James Jarvis

An illustration guru, James Jarvis is a British based illustrator who sparked an international trend in the toy design industry with his figure called, “Martin” in 1998.

Date of Birth: 1970
Location: London, England
Represented Gallery: Parco

About James Jarvis

Jarvis began his quest in studying the arts of illustration at the University of Brighton and then went on to graduating with a Masters degree in illustration at the Royal College of Art in 1994. Recognized as a revolutionary toy designer in the modern world of art, Jarvis first got his foot in the door with London based fashion company, “Silas”. The collaboration project was intended for Jarvis to design and conceptualize a promotional item for Silas to help market the new company in 1998. This project ultimately gave birth to “Martin”. To everyone’s surprise, Martin became a popularity item on its own and undoubtedly sparked the Designer Toy culture.

Throughout the next 5 years, Jarvis had produced many new toys for Silas and introduced new characters such as the “Bearded Prophet” and “Tattoo-Me Keith. The successes of these toys were eventually Jarvis’s demise, as he started his own toy brand in 2003 with 2 other directors from Silas. The brand launched under the name “Amos” and was targeted to reach a broader audience and to push Jarvis’s creativity without restrictions. One of the most iconic figures that were created is the “King Ken”, an animated great ape. The success of Amos Toys is now carried by novelty and boutique shops, museums and toy stores all over the world. With the growing popularity of Amos Toys, a comic book was published in 2006 called “Vortigern’s Machine” which was based on an adventure story written by Jarvis and co-written by Russell Waterman.

As a freelance artist, Jarvis has created work for electronic powerhouses such as Sony and Nokia as well as contributed to numerous different international publications such as The Face and Nova. Jarvis has also done a number of art book projects as well as exhibited his work with independent shows at the Parco Gallery throughout Japan.

Published Work

“World of Pain” Comic Book – 2000

“James Jarvis Drawings”, Relax Book, Tokyo – 2002

“Vortigern’s Machine and the Great Sage of Wisdom” Comic Book – 2006

“Select Drawings James Jarvis” – 2007