Jeremy Pettis: Let’s Bee Friends

Work / Illustration

Illustrator Jeremy Pettis on his curious happy-go-lucky characters

Jeremy Pettis’ illustrations are full of life; figures with strawberries for heads tan in the sun while sunglasses-wearing men animatedly play the flute. Working on Nike’s print and pattern team by day and illustrating cheery oddball characters by night, Jeremy leads a creative double life. The majority of the illustrator’s work is done with felt-tip pens, however recently Jeremy has started to dabble with iPad doodling, which we can safely say looks promising. “The majority of my drawings are subconscious elaborations on intriguing ideas and feelings that I take note of in my day-to-day thoughts,” Jeremy tells It’s Nice That.

Vivid colours and smooth, curved outlines pervade Jeremy’s work, lending him his instantly recognisable aesthetic. His felt-tip drawings depict a range of scenarios, from his happy-go-lucky strawberry creatures to green men looking at porn in front of a spider’s web backdrop. “I like to use a spectrum of distinct colours that create a rhythm across the layout. I typically go into a doodle blind with only a loose impulse to guide me. In order to grow the skeleton of the doodle I lay out the colour fills first. Once I’ve completed daisy-chaining the clumps of colours I lock it all down by drawing a simple line drawing over them using a light lilac Stabilo Point 88 Fineliner,” Jeremy explains. His hand-drawn creations instantly transport the viewer to sunny worlds of blue skies, music and balloons. Even his more sinister drawings of nipple-pinches and rose hoaxes will put a smile on your face.

Jeremy’s iPad drawings are in a similar vein. Equally as colourful and dynamic, his iPad doodles hone in on specific objects like Nike trainers, which the illustrator repeatedly reimagines. “The iPad Pro has exposed me to limitless multidimensional, non-committal doodling. This has consequently made me appreciate the confidence and open-mindedness required when drawing freeform with markers. Aesthetically I’m still finding my feet with the iPad. The digital doodles feel somewhat ‘off-brand’ to me emotionally,” the artist explains. Jeremy may consider his iPad illustrations dissimilar to the rest of his work, but there seems to us to be a clear thread weaving through his felt-tip and digital drawings: both radiate Jeremy’s genuine enjoyment of illustration.

Since acquiring his iPad Pro, Jeremy has been experimenting with motion. Considering the vivid worlds the artist has already conjured through his illustrations it will be exciting to see how Jeremy’s work continues to evolve and develop as he leads us deeper into his colourful imagination.


Jeremy Pettis: Softer Than The Rain


Jeremy Pettis: Opaque Rainbow Silence


Jeremy Pettis: Music Makes Me Lose Control


Jeremy Pettis: Counter Surveillance


Jeremy Pettis: “Spider Emoji”


Jeremy Pettis: “Fireworks Emoji”


Jeremy Pettis: New Models of Consumer Choice


Jeremy Pettis: “Rose Emoji”


Jeremy Pettis: Modesty is the Colour of Virtue


Jeremy Pettis: First iPad Doodle Ever


Jeremy Pettis: "You can either see yourself as a wave in the ocean or you can see yourself as the ocean.” — Oprah Winfrey