Soccer Ball in the Grass, spot illustration

Soccer Ball in the Grass, spot illustration, by James Hough, 2014

Here is a new piece for my illustration portfolio. This soccer ball in the grass began as a drawing on paper, then I painted it digitally.

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Starving Artist, Jim Public Presents, Volume 1 by James Hough, press release

Starving Artist, Jim Public Presents, Volume 1, by James Hough, header image

Starving Artist, Jim Public Presents, Volume 1, by James Hough, cover image

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

NEW ART-THEMED COMIC BOOK RELEASED IN DALLAS
Jim Public, the enterprise of artist James Hough, publishes Starving Artist, a comic book about art, family, and hamburgers

DALLAS, TX — Jim Public is proud to announce the publication of the new comic book Starving Artist: Jim Public Presents, Volume 1 by Dallas-based artist James Hough. The comic tells the story of Jim, an artist and family man whose aesthetic ambitions are vitally linked to his domestic and gastric aspirations.

“Jim has a plan to sell a painting and use the cash to take his family out for burgers,” says Mr. Hough. “Starving Artist is a slice-of-life story that connects the artist’s career to the artist’s home and family. It is an Anti-Myth of the Artist.”

The reader first sees Jim floating pajama-clad through his dreams of fame, fortune, and food before he is abruptly awakened by an early alarm clock. From there he makes his kids breakfast and kisses them good-bye, setting off to exhibit his painting on the downtown Dallas streets.

The story is semi-autobiographical, much of it based on Hough’s experiences as the proprietor of his mobile gallery of contemporary art, Jim Public’s Truck.

“The gallery continues its mission ‘to present artwork in unusual, spontaneous, and neighborly ways’ with the publication of Starving Artist,” says Hough. “The comic exists digitally and in the traditional paper format, and it costs the tiniest fraction of an original painting, for example. It is an extremely accessible piece of art, a bit spontaneous and very neighborly.”

The comic also features Hough’s new painting Burger Night and a bonus educational chart entitled “All Art Is Abstract Art,” which includes the artist’s renderings of famous paintings from art history organized into a concise lesson on abstract art.

Starving Artist: Jim Public Presents, Volume 1 by James Hough is available on paper at http://www.jimpublic.com/books and digitally at eBookstores everywhere.

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Apple iBookstore

Amazon Kindle

Barnes & Noble Nook

Sony Reader Store

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SCBWI Picture Book Workshop in DFW, with Priscilla Burris

I’m passing along the details of this workshop—I’m looking forward to it, and it should be particularly helpful for aspiring illustrators. I learned so much from last year’s workshop with Dan Yaccarino.

Dear NC/NE Texas SCBWI illustrators,

Do not miss the April 20 SCBWI picture book workshop, BLENDING WORDS WITH ILLUSTRATIONS. We are lucky to host Priscilla Burris, a successful Southern California-based illustrator/author who has published many books for kids. She is also the illustrator coordinator for SCBWI.

As an added bonus, Priscilla will do portfolio critiques for the first eight who register and pay for the conference and a critique. There are still a few spots open, so send your registration form in by April 13 to reserve your spot.

In this full-day workshop, Priscilla will share her views on the publishing industry and what it takes to create a successful picture book. Targeted to illustrators and author/illustrators, you’ll leave with a better understanding of how to blend words with illustrations. There will be lots of hands-on work, so bring a sketch pad, pens and pencils as well as your favorite picture book.

WHEN: Saturday, April 20, 9 a.m.- 4 p.m.

WHERE: Westminster Presbyterian Church, 1330 S, Fielder Road, Arlington, TX 76013

WORKSHOP COST: Admission is $45 for members, $60 for non-members.

PORTFOLIO CRITIQUE COST: Admission is $35 for members, $45 for non-members. Go to http://www.scbwi.org/Regional-Chapters.aspx?R=47&sec=News to download the registration form.

Please plan to join Priscilla and other SCBWI members for a casual Dutch treat dinner Friday night in Dallas and/or Saturday following the conference in Arlington. Times and locations are on the chapter website).

We look forward to seeing you. Watch the chapter website http://www.scbwi.org/Regional-Chapters.aspx?R=47 for the latest news and events.

Digital Baby Daughter

Illustrated Baby Daughter, Jim Public, 2003

My daughter was born during the time of my graduate studies at UNLV, where I was learning about digital art from the illustrious Helga Watkins. In an effort to improve my skills and create a portfolio piece, I used Adobe Illustrator to make this vector portrait of my baby girl. I like the idea that, because it’s a vector image, she could be scaled up infinitely without losing her smooth, baby features.

Two Sisters as Superheroes

Little Girl Superhero Portrait, Jim Public, 2012

Baby Girl Superhero Portrait, Jim Public, 2012

While working on new paintings and illustrations in the studio, I have also been working on an upsurge of new portrait commissions lately. There are so many painters who do traditional portraiture better than I do–not to mention photographers–that I prefer the fun energy of transforming people into comic- and cartoon-style heroes.