I'm JayJay Jackson. I do illustration and design. I also do Flash animation and web sites. My design site is Serious Design.
I've had a pretty ecletic career. Here's the basic rundown. I was born and raised in Texas and though I caught my share of horned toads and snakes as a kid, I was always the "artsy" one. I attended the University of Texas, New York’'s School of Visual Arts and the New York Academy of Art.
After starting out in the graphics business in Texas as a cartographer and graphic designer for a couple of different map companies, I worked as a designer and production artist for the award winning Phoenix Design group in Houston and then senior designer and printing production specialist for Texas Instruments.
While in Houston
I did many technical illustrations of things like oil field equipment as well as magazine illustration and this eventually led to my getting a job in New York at Marvel Comics. I was hired as their Designer and later promoted to Art Director of Advertising. I also worked as a colorist in what I laughingly called my spare time. I colored books like Spider-Man, The Punisher, Alien Legion and some posters and ads, too.
When former Marvel Editor-in-Chief, Jim Shooter started Valiant Comics, I left Marvel to become their Executive Art Director. I did editorial design, edited a couple of the comics and did full watercolor painting on several comic books such as Magnus Robot Fighter, Solar Man of the Atom and Harbinger. I later helped Jim start Defiant Comics as the Creative Director and did painted color on Warriors of Plasm and many trading cards and covers. After that we co-founded Broadway Comics where I was Executive Editor and Art Director. I worked for Topps off and on for several years during this time doing blueline painting for trading cards on the Universal Monster series, Vampirella and both Star Wars Galaxy series.
After Broadway Comics was bought out I left the comics industry and went to work as Art Director of Marketing for Display Technologies, a point-of-purchase ad firm that does a lot of work for the beverage industry. I worked on stuff for Evian, Pepsi, Coke, Sobe, Mystic, Timex and Burton Snowboards until my brains began to run out of my ears from the boredom. Mainstream corporate advertising was not really the life for me. But things improved and I worked as Art Director for M2 Design Group, an NYC boutique design house, where I principally did recording and fashion industry work. Lots of design for hip hop, R&B and pop artists like Macy Gray, Tyrese, The Smithereens, Jon B, Svala, Darius Rucker and Sarina Paris. I also designed stuff for Sean John, Ecko, Epic Records, Atlantic Records and Universal while I was there.
Nowadays I'm a freelance artist full time. I do editorial illustration, posters and art for bands. I'm still doing web sites, logos, ads, brochures and even some comic book stuff here and there, too. I've recently started a silk screening business with my partner, Freddy. We do hand silk screened posters, art prints and apparel. Deaths Head Designs.
I also write a blog on DIY screen printing:
Adventures in DIY Screen Printing.
I also handle the technical aspects of Jim Shooter's blog and social networking.
Here is a recommendation Jim was kind enough to write for me:
I highly recommend Ms. Janet (JayJay) Jackson as an employee, a creative person and an individual.
While I was editor in chief of Marvel Comics, Ms. Jackson worked for me as a designer and advertising art director. She was, simply, the best we ever had. Subsequently, I started several publishing ventures of my own: Voyager Communications Inc., publishers of VALIANT comics; Enlightened Entertainment Partners LP, publishers of DEFIANT comics; and, in partnership with Lorne Michaels, a division of Broadway Video Entertainment called Broadway Comics. At each of these companies I hired Ms. Jackson in a creative executive capacity. In every case, she was more than excellent and effective at her job—she was brilliant.
Ms. Jackson is one of those rare creative people who does many things well, and moreover, is able to make connections between disciplines. She "sees the weave." She constantly perceives insights that others miss. She can bring to bear design skills while writing or creating, production expertise while designing and creative imagination with regard to production.
Ms. Jackson works hard and gives her best always. She often had to work long hours at my various start-up ventures, and did so willingly. She’s a person of fierce dedication. She’s tenacious. She’s honest. She’s a doer—a goal-oriented, capable problem solver.
Above all, she’s a professional. I believe that she would be an asset to any creative endeavor.
Sincerely, James C. Shooter