Jonathan Ball – “the biggest challenge I face with 3D work is scale”

July, 2017
Reading Time
4.5 mins
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Image © The Interviewee

We explore the colourful world of Jonathan Ball and Pokedstudio

This week Creative Chair is just down the road in Cardiff where we’re talking with illustrator/animator Jonathan Ball of Pokedstudio.

Johnathan’s work is vibrant, action-packed and bursting with retro-gaming influences. with a method that jumps the Rubicon between 2D illustration and 3D design, a visit to his portfolio is tantamount to a weekend on acid.

Jonothan-Ball Pokedstudio

What are the influences behind your unique visual style?

Mostly from childhood comics games and trash culture. I was addicted to video games in the 80’s and visual clues from those games always find a way into my work.

Robots and Friends by Jonathan Ball
Robots and Friends by Jonathan Ball

I’m also keen to work with simple geometric shapes and patterns and then to weave a layer of complexity onto them.

What are the challenges and considerations when adapting a 2D illustration into a 3D rendered image or animation?

So many projects that have had challenges. Apart from constant client changes and adjustments, sometimes running into the hundreds…. the biggest challenge I face with 3D work is scale.


Even high-end computers struggle to render very large images sizes, so a quite few time I’ve had to come up with efficient ways of putting super large images together. Once a super large piece for a giant pavilion tent that was covered in one of my illustrations. Recently I’ve created some very large images for a theme park, and my computers really struggled, but we got there in the end. Have to say the theme park work is probably my favourite.

The 93rd 366 Award goes to Jonathan Ball for his outstanding creative work.

Vectorism by  Jonathan Ball
Vectorism by Jonathan Ball

Many of your projects have been featured on sites like Behance. How has this exposure affected your work and career?

It’s been great to be featured from time to time.

The Zone by  Jonathan Ball
The Zone by Jonathan Ball
The Zone by  Jonathan Ball
The Zone by Jonathan Ball

I have to say the exposure has defiantly had a positive effect on my work, generating some great clients and projects and also given me great opportunities to travel to various places around the world to talk about, teach and show my work.

And finally, if you died and got reincarnated as a song, what would that song be?

I think something from flaming lips, a bit edgy and messy but melodic and colourful….

Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots"
Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots (2002)
The Flaming Lips
Play on Apple Music
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What began as a fun question to end an interview, has now become a wonderfully eclectic collaborative playlist by 161 people (and counting).
Jonathan Ball
Our Forest