Jill Calder
Jill Calder






2011 – IMAGES 35

Based in Fife, Scotland, Jill Calder has been working as an Illustrator since 1993. She is also a calligrapher, painter, digital artist and occasional lecturer with a love of drawing, ideas, colour, ink, texture, typography, book-binding, sketchbooks and yes, deadlines. Jill aims to combine traditional and digital image-making methods as seamlessly as possible to create her illustrations. 

She recently finished her first picture book about Robert the Bruce and is working on her first graphic novel. 

Her clients include Visa, The New Yorker, Billabong, Penguin, Siemens, The Royal Brompton Hospital and Benromach Whisky.

“Winning these awards has been lovely. Its great to see not just my work, however the projects they are part of get recognition too. Also, I get to put ‘Award winning illustrator’ in front of my name, which is fun.”


BRIEF: This was self-initiated but came from a desire to do more meaningful personal work. Forest Deer was inspired by my travels to the farthest reaches of Scotland, as well as the deer that I see on my daily dog walks. I started with the idea of "edge" and then this picture just happened. The edge of the forest, the edge of the weather, the edge of flat ground and hills…

MATERIALS: Ink, monoprint, dip pens, pixels, cut outs.

RESEARCH: You see a lot when you walk the dog – I think those daily walks had a cumulative effect and I responded in kind.

PROCESS: Just to play with the drawing and digital elements – it's a personal piece so no big pressure about what it should look like. I started to introduce more texture to my work in the process of working on this illustration, which has continued.

RESISTANCES: I don't recall any!

INSIGHT: Important to make time to work on and experiment with your own ideas, thoughts and notions and create new work. It's so easy to say but harder to do…but worth it in so many ways.

DISTRACTIONS: Paid work! Deadlines!

NUMBERS: There were two deer then I added a third, a more cautious one that completed the picture in my eyes.

FINAL THOUGHTS: A woman who bought this print from me said it made her cry every time she looked at it. I think it was a compliment.