Featured seller: Glenn Jones Art

Glenn Jones is a freelance graphic designer and illustrator based in Auckland, who found internet fame in the mid-2000s with his quirky t-shirt designs that lead to the creation of his own US-based brand.

Glenn and partner Julia wanted to find a project they could work on together, so Glenn Jones Art began. It’s a family business – Glenn creates the artwork, Julia takes care of the business and their kids help provide lots of inspiration! Glenn also finds endless inspiration from his life growing up in the 70s and 80s. His designs are an exploration of different styles and ideas, but all with the aim of putting a smile on people’s faces.

glennjones At the Bach

What do you make?
We make art prints and greeting cards and also have a US-based t-shirt business.

How did you get into your craft?
I’ve worked as a graphic designer for over twenty years. Seven years ago I decided to go into business for myself, freelancing as a graphic designer and illustrator and concentrating on my t-shirts brand. About a year ago I decided to work on my own art print brand as an outlet for lots of ideas I had, putting my spin on Kiwiana. As our business has grown I’ve broadened the scope wider than just NZ inspired ideas, creating more general pop culture and kids’ designs. We’re having lots of fun growing the business.

Do you have formal training or qualifications in your craft?
I started a design course before getting my first job in the early 90s. But everything I know and apply today has been learnt on the job throughout my career.

Your favourite materials, tools and processes?
I’m a vector illustrator, so Adobe Illustrator and my Mac are my tools. As far as process goes, I like to draw an idea as soon as possible after conceptualising in my head. I pretty much have good idea of how I want it to look before I start so it’s just a matter of translating that to a finished design.

glennjones glenn

glennjones cards

glennjones rocket_park

What inspires you?
Everyday life, my kids, media, the internet – lots of things! I like to put my own twist on stuff that’s familiar to people. I like retro stuff like toys and furniture, machinery and gadgets. If I can add some humour to the design as well that’s a bonus.

Is there a philosophy behind your work?
I like trying to put a fresh spin on familiar subject matter. But the challenge is to convey that idea as simply as possible, so people see it and hopefully get it fairly easily.

Describe your workspace:
Usually a pretty messy desk covered with equipment, with just enough space for a few coffee cups!

Five words that describe your mind:
Curious, impatient, procrastinative (Good word! -Ed.), contemplative, imaginative.

Your favourite feedback from a customer:
I once got a message from a new dad in the US who sent me a pic of him wearing his favourite shirt (a design of mine) holding his new twins dressed in onesie designs of mine too. He was proud and wanted to share it, so it was cool to receive that.

glennjones artprints

What are you currently listening to?
My two and a half year old screaming.

Recommend an album:
Anything other than my two and a half year old screaming.

What’s your favourite childhood book and why?
The Giant Jam Sandwich by John Vernon Lord and Janet Burroway. The image of bulldozers spreading out jam has just always stuck in my head for some reason. It was one of the first books I got for my daughter, she loves it too.

What are you reading now?
The Giant Jam Sandwich!

Who is your hero/heroine?
Gary Larson. Growing up I loved reading the Far Side books – his humour is perfection.

A favourite quote:
‘Pressure makes diamonds.’ I totally disagree with it but I like its scientific factuality.

Do you have any pets?
Two cats – they’re total opposites, both a bit crazy but they’re nice to have around.

If you were a crafty superhero, what would your name and superpower be?
‘The Multitasker’ – I’d like to do lots of tasks at once, at super high speed.

What was the last handmade item you bought and what attracted you to it?
Woollen hats for our kids that look like berries – they’re great!

You can see more of Glenn’s colourful and humorous kiwi-flavoured art in his Felt shop here.

Glenn has very kindly offered a pack of twelve of his fabulous cards to one lucky Felt blog prizewinner – what a great idea for Christmas cards this year! If you’d like to be in the prize draw, just leave a comment below telling us what inspires you about Glenn Jones Art and Glenn’s story. The draw will be made on Friday 24 October and is open to New Zealand residents only.


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27 Responses to “Featured seller: Glenn Jones Art”

  1. Heather says:

    I love the humbleness of Glenn’s story. I can imagine he would have so much fun dreaming up concepts and turning them into images for everyone to enjoy. It inspires me to pick up some pencils and just doodle for the sake of it.

  2. Holly Wiseman says:

    How great would these be to send to kiwi friends abroard to remind them of home. I’m inspired by the bright bold colours and Glenn’s heart to produce something so unique

  3. Emma says:

    Love the bold colours and strong lines. That moa/mower piece you’re working on looks awesome!

  4. Sarah says:

    I love the way they take New Zealand icons and give them a quirky edge, love the Edmonds design and the Bach design is stunning.

  5. Alice Berry says:

    I LOVE Glenn’s designs. It is especially inspiring as a young NZ graphic designer (trying to grow my own print brand) to see how successful he has been and I aim to be on his level one day!

  6. Monika Tomesova says:

    I love the “2.5 year-old screaming” … My hat off to someone that is able to work on such great designs while children run around.

  7. Jodi says:

    I love hearing how Glenn has managed to make a business out of his art. I am also a long time fan of “The Giant Jam Sandwich”. These prints are awesome :-)

  8. Juliet says:

    I love that he puts a fresh spin on familiar subjects. To me that is the key to creativity.

  9. Alex B says:

    I admire this artist and his fresh approach to some everyday kiwi images. The solid colours and clean lines add clarity to his great designs.

  10. Rhiannon says:

    I love the simplicity of the designs – but mostly I love how ‘kiwi’ his story is; the frank and honest approach, and the ‘just get out there and do it’ feel. Very cool!

  11. Angela Baker says:

    I love that all these images are part of where I call home. Quirky and fresh and fun- love ‘em all!

  12. Naomi says:

    i love how simple, but nostalgic your work is

  13. Monica says:

    Creating with a toddler in the house – inspirational!

  14. Kate Minehan says:

    Wow, some of the coolest designs I’ve seen for a while. I really like how fun the designs are but how easily they trigger fond memories too. Inspiration moment for me is the go get it decision this family have made to make their business a success-love it.

  15. Bee says:

    These are so fun & such a creative use of kiwiana! I couldn’t pick a fave. However the “Perfect Day” card made me smile. I think it would be a great Christmas card for my friends who moved from their home in Piha to overseas. A little slice of home. Keep up the good work, Glenn!

  16. Rachael says:

    These are detailed, yet simple at the same time. This work is brilliant! I love the bright colours used and the imagination used to make Kiwiana your own.

  17. Dee says:

    As a fellow Far Side fan I love the quirkenss, depth and sense of whimsy – magical!

  18. Pip says:

    I had totally forgotten about “the giant Jam Sandwich” until reading this….the images came straight back as soon as I read it. What inspires me about Glenn’s designs is how he takes a simple everyday item and gives it life. I love the kiwi fruit feather

  19. Vanessa says:

    The ability to see something not as it normally is. I think this is a twist on New Zealand black comedy.

  20. Cindy says:

    Love the simple and humble design that he has embraced – great stuff!

  21. Jillian says:

    The work bings a smile to my face, it’s great!

  22. Emma says:

    How refreshing. Would to send something more unique for Christmas to my family

  23. Christine says:

    i love your work, it reminds me of my childhood! I especially like the ice cream, I always wanted one of those massive ones but was only ever allowed one flavour.

  24. Sarah says:

    Stunning designs. Nice to read about the process.

  25. Rachael says:

    Glenn’s work inspires me to free the kiwi kid within! I absolutely LOVE his designs.

  26. Alice says:

    Oh I love the gumboots with heels and the lamingtons! I’m just about to check out what would be a fantastic print to send overseas! Love the colours too. Thanks for highlighting Glenn.

  27. Katie Moore says:

    It inspires me because it is playful and fun and reminds me not to take life too seriously1

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