Me in my studio.
About Jerry Russell and Studio309
Studio309 is located in Chittenango, New York, on the south shore of Oneida Lake.
I am the sole proprietor, artist, illustrator, designer, bookkeeper . . .
I established Studio309 as a dba in 1991, following several years working for agencies and freelancing. The illustration and design samples on this site represent completed work for publishers, ad agencies, design firms and individual clients. As you will discover, I work in a variety of media and styles, and can provide illustration to cover a broad range of client needs.
Why so many styles?
The consensus within the illustration community is that an illustrator should stick to one or two styles, and market those. This is true, for most. Art directors generally know what style they want for a particular assignment, and they go looking for an illustrator who works in that style if they don’t already have a certain artist in mind.
One or two styles has never worked for me as an artist. I am interested in and capable of working in, a lot of illustrative styles. I have a curious mind, and I like to explore new things, so I have never been able to limit myself to a style or two.
In fact, there have been several occasions when an art director asked me if I could pull off a style I’ve never done — like WSJ style pen & ink, or Marvel Comic, or marker renderings of food. I did all of those, (I like a challenge) and the clients were very pleased. So, I market myself as an artist who can do pretty much whatever a client needs, and that works for me, and the client.
Before Studio309 . . .
I was born and raised in Central New York, about 15 minutes from where my studio is now. I studied architecture and painting at a local community college before transferring to Syracuse University. I graduated in 1983 from SU’s Visual Arts department with a degree in Illustration and a painting minor.
The next several years included working full-time in retail while establishing some artist-roots by freelancing for agencies and small to mid-size businesses. Freelancing eventually led to a staff job at a small newspaper as Art Director and illustrator — and then as a graphic artist, and eventually Art Director at a mid-sized ad agency.
Also included in there — before starting Studio309, and during its first years — I worked at an animation house doing storyboarding and 2D/3D animations, and spent five years as an adjunct professor of Design and Desktop Publishing.