Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Meet The Artist- Mike James Part II

As part of the conversations I have had with Candian artist Mike James I recently did an interview about his art work as well as his sports and team alligiences.

- I have to ask, are you a collector? If so what do you prefer to collect?

"I used to be a big baseball card collector starting in the early 90s - once I started painting full time in the 2000s I switched to being a hockey card collector - most of the paintings I was doing were of hockey players, so I used them as reference often. I have stopped collecting almost completely now - just buying the odd card here and there."

How long have you been creating sports related artwork?

"I have been painting since the mid-90s. I started painting portraits on baseballs as a way to pay my way through university. Most of the work that I do now is sketches and painted jerseys. I was painting full time 7 or 8 years ago, but now I work full time, so this has become more of a hobby."

- What is your favorite sport and do you have a favorite player/team?

"Growing up, Cal Ripken was my favorite player, and I used to go to see the Orioles play every time they came to see the Blue Jays. I am still a big baseball fan and hockey fan as well (although I am Canadian but don't know how to skate!!!) - As for hockey, my favorite player is (Alexander) Ovechkin, but mostly because I really enjoy painting him as he is very distinctive looking."

- I have seen your work appear on jerseys, baseballs, canvases and sketch cards; do you have a favorite medium that you prefer to work with?

"I started with pencil crayons, and moved onto acrylics. I prefer not to use oil paint because I can't get the same type of detail that I can with the acrylics. I have only started using pencils again this past year."

- I first came across your work while writing a piece about the Topps You Sketch It cards. Using the Topps Sketch It cards you created a number of ACEO cards; will you continue using these cards or similar opportunities?

"I started sketching my own cards last year before the Topps 'You Sketch it' cards came out - the first custom group were not nearly as detailed as the ones I am producing now - took me a little while to get back into the swing with pencils as I hadn't used them in quite some time. I have done a number of the Topps cards now - mostly for collectors, but some of them I have sent in to Topps to see how they do."

-Is this where you sell your work or is there a way that interested collectors can find your work or get in touch with you?

"I only list items here and there to showcase my work when I don't have any other art on the go - my (eBay) user-name is all-star2002. If people are interested in my work, they can email me at this address: allstarillustrations- as long as they know that this is a part time gig, so never sure what my schedule is like."

- We have seen your work appear in the hobby before, in the 2003-04 Be A Player “Brush With Greatness” insert & jersey grand prize, do you have anything coming up in the near future that collectors can be looking forward to?

"Ahh...there are some things in the works, but don't want to give too much away...but if you look closely at some of the images that have been released from the new upcoming Heroes and Prospects baseball set...you might just see a pencil sketch or two..."

- Can you highlight some of your work over the years?

"The main charities/people that I have worked for over the past number of years include: The Children's Aid Foundation on and off in the 90s with painted baseballs of Blue Jays players, Shoot for a Cure, Great North Road - I did a few pieces for Frameworth, and I have also done numerous paintings for Jason Ward (of the Canadiens, Rangers, Kings etc...) and a number of other players as well

Keep an eye for a forth coming follow up to my conversation with artist Mike James, I will be completing my "Meet The Artist- Mike James" segment with a final posting including some more of his artwork and possibly a special contest.

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