Freelance Illustrator // Fine Artist // Adventurer // (I do not accept tattoo-design commissions.) //

December 29, 2011


I've been getting more and more requests for interviews and the questions are often similar so I decided to compile a collection of them from the past few years. If you are interested check out my NEW INTERVIEW BLOG!

To pique your interest here are a couple snippets from various interviews:


"Can you quickly introduce yourself?
My (abbreviated) name is J.A.W Cooper. I was born in England and grew up in Africa, Sweden Ireland, various other places throughout Europe, and finally Southern California. I currently live in Los Angeles, California in a loft downtown, where I spend an embarrassing amount of time creepily watching the comings and goings of people on the street below. For example, I watched a man psych-out oncoming traffic by rolling a taxidermied dog at high speeds towards the curb over and over to see who would be fooled into slamming on their breaks, and was thoroughly entertained for about 15 minutes. There are also an alarming number of people who prefer to conduct their daily business completely in the nude with their curtains agape. That’s not a weird introduction, right?"

(Interview: (2011) Vanea Cera @

"In addition to the obvious natural elements in your work, there's always a strong feminine presence. Even when you render women in peril, they come across as strong, defiant, and conquering. How much of yourself is in these women, and have you struggled with any gender bias in the art world?
Art made by girls who draw girls is often perceived as superficial and the gender of the creator can soften the impact of the sexual aspects of the work. This can be a blessing to female artists who find beauty in the feminine form but do not want their work to be perceived as hyper-sexual or "pervy." In my case it is a curse as I prefer my "perv" quotient to be as high as possible..."

(Published: (2011) Keith Dugas (

"Could you please explain the process you have to go through to prepare for a new gallery show?
I start with lists and lists and lists of words, motifs, colors, objects, ideas, feelings... etc. I then think about how to describe all these random things or capture them in a single concept, often a single emotive word. From this concept I list some more, being very specific about the directions within the theme that I would like to explore and from here ideas for individual paintings and the series as a whole begins to solidify. I will then often begin sketching ideas and the best sketches will eventually become paintings! My favorite way of working is on a series as a whole rather than on an individual piece. The series allows the work to be contextualized within a bigger world and allows me to more deeply explore a single concept which is where my best work tends to come from..."

(Interview: (2011) Emily White Illustration @ University of Gloucestershire, England)

"As an illustrator that does commercial and gallery work, what are your suggestions to an Illustration student that wants to do both as well?
I think the biggest "mistake" of the new illustrator is to work on dead-end projects. Usually these involve a lot of grunt-work, low pay, no exposure, many revisions, and high stress. Often the "client" is a friend or family member adding another dimension of complication to the mix, and usually your time would be better spent looking for legit work or refining your portfolio. Gallery work is a tricky balance... you really can't make a living at it unless you are famous, so you have to look at it as a side-hobby and use it for exposure and to build your ideal portfolio (since you can do whatever you want!) It's fun as long as you are not looking at it as a source of steady income. Commercial work can be just as rewarding as gallery work if you go in excited about it. I quite enjoy the challenge of realizing someone else's ideas while injecting some of what gets me wet (ha ha). Gallery is like working in a vacuum, it can be paralyzing unless you approach it like a commercial job where you create the prompt. Soooo basically, if you want to stay sane get a REAL job that allows you to use your skills (ie: in house illustrator, sketch-artist, storyboard artist, freelance illustrator IF you think you can rustle up enough steady work to make a comfortable living at it) and something that doesn't leave you so depleted that you are unable to create personal gallery work when you get home, and just try to stay excited about your work!"

(Published: (2011)

"Where is the best place in California to sit and sketch?
For me, nothing beats the Santa Barbara Natural History Museum’s bird hall or the Los Angeles Natural History Museum’s halls of mammals. I like sketching at natural history museums because they are cool and quiet (if you time your visit to avoid children on school trips) and since the animals don’t move you can draw at a leisurely pace. For landscape sketching, my favorite hiking/sketching spot is Sturtevant Falls in Chantry Flats during the week (it’s far too crowded on the weekend.)"

(Published: (2011) by Daniel Rolnik)

"Where do you call home? Actually, what do you think the definition of home is?
'Home' is a place where you can unabashedly eat english muffins in your undies while watching Animal Planet. For the last couple of years I have been unabashedly eating english muffins in my undies while watching Animal Planet in a loft in downtown Los Angeles."

(SNEAK PEAK! Will be Published: (2012) Issue Eleven of Bluecanvas Magazine)


Wow... New Years resolution to self: watch your language.

Want to read more about my process, techniques, and experiences as a young illustrator? Click the HERE to be transported, as if by magic, to the aforementioned INTERVIEW BLOG.

December 14, 2011

"Splinter" & Misc. Sketch Teasers

"Splinter" sketch detail shot:

Misc sketch, investigating armour as inspiration in fashion for my upcoming "Guarded" piece:

December 11, 2011

"Taetrum & Dulce" at MondoPOP Gallery

MondoPOP Gallery's "Taetrum & Dulce" show opened last night in Rome and my two pieces "Surrogate" and "Honey, Suckle" are now available for sale!

JAW Cooper
"Honey, Suckle"
Ink, gouache and graphite
31 x 39 cm with frame

(click HERE for purchasing info)

(To see "Honey, Suckle" framed click HERE. Detail shots HERE. And sketch HERE.)

JAW Cooper
Ink and graphite
31 x 39 cm with frame

(click HERE for purchasing info)

(To see "Surrogate" framed click HERE. Detail shots HERE. And sketch HERE.)

A giant "thank you" to curator Dan Barry for inviting me to participate in this fantastic show!

December 7, 2011

Recent "Erode" Sketches

Finally got around to scanning the last few sketches for my upcoming "Erode" series:

December 6, 2011

"Poisonous Brood" Sketch

I'm still plugging away on sketches for my upcoming "Erode" series. Here is a sketch I did Monday morning, I think it will be called "Poisonous Brood" or "Leech."

Nothing is more exhilarating than starting a new series. As you know I am an avid list-maker; here are some notes I have made as I continue to refine and boil-down my many many "Erode" lists into one cohesive concept:

Finally, on a more serious note...

You may have seen my many animal sketches from various visits to the incredible Wildlife Waystation. The Waystation, located in Los Angeles, is a sanctuary for exotic animals and big cats (often rescued from abusive situations) and provides an invaluable service to the community and the beautiful animals in their care. They have always relied on the kindness of volunteers and the donations from people like you and me, but now they are in very real danger of being shut down due to lack of funds. Not only would this be a serious loss to the community, but many of the animals would likely have to be euthanized.

PLEASE DONATE NOW by clicking the link, or mail a check to 14831 Little Tujunga Canyon Road, Angeles National Forest, CA 91342. To make a gift by phone call 1-818-899-5201. Anything, even a dollar helps them continue to feed and provide for their animals!