With wide-angle perspectives and “whoosh lines”, Jack Fletcher depicts runners at full pelt

Himself a passionate runner, the Edinburgh-based illustrator wants to prove that illustration and sport are the perfect team.

14 March 2024

In recent years the illustrator Jack Fletcher has found himself developing something of a new niche: sporty works portraying the high-adrenaline running community. Depicting high-tech gear, puffed-out cheeks and sweat in abundance, Jack perfectly captures the vitality of a good old fashioned race or letting off steam through a group jog. Such a focus has come alongside the illustrator’s personal sporty journey, after immersing himself in Scotland’s “underrated” running scene.

Jack puts his first foray into run-inspired drawings down to the designer Oliver Hiliker, co-founder of the Edinburgh-based Fed & Watered studio, after Oliver brought Jack on to a project rebranding Achilles Heel, Scotland’s largest running shop. One aspect of the project required a new look for its Run Club, for which Jack supplied a series of illustrations: a pair of runners chatting to one another, their enlarged hands matching in motion and shape, and a figure taking a moment to tie the lace of their technicolour trainer. “I really enjoyed being able to explore how illustration could be used effectively within the sleek and modern setting of a cult running store,” says Jack. “It’s something I never considered my illustrations being used for.” From this point onward Jack dedicated himself to tracing his personal running journey throughout his creative practice too.


Jack Fletcher: Norda Big (Copyright © Jack Fletcher)

The one visual aspect Jack sees as key to his work is his forced perspective. “I like to try and push the boundaries, changing our ‘normal’ viewpoint of the subject whilst mimicking the effect of an extreme-wide-angle lens,” says Jack. This stylistic choice comes from Jack’s close attention to detail, and to the specific formal qualities of running. He points out that when in motion, one part of the body will always be leading the way – a hand, foot or head – and so replicating this is key to conveying a sense of motion. It’s this overly exaggerated perspective that gives Jack’s work such personality and character, allowing him to lens in on the sometimes abstract form of the hand, or the fine details of trainers and socks. This, and a lot of “whoosh lines”, of course.

While Jack’s works are usually targeted at a sporty audience, he hopes that they also filter out into other spheres, so people who may have thought otherwise can see that things like illustration and running do cross over – and the results are pretty lovely. “I wasn’t the most sporty person as a kid and it was actually mixing my enjoyment of drawing the things I experience and starting to learn to run consistently that helped me pick up the exercise habit,” says Jack. “I think there is a lot of great crossover potential between the creative community and, say, the running community and continuing to explore what is happening on the intersecting fringes of both is really exciting!”

Jack is currently collaborating with The Speed Project, an organisation that puts on standard and ultra running races. Much like the races they organise, Jack says the team are keen to push ideas as far as they can go “seeing how much you can break or twist things to make something new”, giving Jack the opportunity to try something different, within a familiar space.


Jack Fletcher: Sweat Out (Copyright © Jack Fletcher, 2023)


Jack Fletcher: Laps (Copyright © Jack Fletcher)


Jack Fletcher: Simple Runner (Copyright © Jack Fletcher, 2023)


Jack Fletcher / Oliver Hiliker: Achilles Heel Run Club Copyright © Jack Fletcher 2020


Jack Fletcher: Raceready (Copyright © Jack Fletcher)


Jack Fletcher: Treadmill (Copyright © Jack Fletcher)


Jack Fletcher: Group Run (Copyright © Jack Fletcher, 2023)


Jack Fletcher: Run Club Mock (Copyright © Jack Fletcher)


Jack Fletcher: Pacer (Copyright © Jack Fletcher, 2024)


Jack Fletcher: Pack Runners (Copyright © Jack Fletcher, 2023)


Jack Fletcher/ Oliver Hiliker: Achilles Heel Run Club (Copyright © Jack Fletcher 2020)

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Jack Fletcher: Windy (Copyright © Jack Fletcher, 2024)

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About the Author

Olivia Hingley

Olivia (she/her) joined the It’s Nice That team as an editorial assistant in November 2021 and soon became staff writer. A graduate of the University of Edinburgh with a degree in English Literature and History, she’s particularly interested in photography, publications and type design.

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