: Illustration for Nike SB Free Project by Jarvis

Top of the Page: ‘Dance Party’ for Lacoste, via Design Boom

Jarvis’ methodical approach to his art is quite unique, and from quickly browsing through some of his work you can see how he draws influence from philosophy, popular culture, music and current events. One style of work Jarvis frequently plays with includes black linework with bold fill colours. We love how he is able to play with colour while still keeping his work clean and simple… Perfect for a bit of screen printing!


Above: Part of a series celebrating skateboarding in Portland, up on Jarvis’ site

In recent years, he has taken particular concern in returning his art to a pure form; primarily working in black and white sketches.

“The reason why the toys were so successful is because they were simple objects to understand… you looked at them and either you liked them or you didn’t. With a book or a comic, you need to engage yourself. And that’s why I wanted to do a comic about philosophy, because it forces you to question certain things instead of just staring at it.” Interview with Lodown Magazine in 2014.


Above: ‘Joy Ride’ by Jarvis, via Arkitip

Jarvis is currently living in South London working on a number of upcoming exhibitions and keeping busy with his family. Check out his talk in June at It’s Nice That’s Annual Event, Here 2017 and find more work on his site: