by classic cartoons like Tintin and Popeye, the British illustrator JAMES JARVIS has
created his own three-dimensional casts of characters as the World of Pain and In-Crowd
plastic toys. He also invents imaginary worlds for his characters each of whom has
their own role and personality.
When James Jarvis dreamed up a group of bikers as a new collection of the
plastic In-Crowd characters he designs for the toy company Amos, he pictured them
as “reasonable, sound, sane, wise, balanced, rational, sagacious, prudent, judicious
and level-headed”. He even invented a club for these do-gooding bikers – the Forever
Sensible Motorcycle Club.
The members of the Forever Sensible Motorcycle Club, like the musicians in Ages of
Metal, his next In-Crowd characters, stem from the drawings that Jarvis has created
since childhood. He was inspired to start drawing by his love of illustrated books
such as Tintin, Rupert the Bear and The Tale of Peter the Rabbit. Born in London in
1970, Jarvis went on to study illustration at the University of Brighton and then
at the Royal College of Art in London.
A Japanese friend suggested that Jarvis should turn the characters drawn in simple,
sparing strokes in his illustrations into toys which he did by creating the engagingly
raffish Martin, a moulded plastic model, for the London-based fashion company Silas.
Jarvis then developed equally engaging characters to live with Martin in the World
of Pain, the imaginary world inspired by Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings which he invented
for them and depicted in a book and website. Eager to create different characters,
who would not necessarily fit in to the World of Pain, he then invented the In-Crowd
series of figures.
Read a full interview over at the Design