You’ve probably seen Jason O’Malley’s work before. 

He's an illustrator, book designer, and art director. Sometimes, he does all three at the same time.

This Hudson Valley resident’s vibrant and colorful illustrations of modern people, places, and pets have been published globally by the likes of Gap, Mini-Cooper, Ikea, Coca Cola, Random House, Abrams, and American Express to name a few resume highlights.

His editorial illustrations have appeared in The New York TimesOUT, Lucky, InStyle, and numerous international publications. 

He's illustrated and designed several books, most recently the rainbow flavored extravaganza Big Gay Ice Cream: Saucy Stories & Frozen Treats, the fabulous entertaining tome The Cocktail Party: Eat Drink Play Recover by Mary Giuliani, and I Am Bride: How to Take the WE Out of Wedding (and Other Useful Advice) by Laura Willcox.

Follow him on Instagram for a steady stream of dog pix, inappropriate gifs, and doodles of the Real Housewives: @ruralmodernist

I was the featured artist at Plywerk.com. Here are some highlights from the interview.


Give us a brief description of you and your artwork.

I’m a longtime New York City dwelling illustrator who bought a weekend house in the Catskills with his bf and never went back to the city. When the market crashed in 2008 and my editorial work dried up, I started doing custom portraits for friends and it gradually snowballed into an actual business. I draw all my subjects to look their very best, no dieting required. It’s much more forgiving than a photograph.

What’s your goal as an artist?

To make my clients flip out when they see the final art. Sometimes they weep. I like that.

Why did you choose illustration?

After years of toiling in the trenches as a graphic designer and art director in the fashion world, I finally came to my senses and realized I could make a living by drawing pretty pictures instead. And I can do it all from the comfort of my home, on my own schedule, in my underpants. It’s my dream job.

What was the last full album you listened to?

Black Celebration by Depeche Mode.

Top three movies of all time?

Female Trouble, 16 Candles, A Room with a View

Favorite living artist?

Morrissey. He’s still charming after all these years.

Have you seen this high speed video of jello?

It’s hypnotic. Must. Buy. Jello. Now.

Favorite hair style?

The Bouffant. The higher the hair the closer to God.

Breakfast cereal of choice?

Honey Nut Cheerios with rice milk and blueberries used to be my favorite, but now I'm totally into my NutriBullet. And since we’re on the topic, I’m pretty sure that the couples featured on the Kashi Good Friends cereal box are “doing it”.