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James Shedden Artist, Illustrator, Web Designer, Animator, Musician, Londoner

November 12, 2012

James Shedden is an all round creative bod. From a B.A in Illustration at Cambridge School of Art, he went on to work for himself.  Aside from his involvement with music, web design, animation and graphics, he also likes to create illustrations from cardboard sets. Although on first glance you wouldn’t always know.

He lets the privileged few into the secrets behind his creations on his blog, with photographs cataloging the stages before the completed image is seen. I love his use of colour.

His quirky view on life’s situations also covers situations like making porridge or noodles !

He also likes creating images for other bands like ‘The Raincoats‘, ‘I Break Horses‘ and ‘Little Dragon‘. You can find a link to James’s own band ‘Hoshal Patrick’ here.

What a creative mind, I bet he loves it when a cardboard box arrives too ! James very kindly answered some questions especially for Fishink Blog.

You’re obviously very creative, do you have a background which echoes this? What would be your earliest memories of creating things?

I don’t come from a creative background as such but I was an only child so finding things to do was quite important. I kept busy with crayons/pencils/pens & paper, a miniature Yamaha keyboard (which I still use now for recording/sampling purposes) and a NES. It’d be disingenous to suggest drawing has ever been a singular passion but I seem to have spent a lot of time doing it. Some early memories of being creative: drawing on the pavement in coloured chalk; a brief obsession with designing the world’s best bunk-bed (it had several tiers and a separate area for playing video games); learning to play the theme tune to Red Dwarf.
How long have you been working in this style and what prompted you to start? Where do your ideas for models come from?
I was a chronic doodler at school and often found myself drawing arrangements of cuboids, prisms etc. My aim was to be able to draw the human body really well, but cubes are a lot easier. These evolved into three-dimensional cardboard towers once I became an art student – you’re encouraged to experiment and I made a lot of models. Eventually I started using these structures to create compositions which I’d then photograph and work on it in Photoshop – this allowed me to bring drawing & painting back into the process. This is how I still work now and have done for several years since leaving education. So the ideas for models really just come out of the process of making them. The ideas for illustrations & images though are usually just everyday things – a book I read, what I had for breakfast, something that was in the news etc.
With many fingers in animation, music, songwriting, illustration do you have any preference as to any favourites?
I don’t have a favourite but each has its own distinct positives and negatives! There are useful abstract concepts to understand, mostly to do with consistency, clarity and energy that you might come to first in music and last in visual art, and grasping an important aspect of one discipline can really further your overall understanding of the others. Animation & music usually require a lot more patience due to the fact the finished product has to last a period of time. I’m probably most at home with – and most conversant in – the world of design & image-making.Any present ideas or themes you are working on now? Future aims / aspirations?
I’m currently finishing off the mixing of an EP for my band Hoshal Patrick – I make music by myself as well and that’s generally ongoing. Another open-ended project is my animated soul-singing robot Poo John, which is an excuse for me to record song covers and also gives me a chance to improve my animation skills and try out ideas. At the moment I’m also working on a computer game with a couple of my friends, I’m doing the artwork which will be very close to my current illustration style. Hopefully the future will be something like the present, in which I’m kept busy! I guess I could say the projects should bigger, better, more fun, ambitious etc but a continuous amount of small projects would still be fine!
Many thanks for taking the time to enlighten us into your world of making and creating James. I hope by now that you do have that amazing multi-tiered bunk bed, as it sounds great  lol
One Comment leave one →
  1. Sarah permalink
    November 12, 2012 11:29 pm

    Thanks Craig for showing me its FAB to be creative in a completley individual way. I also really really like Poo John singing REM –

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