Bookshelf: James Jarvis

Work / Bookshelf

Bookshelf: Huzzah! A look at the bookshelf of famed illustrator James Jarvis

James Jarvis is one of those people that, when scrolling through the infinite chasms of Instagram, you stop when you see his name because you know it’s going to be something good. More an artist than an illustrator, James’ signature characters are round, colourful men grappling with the world around them. We’ve been curious about the content of his bookshelf for a while, so we are very proud to announce that he has agreed to share it with you all. Enjoy!

“I’m not really into the idea of choosing favourites, but here are five books from my shelves.”

Paul Klee: Pedagogical Sketchbook

A bit like a high-brow version of How to Draw Comics the Marvel Way (another formative book for me). I was inspired by the way it intellectualised the process of drawing and mark-making.
Paul Klee: Pedagogical Sketchbook

Alfred Bestall: Rupert the Bear Annual 1972

I grew up on Alfred Bestall’s singular vision of Britain. Beautiful draftsmanship and dead-pan suburban surrealism.
Alfred Bestall: Rupert Annual 1972

The New Avant Garde: Issues for the Art of the Seventies

As a child in the 1970s (I nicked this copy from my Mum) I found this book strangely compelling. It turned me on to minimalism at an early age, in particular Sol LeWitt and Carl Andre. I’ve always liked its portrayal of artist as a pragmatic, down-to-earth occupation.

Theodor Kittelsen

I discovered Kittelsen’s artwork on the cover of a Burzum LP, Filosofem. The artwork in this monograph never fails to renew my faith in the power of drawing. I love the way the exquisitely gloomy landscapes are as much a vital character as the figures that populate them.

Joris-Karl Huysmans: Against Nature (À rebours)

An amazing, decadent, black-humoured philosophical rant on aesthetics.
Joris-Karl Huysmans: Against Nature


Pedagogical Sketchbook, Paul Klee


Rupert the Bear Annual 1972, illus. Alfred Bestall


The New Avant Garde: Issues for the Art of the Seventies


Theodor Kittelsen


Against Nature (À rebours), Joris-Karl Huysmans