Artist James Jean has been successful in both the commercial and fine art worlds, and it's not hard to see why. I always love to look at artists' sketchbooks -- it's the closest you can get to seeing the world through their eyes. There are lots of indications of the thought processes, and tons of small gems to discover. And in Jean's sketchbooks, we get to see the exquisite draftsmanship and sensitivity of his undeniable natural talent.
On his site he has pages from sketchbooks going back to 2001. There's an abundance of imagination that really makes me yearn for the days when I was at art school and had the kind of mental freedom he projects onto these pages.
As a comic book artist he's won 7 Eisner Awards already, the industry's highest award, and he's only 29 years old. But you definitely get the idea he's just scratching the surface of his ability. His lines have amazing sensuality, and they imbue even mundane scenes with a romance and uniqueness that makes me remember why small moments are important.
What can I say, I am a huge fan of his work. If you're in Los Angeles, he's doing a book signing of his work at Golden Apple Comics on Melrose tomorrow, Nob. 12. There's more info on his blog. He'll also be at Nucleus for a book signing on Nov. 29.