After making his debut as one of the It’s Nice That Graduates of 2017, Jamie Edler has since come to refine his illustrative approach with finesse. We were instantly drawn to his eye-catching film posters, filled with intricate details and compositions. And, since graduating, these posters have become even more polished, progressed in company with a move to London to work as a freelance illustrator, model and creative.
“I often treat these posters as a drawing exercise; I find them fun and freeing to do,” Jamie tells It’s Nice That. Alongside “constantly” working on commissions and personal projects, Jamie has learned to challenge the ways in which he approaches a brief – which has, in turn, lead to a steady evolution within his work, “both in confidence and control”. Naturally, his posters have become increasingly refined, both in terms of the soft, tonal colour palette and detailed application, as well as an emphasis on roughs and working with digital processes. “My process initially changed a lot after I graduated,” he says, “when it became more important for me to be able to translate my creative ideas in a way that was understandable to clients.”
Cinema has been a constant pool of inspiration for the illustrator. “I think cinema has such as powerful impact on me, and the films I’m drawn to often have a very stylised cinematic experience – whether that be the mise-en-scène or the colours they use, or even the themes addressed within the films,” Jamie explains. Directors such as Tsai Ming Lang and Wong Kar Wai are huge influences throughout, and his appreciation for film has increased largely due to the positive ways that the creative industry has grown over time. “In recent years,” he says, “the quality and amount of queer cinema that is being created has been really exciting to follow.”
At the side of his poster illustrations, Jamie has delved into a new practice that involves personal commissioned portraits. Perhaps not something he at first wanted to dabble in, but nonetheless something that he’s enjoyed tremendously over the past 12 months. “I’ve always avoided working with portraiture because I wasn’t sure I would enjoy it,” he says. “But over the last year, I started to get some commissions to draw celebrities and events. Relatively quickly, I found a process of working that made these commissions fun and enjoyable too.” Soon enough he was asked by his friend and musician Alekxandr to create a portrait for a playlist he was releasing – “It was this portrait that really consolidated my portraiture style and, since then, I’ve been creating a lot of portraits. It’s become one of my favourite things to draw!”
Throughout his portfolio, you’re taken aback to the filmic scenes from Luca Guadagnino’s Call Me By Your Name, Barry Jenkin’s Moonlight, Yorgos Lanthimos’ The Favourite and Abdellatif Kechiche’s Blue is the Warmest Colour. When asked whether there are any particular messages of themes running throughout his work, Jamie explains how it’s less of a clear-cut intention and something that’s more open to interpretation. “I want people to take what they want from my work,” he adds. “I’m sure that there are subconscious things that I naturally put into my work, and there are often certain topics I’m drawn to illustrating – such as mental health and LGBT issues.” With this in mind, Jamie strives to make his work “accessible and soft”, no matter the subject matter he’s referring to – be it an illustration for an editorial on depression in Japan or a personal movie poster for a comedy.