New Work

Thomas James – Epic Illustration for The Globe and Mail

I was very inspired by a recent editorial assignment from The Globe and Mail, which provided a perfect outlet for my new explorations in incorporating digital collage into my work. This particular story was about an Italian immigrant to Canada who carved out a life for himself through years of hard work and dedication. The article was written by his grandson, and what struck me about it was the portrayal of the man as a sort of giant among men, who lived an epic life and helped hundreds of others, directly and indirectly, to make the same migration to Canada. So, I decided to depict the immigrant as an actual giant in a mythic scene reminiscent of Paul Bunyan and other fables, literally helping others across “on the back” of his hard work.

The digital part of this piece involved painstakingly assembling the pier, ocean, beach scene, and smaller figures from bits and pieces of photographs and drawings, along with the grafting of fabrics and textures to tie it all together.

See more of my work here >>

9 thoughts on “Thomas James – Epic Illustration for The Globe and Mail

  1. Thanks Alex and Kyle. It’s something I’ve been wanting to incorporate more into my work, which has been scary but exciting to take chances on. Also, I’m moving away from drawing from visual reference such as setting up my own models and such. I feel like drawing from my imagination more and simplifying the figure helps me to reach my conceptual goals much better without to much detail in the figure getting in the way. Thanks again for the feedback.

  2. I love the seamless use of photographic elements and textures. I’ve also been trying to break away from direct reference in favor of drawing more upon my imagination. I think it’s a good move. The results are so much more dynamic and rewarding. And you arrive at a style of drawing and interpreting figures and objects that is more genuinely YOU. I like all the things you are trying in this piece, and I hope to see a lot more of this kind of stuff from you. Well done!!

    • I couldn’t agree more, Noah. For a while I prided myself in my efforts to set up models and scenes exactly how I wanted them, but I find that drawing from my imagination is so much more fun. And from a business standpoint, drawing from models can make my work look too much like the work of other people. I’m also very excited about the direction I’m going with the photographic elements.

    • It’s a pretty meticulous process, but I’m having a lot of fun with it and making them all work together is definitely a priority of mine, so thanks for saying that. More to come!

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