Jess Bolam

Jess Bolam – Designer

Illustrator specialising in picture books and children's books, with a passion for bright colours and cute characters!

Overview

Hi, I'm Jess! I'm a British illustrator, artist and animation designer, specialising in children's book illustration. I'm passionate about exploring the potential of illustration and art as tools for education and communication. When I'm not illustrating, I love reading and going for walks.


My style is defined by bright colour palettes and traditional textures, and I have a particular interest in combining digital and traditional media to create something new. I particularly enjoy illustrating animals, nature and cute characters. Coming from an animation design background, my influences include stop-motion animations and children's TV shows alongside books and the natural world!


If you'd like to work with me, you can expect organisation, punctuality and lots and lots of colour (if you want it, that is!). You will always be able to review and revise any sketches before final artwork goes ahead, and I can offer spot, single-page and full page illustrations for picture books and children's fiction. I value good communication and a clear brief - if you're not sure on the specifics of your project, I'm happy to talk you through the process step-by-step.


I particularly welcome picture book texts, stories featuring animals, nature and diversity, and middle-grade fiction, but I'm open to working on anything... let's bring your ideas and writing to life!



If you'd like to send me a project request, here are some tips and things to bear in mind!

1. Make your brief as detailed as you can. In order to create a realistic book quote for you, I need to know: the subject matter/a brief outline of your story, how many pages your book is (we can work it out together if you're not sure), what kind of illustrations you'd like, an idea of your budget, when your deadline is and what you'd like the iIlustrations to be used for (aka, will they just be for the book or are you wanting additional usage?). I also welcome examples of picture books you admire, to help me understand the feel you want for your own picture book!

2. Be realistic with your timeframes. I typically set aside between 4-6 months for each book project I work on to ensure every illustration is the highest quality it can be. Picture books are never rush jobs! Illustrators are often working on multiple projects at a time, and contrary to what some people might think, digital illustrators are still creating all of their artwork by hand!

3. Think ahead to how you'd like to publish your book. Will you be going down the self-publishing route (using a service like Amazon KDP or IngramSpark), using a small publisher or wanting to pitch to bigger publishers?

4. Please note that I only illustrate in my own artistic styles (as shown in my portfolio) and will not replicate the style of other illustrators.

Services
Non-Fiction
Children’s Non-Fiction
Fiction
Picture Books
Languages
English
Certifications
  • BA(Hons) Animation Production
  • MA Illustration

Work experience

Self-employed

Sep, 2019 — Present

I specialise in children's books and picture books, both for companies and publishers and for those looking to self-publish.

Self-employed

Jun, 2018 — Present

Before transitioning to illustration, I worked as an animation designer and background painter (and still do on occasion!)

Clients include: Karrot Animation, Rocket Cow and Wise Guys.

Portfolio

Made with Reedsy
Liam's First Adventure

Magnan, Anita

Cover Design Illustration Book Interior Design
Made with Reedsy
Insulin Kid

Sohl, Matthew

Independently published

Cover Design Illustration Typography Book Interior Design Production Management
Made with Reedsy
People Are Like Rainbows: A Book to Color In

Roach, R Lynn

Cover Design Illustration Typography Book Interior Design Production Management
Henry's Secret

Govier, Kelly

Cover Design Illustration Typography Book Interior Design Production Management

Jess has 4 reviews

Professionalism

Quality

Value

Responsiveness

Matt S.

Matt S.

Jul, 2024

It was an absolute pleasure working with Jess! She was prompt with any edits I had (which was very few!). She was also very personable in our exchanges. I do hope to do future books in this series and will definitely work with her again if she will have me!
Jess B.
Thanks for your wonderful review, Matt! It was great working with you. Definitely up for collaborating again - can't wait!
Rachel R.

Rachel R.

Nov, 2023

Jess is a dream to work with. She is always very eager to answer any questions and give imput when you're unsure of the next route to take in a project. Her work is flawless and fun. I can't wait to work it her again.
Jess B.
Thanks so much for your kind review, Rachel! It was great working with you. So excited for our next collaboration!
Anita M.

Anita M.

Nov, 2023

Jess Bolam is a true professional! She is amazingly talented, organized and always ready to go above and beyond. After writing my first book I was unsure how to approach getting an illustrator. I found Jess here on Reedsy and I am so grateful to have met her. We are worlds away, her in the UK and me in the US, but she always made the effort to meet with me via Zoom on off hours and on weeke...
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Jess B.
Thank you so much for your amazing review, Anita! I'm so glad to have met you and worked with you!
Milton S.

Milton S.

Jul, 2023

Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant! Jess is an EXTREMELY talented Artist who is incredibly responsive, helpful and works so hard on trying to fully understand what it is I'm trying to portray, she interprets my ideas even better than I do! What stands out the MOST though is her attention to detail. I have only had one "test" reading of the book so far, but the parent and child, as soon as they'd f...
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Jess B.
Thank you so much for your wonderfully kind review, Milton, it means a lot! I'm so pleased you're happy with my work on the book and I can't wait to see it out in the world. Loved working with you ...
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