Jason Heglund is an illustrator and designer based out of Portland, Oregon, whose main focus with his art is to make viewers smile and feel those warm fuzzies deep down inside. You may have stumbled across one of his cute monsters or food based doodles when browsing the Doodle Addicts website, but if this is your first introduction to Heglund’s work, you’re in for quite a treat!
The first word that comes to mind when describing Jason’s work is “playful,” and that’s because there’s something quite fun about his use of vibrant colors and relatable characters. A collection of work quite indicative of this playfulness can be seen through various pieces on his Doodle Addicts page titled, “Foodles.” Whether it’s the zombie marshmallow, angry cup of coffee, or donut creature, there’s a wittiness and a seemingly inherent quality of being produced to provide joy in all of these artworks. This can also be seen in his other art, like his Earth Day piece showing the planet grinning and giving its fans a wave, with the caption, “thanks for the love everyone - Earth.” Where other artists may have chosen to focus on heavier topics in relation to this specific day, the lighthearted and charismatic nature of Jason’s artwork not only provokes a smile, but also allows a feeling of gratitude to come through for the viewer.
Some of his most popular artworks include a currently limited, but extremely cute series of monsters drawn using Posca & Arteza paint markers. They’re straight out of the most adorable cartoon you can think of, and Heglund’s use of color makes them even more endearing. One of them titled, “Cute ‘Lil Monster,” is a tiny blue creature with an underbite and kind eyes - the sort of monster you wish would actually hide under your bed. We wanted to know a bit more about the artist behind these feel-good artworks, so we got in touch!
Interview with Jason Heglund
We love the relatable and witty nature of your artwork! Did this style of work develop over time or has this always been your approach to art?
Thank you! I think my art has always been fairly witty in nature, but there was a time where it was more serious. The witty nature is basically a reflection of me as a person. I'm pretty easy going with a dry (sometimes deadpan) sense of humor. I also think of myself as naturally optimistic and see that in all of my art.
What is your favorite thing to doodle?
Unfortunately, I don't have a single favorite thing to doodle. My go-to doodles usually involve food (tacos, pizza, coffee), ghosts, monsters, and mythical creatures (bigfoot and unicorns).
The vibrant colors and linework in your art is something that always catches our attention. What are some of your favorite tools to use when creating your art?
I'm glad you like the vibrant colors. My color palette used to be really desaturated and vintage. That changed about 6 years ago. My favorite digital tools are the iPad and the apple pencil. My favorite analog tools are Posca paint markers combined with Arteza watercolor brushes.
What other things aside from art inspire you?
Music, movies, the outdoors, and my family.
What is a basic and advanced tip you'd have for someone who wants to improve their skills?
The most basic and important tip to improve any skill is constant practice. Practice all the time. An advanced tip that would help focus the regular practice is to come up with an idea for a daily challenge or a series. Post that to the internet as a way of keeping yourself accountable and just follow that series/challenge until it's complete.
What does being an artist mean to you?
That's tough because being an artist can encompass so many things. For me, I am an artist by nature and that means I need to do something with the ideas that pop up in my head on a regular basis. If I want to be happy, I have to give these creative ideas some sort of outlet. I experiment with a lot of different types of projects, but the ones I enjoy most include illustration. I find a lot of fulfillment through all of this art-making.
Which artists on Doodle Addicts do you recommend everyone follow?
I really like the patterns that Debbie Clapper draws with her paint markers. Winny Sumbada illustrates really nice scenes, she did one with ghosts in a grocery store that I really liked. Bleu Hope is another artist that I like, he combines doodles with some collage in his sketchbook that are very fun and simple.