Thursday, October 10, 2019

More Answers to Your Questions

You guys keep asking me interesting questions. These are from my Instagram and YouTube channels:

@koterminion: "What got you into classical dinosaurs?"jamesgurneyart The recent revolution in science made me see the dinosaurs of my childhood in a new light. Plus there are so many newly-discovered (non-classical?) dinosaurs that no one imagined decades ago.
sympaima: "What kind of tradition would you consider your work is?"
jamesgurneyart@sympaima I draw inspiration from a million sources: movies, games, comics, 1930s animation, Golden Age illustration, 1980s illustration, plein-air impressionism, academic painting, digital concept art. Each one has its heroes, its standards, and its way of doing things. At the same time, I feel outside of each one of those traditions, but I feel like they're all part of something bigger, which is telling stories with pictures.
@alexwishard: About how many hours went into just the painting (excluding thumbs, initial sketches, etc)?
jamesgurneyart@alexwishard To keep up with quotas, a painting like this one (from Dinotopia: The World Beneath) took about three days total. I had to produce 10 pages of book art per month.
sthom4bad Your sketchbooks that I have seen are filled with miniature works of art - you seem to finish everything to completion. Do you have sketchbooks where you don't finish things or abort them in the middle or try things out that don't work?"

James Gurney I have lots of sketchbooks that are all drawn in pencil and other drawing media, but recently I've been painting primarily in gouache. I just love it because it's so direct and I can take it everywhere. I suppose some of my plein-air sketchbook pieces look finished, but other ones are quite loose and sketchy. I do try to achieve a finished effect immediately regardless of how much time I have.
Fiona Grigg: "As a student approaching a professional [at a convention], what is one question that I would benefit from asking everyone I can?" 
If they're my age, ask them how the business has changed and what skills they had to learn mid- career. If they're a younger pro, ask how their art school helped them. If their art training fell short, I'd ask what skills the school failed to provide.
In the comments, I'd love it to hear your answers to those last questions.


Paul Sullivan said...

In my opinion, you were right on the mark with your answer to Fiona Gregg. I started in advertising art and design in 1960. Illustration changed dramatically from 1965 to 1975. In fact, the use of illustration reduced drastically. Design for print media underwent a complete change from 1998 to 1995. In the near future, artwork and design for communication will see even more change.

Mateus Roberts said...

How many hours a day were you working to be able to finish a painting every 3 days?

JackPot said...

As a (not-so-much-anymore) young professional, I think the most useful thing my art school (Gobelins) provided me is professional network. It's been ten years since I graduated and I'm still getting emails with job offers from it. Aside from this (wich is very important though), I wouldn't advise aspiring artists today to sign in expensive art schools with all the learning ressources we can find for free on internet nowadays.

Mateusz Urbanowicz said...

Hi! Just a quick one. As an artist dealing with traditional media, how are you dealing with selling your originals? Are there any places or methods (virtual or otherwise) that you would recommend?

James Gurney said...

Gom, I only sell a few originals a year, because I want to keep most of my paintings available for exhibitions. I mainly sell through auctions and group shows in museums. You can find more info on my originals blog JamesGurneyOriginalArt at blogspot

Mateusz Urbanowicz said...

I see! Thank you for the answer! I was wondering if you have any auction places you would recommend, I see links to the HEritage auction house and eBay? Sorry for being persistent.

CerverGirl said...

As a mid to late 1980s university/college graduate:
Our drawing classes were strong in figurative studies. Painting almost entirely acrylic—some still life, but mostly abstract which I did not like.
Graphic design and marker rendering attracted me, and I loved typography.
I was lucky to get a substitute teacher for calligraphy who had studied in the UK.
I graduated when Macintosh computers came into being, and my career went from marker rendering to basic type graphics laser printed, before Photoshop was completely developed. The rest I learned on the job as the software developed.
None of my art classes mentioned any of the fabulous artists that you feature in this blog.
While the books required for the courses were worthy publications, they were not required reading and were not studied at all.
So I consider myself very fortunate that I have found your work and others through blogs, YouTube, and my local area which has a flourishing art community.