Jonathan Allen, Illustration

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I am inspired by stories. I love when ancient folklore, song lyrics, podcasts, and things shared across a dinner table coalesce into one thought that can spur on a series of illustrations. My art is a balance of static composition and frenetic mark making. By using traditional scratchboard tools while abandoning typical scratchboard techniques,  I strive to combine simplicity of subject with a whirlwind of detail.

It is most meaningful when one of my illustrations inspires a new story or evokes a memory. My search for unique stories that influence my illustration started in Rhode Island where I was often enthralled by strange tales from Portuguese fishermen. I then studied illustration at the Savannah College of Art and Design where I met a large group of friends from Southeast Asia whose art was infused with cultural tradition. These friends sparked my drive to seek out cultural tales and personal histories, the stranger the better.

Portrait of illustrator Jonathan Allen.

New to Asheville, I am eager to hear the tales of the WNC mountains and incorporate them into my art. I currently reside in West Asheville with my partner Kristin and our five cats who are of course another strange story by themselves! I am originally from Rhode Island and recently completed my Master’s of Illustration at Savannah College of Art and Design.  By day, I am a youth worker in Black Mountain where I share stories to build thoughtful conversations. My creative goals include building my practice as a freelance illustrator, and I welcome all clients and commissions.

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