My name is Jerlyn Thomas. I’m an artist. Actually, I won’t give myself such a title… I’m more of an illustrator who tells stories. I like telling stories. Sometimes I tell stories through my work. You can depict many stories through illustrations—especially where a camera was missing. When I can’t tell stories, I experiment with style. My favourite styles are developed during my commute. I like the challenge of it.
I initially started drawing on the iPad and deemed it #metropaintings (2013) and even had two art shows. Back then, I had an iPad 2 with Sketchbook Pro and an Adonit Jot Pro.
Then, a couple years ago I took on the challenge of filling a sketchbook (That’s when #commuteart started on Instagram). This was particularly interesting since I’ve been drawing since I was possibly 5 years old. However, I’d never filled a sketchbook. Odd right? The thing is, I’ve had many sketchbooks. Too many. Most of them I bought because they were cute (I like well-designed sketchbooks—well books really). They accumulated during the years when there’s only one page filled, or partially done. I was spending my time (about 45 minutes of it on the train daily) and figured the time was best spent developing me into something constructive. The only rule was that I would spend less than 4 trips (I get bored) plus it would give me dedicated time with a deadline—an artist’s work is never done. So this meant, whenever I got a seat wherever during my commute—so it literally could be only 5 minutes. What became something I did on the train, eventually crossed over to whenever I was in a car, on a plane or waiting from point a to point b. Not particularly original, but I thought I had to initiate.
Anyway, the sketchbook was completed and I did a collection of 95 pieces by experimenting with Tombow, Prismacolor and Touch markers. I posted most of them on jerlyn.exposure.co/commuteart
Then I went back to digital (because it’s my medium of preference). I eventually purchased an iPad Pro, Apple Pencil and now use Procreate. Now we are here.
Of course I want my name to be synonymous with #commuteart since I’ve been tagging my images that I draw during my commute as such for the past two years. However, I do not own the domain. Since even illustrators have to learn to evolve like artists, #commuteartist was born. #Commuteartist was born out of necessity, it’s a brand. It’s me. It’s my evolution. I’m an artist who creates #commuteart. You’ll be able to see my development as an artist here and, of course, on the Instagram developed just for it. Follow me.