Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Fresh Paint: Jaime Jones

Scott Fischer turned me on to Jaime Jones' website. My reaction basically boiled down to, "whoa" and "wow!"

Where did you go to school and how do you feel they prepared you for your career, both artistically and in business?
I spent two years at Corcoran College of Art and Design in Washington DC. They didn't have an illustration program, but I benefited from classes in drawing and art theory. Corcoran is basically an art gallery with a school in its basement, so I was able to go upstairs and see original work from some of the greatest artists ever. I had some pretty good instructors, but I learned more from looking at original John Singer Sargent drawings than by anything they could teach. By the end of my second year I had the offer from Arenanet, and I was becoming frustrated with the conceptual art bent of Corcoran's fine art program. I decided I was ready to work.

What do you feel is your biggest hurdle in getting commissions?

My skill level. If doors are closed to me its a reminder that I need to keep practicing.


Do you feel as though you've had your first break yet?
I think getting this job at Arenanet was my first break. I've never been surrounded by people with so much talent and knowledge. All the work I did before this was handled over the Internet, and I was just another name in an e-mail list. To be working in a room with a bunch of other artists has made me feel very connected to the industry.


Any advice to younger artists?

Get inspired. Everyone knows they need to work hard, and we all intend to do so, but I don't think very many people actually do. If you find something that inspires you to practice and improve, working hard becomes an extension of your interests instead of a means to an end. In my case, I've found that I love old paintings. I read art books and study the lives of painters I admire. Looking at their work gives me ideas for new th
ings to try in my own paintings. Other people I know gather inspiration for writing, science, history and so on.

Can you share with us a favorite painting that you have done in the last year?

I like what I did in this painting of giant frogs prowling a swamp for Guild Wars: [Top image shown.] I think it does what I intended from a storytelling perspective. It provides a mood, a setting, and some characters, then leaves the details of the action up to the viewer's imagination. Plus I like frogs.


Do you think you have a breakthrough painting in which you made a leap in your abilities?

Sophomore year of high school I painted this muscular white-haired guy with a glowing mechanical eye and a vile of green goo in his hand. It was one of my first digital paintings, I probably spent 40 hours on it. I remember inventing ne
w muscles just so I'd have more surface to render highlights. It wasn't good (it was horrible), but I've never learned so much at once and I came out of it ready to outdo myself with the next painting.

Can you share with us a favorite painting by another artist?

Lately I've been coming back to this one by Isaac Levitan.
I don't think anyone has painted moods like Levitan did. If I could just get half of that kind of feeling in my work...

11 comments:

Tom Scholes said...

Jaime is probably in my top 5 digital painters, I'd say painters in general but this is just easier to calculate. :D

You should note that he will be among the large list of instructors at the next ConceptArt.org workshop this January in Seattle.

robin_chyo said...

Jaime's one talented fellow. I like to think of him as the next Craig Mullins! He's still young and is only going to keep getting better and better in the future..and that scares me!

capprotti said...

"If you find something that inspires you to practice and improve, working hard becomes an extension of your interests instead of a means to an end."

The irony of this statement is that for the past couple of months I keep coming back to his folder on my computer for inspiration. And I think that I've had one of the biggest breakthroughs (mentally) after absorbing the pure genius of Jaime's art.

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