Aart-Jan Venema

Sponsored / Illustration

We pick some of our favourite creatives on the books of management agency JSR

London-based creative management agency JSR represents artists in the fields of photography, illustration, CGI and moving image. Launched in 2005 by Jamie Stephen the agency now represents more than 40 artists, comprising a mix of established and emerging talent. It’s Nice That has selected three of the represented creatives for you to check out.


Olivia Beasley

Despite originally studying illustration, Olivia Beasley is now more likely to be found behind the lens of a camera. And while she now works in a totally different medium many creative themes, such as memory and storytelling, remain key triggers for her projects.

Not restricting herself to one approach to photography either, Olivia works across portraiture, fashion shoots and still life projects. Starting each project or pitch with plotting possible ideas as a written text, the photographer will then work at reimagining how this concept could live photographically. With an idea settled upon Olivia then works with a close knit team to bring it to live, noting how “the people I’m photographing and everyone that helps me make reality look a little bit better.”

This approach certainly appears to work, with her style that often directs her subjects to appear elegantly poised, catching the eye of clients including Levi’s, Heals, The Times and The Telegraph too. Her works, across both illustration and photography have won several awards too such as a D&AD award and accolades from the Association of Photographers and American Photography.


Aart-Jan Venema

Working out of The Hague, Aart-Jan Venema is an illustrator whose defined style has already garnered him a keen following. Utilising both digital and traditional painting techniques, Aart-Jan’s work is always deeply layered, seemingly revealing something new every time you study one of his works.

Because of this particular style, the illustrator’s work lends itself well to telling stories, as well as surprises which are left up to the viewer to discover, taking inspiration from one of his key influences: the painter Hieronymus Bosch.

It’s a style that has encouraged clients to often give Aart-Jan a call when in need of narrative-driven illustrative stories. Consequently, his client list is vast, working with everyone from Green Man Festival in Wales to Google, The New Yorker and The Guardian. If he wasn’t busy enough working in both commercial and editorial capacities, he recently completed his very first picture book, Night Windows, with Cicada Books.


Carla Lucena

Over in Madrid is another fantastic illustrator repped by JSR, Carla Lucena, who works with specific shapes, creating slick vector-style illustrations in a pastel colour palette which presents an array of texture in a digital image. By recreating familar scenes into a dream-like landscape, Carla’s work is ideal for creating an imaginary vision whether she’s recreating a rainforest full of creatures or an architectural drawing.

Beginning her career actually working as an art director at Ogilvy & Mather and McCann, Carla quickly realised she didn’t want to be the one just commissioning the work, she wanted to make it too. This led the creative to work in her preferred creative language: illustration.

Since taking this leap into the world of freelance illustration Carla has been working away both in advertising and editorial capacities for a range of clients such as Virgin EMI, The Sunday Times and British Airways to name a few.


Olivia Beasley


Carla Lucena


Aart-Jan Venema