Justin graduated from Curtin University in Western Australia as a top 1% graduate and a member of the Vice-Chancellors list with a Bachelor of Arts in Illustration Design. He completed his first class honors as a top 5% graduate with a thesis on digital comics, titled ‘Visual communication in print and the digital medium’ and was offered membership to the Golden Keys Honors Society.
Immediately after graduating he was hired by the Department of Communication Design at Curtin University to teach and develop curriculum for digital illustration techniques after which he became the first year Design Coordinator. He created digital illustration curriculum for all three years of study within the Design degree while also teaching and coordinating a Diploma of Design at the Australian Institute of University Studies in Western Australia. He later accepted a tenured academic position at Curtin University where he moderated offshore programs and coordinated the illustration and drawing units while supervising post graduate students with a similar research focus.
As an academic he has lectured and demonstrated his unique techniques to staff and students at institutions across the world, including HAW Hamburg University of Applied Sciences, Edith Cowen University, Limkokwing University of Creative Technology and the Charles Telfair Institute. During his time as an academic he illustrated his first full length graphic novel for IDW Publishing titled 30 Days of Night: Eben & Stella. It was the seventh book in the award-winning series and was released in conjunction with the 30 Days of Night feature film. Justin then created the artwork for a follow-up 30 Days of Night comic titled Dust to Dust, released as a San Diego Comic-Con exclusive in conjunction with Sony Pictures and a short film of the same title.
He worked as a colorist for the quasi-sequel to Repo Man, Waldo’s Hawaiian Holiday by Alex Cox and produced his first solo graphic novel titled Changing Ways which was awarded a national Gold Ledger award and a national Aurealis award for ‘best illustrated book’. He was awarded a writing and illustration grant from the Australian Council for the Arts to develop Book 2 of Changing Ways and an additional grant for the writing and illustration of book 3. The series has been published by Gestalt Publishing and translated to French as a hardcover release through Delcourt Comics in France.
Justin was given an additional grant from the Australian Society of Authors and substantial RAM funding from Curtin University for further development into illustration techniques which lead to the establishment of new lab spaces and dedicated Wacom drawing stations for undergraduate and post-graduate students. In addition, Justin was appointed an honorary editor and advisor for Gestalt Publishing and his techniques were twice featured in the Wheels for the Mind, Apple magazine.
He has worked as an interior artist for 24Seven and Popgun; two short story anthologies by Image Comics and has been a reoccurring cover artist for the Silent Hill comic series through IDW Publishing. He’s also been a regular cover artist for the 30 Days of Night novels through Simon & Schuster and is a regular special-guest at OzComic-Con and Supanova conventions across Australia.
He’s delivered workshops and lectures on his techniques to regional schools and Universities across the South West of Australia and continues to contribute his skillset as a guest speaker and artist for community events and fundraisers.
He also worked as a digital painter for the film ‘We Were Just Little Boys’; a documentary animation about hundreds of aboriginal children kidnapped from their homes and sent to the Kinchella Boys Home.
Justin is currently working on a comic and interactive Virtual Reality experience titled Cavity with production company Frame VR, a new comic about social anxiety, titled Buckle with artist Emily Smith and has recently completed the third book in his award winning graphic novel series, Changing Ways.