Jason Lyon has popped up on Creative Boom a few times recently, helping to give us tips on allaying uncertainty through art, and making it to our top illustration projects of 2020. We thought it best to start the New Year by virtually sitting down with the artist to talk about their burgeoning career so far.
Jason is a UK-based illustrator from China whose freelance career began a few months after graduating from Falmouth University in 2019. Since then he has worked in editorial for such titles as Politico Europe, New Scientist, and Personal Finance Society.
"It's perhaps a cliché for an artist to say that they've loved art since a young age, but it really is true in my case," Jason tells us. "When I was in primary school, I took art classes instead of extra academic tutoring as opposed to the norm. When I moved to the UK, I always had art as an elective subject throughout school and higher education."
Jason describes his style as "kind of realistic with a dreamy touch to it." He likes to focus on details that enhance the atmosphere and mood of the illustration and is a self-described perfectionist when it comes to the smoothness of his linework.
"I'm inspired mostly by the beauty of the natural world, whether it's colours or shapes. I'm also inspired by surrealist paintings and traditional Chinese paintings, specifically ink wash paintings."
"My most recent project was for the Personal Finance Society's Personal Finance Professional Magazine. The illustrated cover is based on an article about staying financially resilient in a difficult post-pandemic economy. The concept is inspired by the phrase 'Weathering the storm'. I think this was my proudest creation last year because the essence of the piece is about strength, positivity and hope, which I think is really important right now at such an uncertain time."
"The work was both out of my comfort zone in a way because of the subject matter, the overall message and even the colour palette. It was a very nice challenge that turned out way better than I'd ever thought."
For 2021, Jason wants to have the opportunity to work with a greater variety of people, finding most enjoyment in interacting with art directors and editors.
"I'd love to do some book cover and video game-related projects because these are my usual pastimes. What I need to do is to learn animation!
"This year, I'm going to try to be less self-critical, too. In 2020, especially after the pandemic happened, I constantly felt like I could and should be doing more. Like I should take on every job possible or else I've failed, which is a terrible mindset to have, and it actually did lead me to feel a bit burnt out."
Follow the artist's journey in 2021 at @jasonlyon_/.