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James Jean, a portrait of a young man as an artist

New York artist James Jean doesn’t need any introduction. But, just in case you haven’t seen his work yet, take a peek now. And forever be in awe. We caught up with him recently in his studio and asked him about the props for his daily inspiration: ‘Sometimes I’ll have my laptop setup next to my work station so that I can listen to audio books, the radio, or have videos playing in the background. But mostly inspiration comes from books and magazines’.

Are you usually working on a series of paintings or illustrations at a time, or do you work on one until it’s finished and then move on?
‘I have a variety of things happening at the same time. A few projects on the computer and a few paintings on the easel at all times.Since I’m working on my show at Jonathan Levine, I actually have 3 easels and some unfinished pieces hanging up in the garage studio. It’s always nice to have something in progress waiting for a resolution. It’s how I get up in the morning’.

Is there a time of day in your studio when you generally feel most creative?
’10:00am – 10:00pm’.

What’s your studio missing that it could do with right now?
‘A fan. Things can get pretty heated in here’.

Seen any young artists or illustrators lately whose work has floored you?
‘I hired Jared Purrington not long ago to work with me on finishing storyboard for the Prada animated film, Trembled Blossoms. The site doesn’t do justice to his work, but I look forward to seeing great things from him in the future. I always enjoy the work of Jillian Tamaki, Josh Cochran, and Frank Stockton’.

james jean