A Surprising Man

Photograph by Michael Tribe
Jamie Gare photographed by Michael Tribe ‘Create All Media’

Jamie Gare is a surprising man. At 32 he has honed his skills to concentrate on his strengths – art and computer programming.  At first these seem to be contrasting skills and yet Jamie is one of those rare people who have an eye for art and a head for maths.

Jamie draws the illustrations for Inside Maidstone Magazine’s ‘Just a Thought’ articles and always comes up with an insightful angle, including characters who win over your heart through charm even if these imaginary characters are fracking machines boring into our planet’s soul (See link http://maidstone-magazine.co.uk/let-battle-commence/).

“Since I was five I have been drawing.  I just seemed to pick up a pencil and paper and started to draw.  I normally draw cartoons as they bring out my personality” Jamie tells me as he thinks about how his career in illustrating started. “You can see the story on its own.  It’s there in front of you.  It comes naturally to me – it is difficult to describe” Jamie is a deep thinker and does find describing his talent difficult to put into words, not just because analysing oneself is disagreeable, but because Jamie has Asperger’s Syndrome.

When Asperger’s Syndrome comes into the conversation Jamie tells me he sees it as a challenge and that he enjoys challenges, in fact Jamie is extremely positive about everything he is doing and he is a busy man.  With many art exhibitions under his belt Jamie continues to exhibit as much of his work as he can, currently planning an exhibition for Christmas.  He has seen a lot of success, although Jamie seemed too shy to mention this.

In 2002 he won free tickets to attend the Epsom Derby after making a life size horse for the Epsom race prize and has been praised by local artist Graham Clarke when Jamie attended his open studio “Graham Clarke said Jamie did the same thing with colour and imagination as him and was pleased to meet an artist who could actually draw” I am told by Joan Langrick, author of the ‘Just a Thought’ articles and Jamie’s Grandmother.

Working with acrylics and water colour Jamie draws freehand and on the computer and is happy when he is drawing.  His creative talent also lends itself to gaming and in particular writing new computer games “I think it’s the hardest part, getting the code together” Jamie confirms, “…but I enjoy the challenge, bringing the pieces together.  I am using a programme for visual code but everything is self-taught.”

Jamie’s love of writing computer programmes sprang from his love of gaming and some of the retro LCD games, such as Packman, have given him inspiration.  His computer characters are as charming as his illustrated characters and he enjoys sticking to designs based on iconic images such as stars, baby animals and cute big eyed characters that people easily fall in love with. His target consumer group is the teenage gaming market and his next step is getting his games live once he has conquered the animation process.

Although a lot of Jamie’s work is solitary, he does not shy away from helping others through his work and recently raised £300 for ‘Children with Cancer’ and is planning a charity sale to raise money for Autism charities.

The two creative platforms Jamie works in – art and computer programming – do contrast in one way, Jamie explained: “Usually it takes three to four days to complete a cartoon but for a computer game it can take one and a half years!” and this proves Jamie must also be a patient man as well as a talented one.

Jamie is local and passed his BTEC National Diploma from KIAD with distinction. To contact Jamie about his art or computer games e-mail him at kooljg1982@hotmail.com

Illustration by Jamie GareCharity Shops by Jamie GareStorybook by Jamie Gare

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