Saturday, November 11, 2006

New York Sketches

> Photo of me drawing at Cafe 71, Irving Place, NYC, taken by Kenichi Hoshine

> I flew back to the east coast last week: visited my parents for a couple of days and spent the rest of the week fulfilling professional obligations and meeting with friends. I judged the sequential category at the Society of Illustrators, spoke at a couple of classes at my alma mater, and attended the AI-AP party.

> Passengers on NJ Transit. I caught the Walton Ford and Ron Mueck show at the Brooklyn Museum with Esao, Tomer, Kenichi, Mu and Tomomi. "Make it big," was the mantra of the day.

> My mom and K in the kitchen. So lovely the comfort of home cooking.

> Drawings of K at Cafe Sabarsky and sleeping on the plane back to LAX.

** Lastly, Erik J. Olsen will be interviewing me for an upcoming Iconic Podcast. If you have any questions you'd like for me to answer during the interview, please email them to Erik at

UPDATE 6.5.06 Thank you for submitting your questions to the Iconic Podcast! Erik will no longer be accepting questions, and we'll be conducting the interview very soon.


Blogger anonymous10101 said...

thank you for posting your sketchbooks!!! the spontaniety in your linework will always be admired.

8:32 PM  
Blogger Kenichi Hoshine said...

good times man, good times

11:19 PM  
Anonymous tim mimic said...

such soft looking skin james.
might be one of the reasons why your artworks comes out the way it does.

12:56 AM  
Blogger Mattias said...

Your sketches really goes beyond everything

1:46 AM  
Blogger eendar said...

They are all so beautiful, it is just a pleasure to see your work...

9:04 AM  
Blogger Ben Baker said...

Wonderful sketches!!!

9:50 AM  
Blogger Eli said...

Ah sketching, pleasing to the eyes, soothing to the smell. There's a great Leyendecker show going around right now. It's in stockton at the Haggin right now but maybe it'll come down your way. These sketches embody all that is right with the world. Thanks James.

10:13 AM  
Blogger Peter M. Hermann said...

sweet stuff

12:28 PM  
Blogger heidi said...

your work is amazing! teach me, so beautiful and ugly and full of life.

1:35 PM  
Anonymous Joel Kimmel said...

Hey James, good to meet you at the AI party. Great sketches too. Oh, and Cafe 71 has some awesome peanut butter squares and cheesecake.

2:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

great sketches


4:38 PM  
Blogger Shawn Escott said...

oh Yeah! that's what I'm talking about. You know a great artist by the draftsman he is. Your drawings always inspire and intrigue. Same with Kenichi's work. :)

7:27 PM  
Blogger Shawn Escott said...

Can't wait to hear the interview on iconic!

7:28 PM  
Blogger CEREAL KILLER said...

Wow! Nice sketches...they have great atmosphera and staring them i can almost feel the peace of the moment...very very awesome!
I specially like the first one and the one with ma` in the kitchen.

Great always!

11:55 PM  
Blogger Cin said...

your lines have such an elegance, beautiful pages!

6:12 AM  
Blogger r_sail said...

James, I don't think I've ever commented on here before... but, you are amazing. If I could find the words... well, I'd comment more, but you leave me speechless everytime.

I look forward to the podcast.


2:31 PM  
Blogger Tony C. said...

I love this sketchbook post! It's always nice to see work that shows both your artistic and learning processes. This reminds me of your "Drawing Hands on the Train" post a while ago.

2:35 PM  
Anonymous Logan said...

Now I'm not trying to give you a backhanded compliment when I say that your observational sketches are my favorite form of your work, because I definitely love everything you do. It's just that sense of looking and reaction in your ballpoint pen stuff that is so thrilling to me. The deftness of line and tone...really great stuff man. Exciting post. Thanks for it!

5:11 PM  
Anonymous Jonesy said...

I agree entirely with Logan. I personally have never seen such accomplished observational work from a contemporary illustrator. By accomplished I mean not only supreme technical mastery, but also a sublime sensitivity towards the subject as Logan says with the deftness of line and tone and an amazing sense of looking and reaction.

Reportage illustration. What an exciting alternative direction you have right at your fingertips should you desire a palette cleansing time away from your fantastic, imaginative illustration work.

Very rare that an artist is accomplished enough at both, that he can switch seamlessly between imaginative and observational work.

2:10 PM  
Blogger Jon Han said...


2:20 PM  
Blogger k said...


5:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

James, as an art student and aspiring professional illustrator, just wanted to sincerely say your work is incredibly inspiring to me and helps me keep motivated. Thanks for posting all the great stuff. Your fucking hardcore man!

from VCU

10:12 PM  
Blogger Alice Meichi said...

It was lovely to be able to meet you and speak with you briefly at the AI-AP party. (I was the girl with the lychee margarita.) I apologize for seemingly concluding our conversation a bit abruptly -- I didn't realize until later how rude that must have been of me.

I am also curious about something you mentioned offhandedly that struck my memory later on. May you give me some examples of how DC tends to favor female artists? It is the first I've heard of that tendency, and I would like to know more of your input on the subject matter as it's been playing on my mind ever since. Thank you.

3:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey, I do not see any rss feed button/icon on your site. How can I subscribe to your blog?!

6:34 AM  
Blogger Jed said...

I agree, love your sketchbook images of everyday stuff, you really catch the character of your subjects, and its clear you're really looking not so much idealizing or generalizing. And the way you work direct in pen with such confidence is really impressive.

My secret hope is that you're just not showing us the crappy drawings. Unless...there are no crappy drawings? (gasp)

10:10 AM  
Blogger mercadovisual said...


2:34 PM  
Blogger chadliebenguth said...

thought you might enjoy this (parts3&4)

5:52 PM  
Blogger ALTAMIRA said...

excelentes dibujos!

6:10 AM  
Blogger Susangalique said...

A friend sent me a link yo your site. Your work struck me as very delicate and fluid. I will have to pop in here more often.

8:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

beautiful line work. it's good to see personal work infiltrate this blog from time to time. i wish i had known you'd be in new york... i would have loved to meet you.

2:18 PM  
Blogger lilly piri said...

ooh James, they're all so beautiful:) thank you for sharing (& reminding me i need to draw from life more!)

4:08 PM  
Blogger mackaydesign said...

These beautiful sketches are truly unreal. Amazing, James.

10:15 PM  
Blogger Process Recess said...

Thanks for the comments, everyone! I'm glad that the interest and joy I take in the simple act of drawing translates through these sketchbook pages. Reportage drawing is indeed a way to cleanse the mind's eye.

Alice - I didn't mean that DC actually favors women artists, it's an extremely competitive meritocracy . . . what I meant was that I see many female cartoonists doing great, personal work lately that perhaps casts a wider net on the reading public, and that's to your advantage if your work has that quality. Youth is exciting, experience is meaningful, and sex sells.

anon - I'll be revamping the entire site soon, so there will be a new feed soon.

jed - this blog is curated very carefully . . . the bad stuff shall never be named or revealed.

chadlie - thanks for the link to Jim Lee's video blog. It gives me some ideas . . .

5:54 PM  
Blogger Alice Meichi said...

Thank you for clearing that up, James. I must agree, especially (whether it's good or bad) influenced by the influx of manga/anime and its more intimate styles of storytelling in many cases. Also regarding your sketches -- while comparing them to ones in your sketchbook, it's nice to see that even one as talented as you were back then can still improve.

7:51 AM  
Blogger Scott Wright said...

Simply gorgous. Great sketches just beautiful!

11:53 AM  
Blogger naomiful said...

ahhhhh! your lines are so nice to look at. :)

8:44 PM  
Blogger MalArte said...

You are my inspiration. amazing ^_^

3:20 PM  
Anonymous Sarah e. Smith said...

I just stumbled upon your art and blog via StumbleUPon....amazing work! I will definately be back to check more of it out! Cheers!

1:41 AM  
Anonymous duc said...


11:36 AM  
Anonymous Joey said...

Your sketchbook entry with the Japanese woman playing the instrument is absolutely STUNNING. Thank you for sharing! I would be VERY interested in finding out how to purchase something like this.

1:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hola big! I admire you very much very much very much ... and I go away when some tattoo of your illustrations that it(he,she) has very much meant for my ... the girl eating up a star of sea under the great wave ... the starfishes regeneran.gracias for existing and to do these illustrations, I have used a translator because I am of espaƱa.te admire gentleman

3:47 AM  
Blogger Toyebot said...

gorgeous, as always thx!

9:24 PM  
Blogger tirui said...

these are beautiful!! your finished pieces are great, but there's a tender subtle feeling in your sketches that i love! wonderful textures too.

1:06 AM  
Blogger Felicity said...

These sketches leave me speechless! Even everyday scenes become dynamic and powerful with your pencil!

11:25 PM  
Anonymous Royal KW said...

Hey guys, this might not be the best place, but for all the James Jean fans, I just wanted to put this listing up for my 1st edition Process Recess book. I'm moving so I've got a bunch of great things for art lovers, please take a look. I hope he doesn't mind that I used some pictures for the temporary listing, please help me raise some money for my moving, thanks! : Click to Go the Site

8:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't care if I'm repeating what 50 million people have already said about your sketch work. I DON'T CARE! BECAUSE YOU ARE A BASTARD. HOW DARE YOU DRAW! :) kidding aside/ I just really love your travel drawings. They really teach me, and I guess everyone about what kind of subject matter you need to make a good drawing (almost anything!). THANKS, for raising the bar so high.. I mean you've set it so high I can't even see it -the bar-.

All the best.

1:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

man i just got to say this cause i dont think i can hold it in anymore........i dont think you are HUMAN! it's really creeping me out.....this is not human abilities, your just out of this world.

1:50 AM  

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