Describe your illustration style.
I enjoy working in a variety of media and in different styles, so it's difficult to describe my specific style. Scratchboard, pen and ink, woodcut, graphic, airbrush, oil painting, pastel, collage are some of the various media I use that will eventually end up as my digital illustration. My work ranges from corporate/conservative to whimsical/comical, and anything in between. To help a client choose an appropriate style for their project, my website has a search by style or subject.
What is your main medium?
Whatever I'm working on at the moment.
What is your illustration workspace like?
It's small, but efficient. I've crammed every square inch of my 10x15 studio with computer equipment, tv, stereo, large drawing table, big metal flat file, and bookshelf, along with the washing machine and dryer. Taped up like wallpaper are print outs of recent work, that hang on my roof line slanted ceiling until they either get bleached out or fall off. My floor often is the repository of finished jobs that need to be put away or current assignments that have no place besides a meager taboret. Spread throughout the house are my reference books and picture files. The trade off for lack of space at home is being able to step outside and enjoy a run with our dog in the rural countryside.
Describe your typical work flow.
I may be found working part of the day sketching on paper, doing an intricate scratch board illustration, working with bold vector graphics in Adobe Illustrator,airbrushing in Photoshop, or painting a pastel in Corel Painter. Working in different techniques keeps me fresh, and excited about my work. I've found it an advantage to be able to work in the technique that best fits the project.
Who was your first illustration hero?
I fell in love with the Golden Era of Illustration, so I'd say N.C. Wyeth.
Can you describe the direction your current work is heading?
I continue to try on current trends and styles to challenge myself and expand my repertoire, but when called upon to work in one of my traditional techniques, I challenge myself to better myself or add a new twist. So, I never am feeling bored or stagnant. I see myself as a work in progress that will never cease.
What do you do to promote your work?
What do you do to promote your work? I advertise in the Directory of Illustration, http://www.folioplanet.com/ , http://hireanillustrator.com/ , and http://www.contactacreative.com/ . I'm also represented by American Artists, and Stockart.com . Membership in the Illustrators Club of Washington DC, Maryland and Virginia has been a valuable promotional and networking tool for me.
What advice do you have for someone trying to become an illustrator?
Get as much practical experience in the field with a full time position to start out, and set a goal to eventually be a self-sufficient freelancer. I'd recommend taking courses in art school to include graphic design, web design, animation, and 3d to broaden your skills.
Be sure to check Jim's portfolio at the IC of DC website.