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Me in Studio 01.jpg

Olly Jordan

Born in Somerset, UK

Studied BA (Hons) Illustration at Plymouth College of Art

I’ve been creating art for as long as I can remember, whether it’s sketching animals, my favourite cartoon characters or designing my own ones, art has always been a passion in my life.


It was during secondary school that I’d say I started my art journey. I studied both Fine Art and Graphic Design - I loved the creative, expressive freedom of Fine Art and the process of applying artwork to physical products in Graphic Design. While studying Fine Art, I played around with acrylic paint and its ability to create bold and colourful brush strokes while also being able to capture a realistic likeness of a person. I thought I’d have to choose either Fine Art or Graphic Design going forward, but I managed to get the best of both worlds by studying Illustration at university.


While studying Illustration at Plymouth College of Art and graduating with BA (Hons), I managed to blend my Fine Art and Graphic Design background by creating portrait paintings that would provide the artwork for poster designs, advertisement campaigns and book covers. Seeing my classmates' reactions when I finished my painting of Lili Reinhart for a perfume advertisement project, is the moment I knew that portrait painting is something I needed to continue. They all stopped what they were working on to admire and congratulate me on the painting, not only because of the colours, style and details, but also the likeness I managed to capture. Putting a smile on people’s faces and seeing them react positively to something I have painted is what I aim for with every piece I create.


My style of painting is something that has been self taught, developed and refined over the years. When it comes to painting, I work by preparing the background first, then working through the portrait, section by section. When painting backgrounds, I have a basic idea in my head of what colours I’ll use and where to apply them, but then I let the paintbrush decide where the colour will actually land on the paper. With portraits, I start with one eye, then work my way around the painting one section at a time in a simple and systematic way. When the painting is considered finished, I’ll leave it for a day or two without looking at it, then return with fresh eyes so I can pick up on any areas that need changing.


My work is diverse in subject matter ranging from animals and people to food and jewellery. I love working with bold colours, bright highlights and sharp shadows to create a unique and modern style. I’m a big fan of TV and film, so that’s why I put my paintings into poster designs, as it elevates my portraits to become part of the world I’m a fan of, but also allows me to combine my Fine Art and Graphic Design history that I have always juggled and been passionate about.

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