The Jam Jar

For the past couple of years, I’ve been designing illustrations (not the entire poster) for posters to help advertise my DJ friend’s Indie/Alternative music night: The Jam Jar. Usually based in Cardiff, and named after it’s creator (one Jamie Batchelor, AKA The Great Jambon) the Jam Jar has gained quite a few loyal followers and has (relatively) recently followed Jamie to New Zealand. Seizing the opportunity to get my work abroad, when asked if I wanted to do a few pictures for him while he was over there, I of course said YEAH SURE OK WHY NOT THANKS! – or something to that effect.
The most recent of these was for the Rugby World Cup, which started just before we came back to University. The reason I’ve taken so long to post it up is because each of my illustrations should go back to back with a photo of Jamie next to the poster IN the venue to prove it was there (which, as well as the inclusion of my email address and the address of my DA portfolio, was the only payment I ever asked for them) – however, somehow I’ve managed to lose or misplace… ALL OF THEM! As much as I should be used to it by now, I really don’t understand my own incompetence sometimes…

Anyway, SANS photos (which I shall have to add at a later date when I find them) here are the Jam Jar Poster Illustrations in their entirety, starting with the most recent…

The Rugby World Cup

In keeping with The Jam Jar’s Welsh origins, I went with the iconic Welsh Dragon, protecting a fiery nest of Rugby Ball eggs. This Illustration was Inked and coloured by hand (using water colour pencils) with a regular HB and 6B for definition and the lettering. I used a simple gradient for the background to give it some impact, but keep the focus on the dragon. I also did a Welsh Flag coloured gradient (see working process below) but this is the design he went for in the end.

The Jam Jar in New Zealand

Those of you who have browsed this blog before might recognise the octopus (I used it as a background in the Magazine brief) but this was it’s original purpose – I bet the welsh cakes, jam jar and welsh flag make a lot more sense now! With this poster I was given free range with the design, but as I just mentioned, kept a few welsh motifs in there, and the octopus itself is loosely based on Jamie (why i picked an Octopus is beyond me) or at least his hairstyle anyway. This was also an experimentation with Adobe Illustrator, a program I’ve never used before, and is therefore the only Jam Jar Illustration not coloured by hand.
The sign post was my first idea, and while it delivers, it’s pretty boring – Jamie preferred the octopus, and so did I.

Anti-Valentines Day

Rewind to 2008, back to the days that both Chris and Jamie were both VERY single – and rather bitter about it – and you get to the Anti-Valentines edition of The Jam Jar. Set on the same date as the regular Valentines Day, The Jam Jar offered a refuge to those avoiding the onslaught of mush with an entire playlist devoted to themes of love-lost and heartache. This illustration was Inked and coloured by hand, with a record player referenced from google.
Included on every table were small leaflets featuring a broken heart drawn in the middle (done using brand new felt-tips I’d bought that day! yaay!) and a depressing song lyric.

Here’s my favourite one lyric-wise, after someone had used it as a beer-mat – I really love what the moisture from the glass did to the colours of the felt-tip 🙂

The First Jam Jar – Welsh Night

And Finally, the illustration for the very first Jam Jar – Jamie had finally convinced a bar to give him a shot, so I decided to help out by providing a more eye-catching poster. The theme was Welsh Music, so I decided to keep it simple – I think in some ways, this is probably my best design – the Welsh dragon is recognisable from a distance, but up close it takes a second to realise what you’re looking at. The Jar’s perspective is a little off, but not enough to spoil it in my opinion.

And that’s that!


About christofurr

I am an Illustrator currently in the third and final year of an Illustration For Graphic Novels course at Glyndwr University, Wrexham (UK). I do all kinds of commission work, from poster to portraits. Fell free to have a nose around this blog and any of my other sites - be warned, Twitter updates may be totally and completely irrelevant and naughty - and please feel free to contact my email address with any queries about my work :)

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