Jacqui Oakley


There's a wonderful rigidness about the work of Canadian illustrator Jacqui Oakley. Everything seems in the right place, with the perfect amount of color and texture. (Click image for detail.)
We asked her whether she had an instinctive sense of when to let an illustration go.

I try to find a balance between having the piece still seem spontaneous and loose in areas, and very detailed in others. Although, I do find it hard to know when to stop once I get going.

Do you collect art and, if so, which works hang on your wall now?
I'm living in Shanghai for the next few months, so I'm obviously very inspired by Chinese Art at the moment. My wall is littered by Chinese traditional paper cuttings, elaborate Chinese patterns and photos of the varied architecture of Shanghai. Also, I have work up from the recent Shanghai exhibit from photographer Wing Shya who often collaborates with one of my favorite directors, Won Kar Wai. The photographs are beautiful, moody, and lush, looking like they're displaced from an old Hong Kong movie set.

Is there anything else outside of drawing that you do better than all your friends?
I've been dancing Lindy Hop, a swing dance from the 1930s, for nearly 10 years. So I guess I'm pretty good at the Charleston, and any other "old timey" dance. Other than that I've been known to dabble in rollerskating.