Sunday, June 14, 2009

Meet the Game of King's artists - Quigonjim Interview

James Grey or Quigonjim as he Red Bubble profile states has been described by “Game of Kings” creator Simon Sherry as one of the most criminally neglected artists on Red bubble. Group member Danny says he is the fastest communicator of ideas that he has ever worked with. The speed that he can produce and the quality is just amazing.
Jim as he is best known as in the group has amazed his collaborators with stunning art and quirky images that go beyond his brief. Jim (along with Glen Smith) regularly come up with faux viral marketing ideas that are hilarious as well as effective. Jim is also responsible for the development of the current logo and is a driving force when it comes to keeping the standard high with his enthusiasm and drive and through this has become a respected and popular member.
We recently cornered Jim long enough to find what makes this man tick?

Can we have a few words about your good self?

Father, husband, illustrator, designer, painter, rocker, reader and motor sport fan!

Is that not a enough? I’ll expand on that a tad shall I…

First and foremost, I’m married with one, beautiful, five year old daughter, a border collie, an ancient cat, three bonkers rabbits and two goldfish. We live in a village in the Sussex countryside, fifteen minutes walk from the coast, with a stunning view of the River Ouse valley.

At school, I decided that a career in the creative world was the path for me. I always enjoyed drawing and painting as a child and I seemed to do well in creative subjects. So in 1990, at Thanet College in Kent, I was lucky enough to be able to take three A-Levels: Graphic Design, Fine Art and Textile & Surface Design. While there I was taught by Mike Trim who worked on various Gerry Anderson projects and painted Jeff Wayne’s War of the Worlds album cover, and Russ Nicholson who spent his time illustrating the Fighting Fantasy role-play books and contributing to White Dwarf magazine. Those two in particular had a massive influence on me and I have been forever grateful ever since. From there I did a Foundation Course at Kent Institute of Art & Design (KIAD) Canterbury, which lead onto Northbrook College, East Sussex, in 1994,to take an HND in Graphic Design & Illustration and from there into the big wide world.

I’ve been a freelance illustrator/comic artist/cartoonist and sometime graphic designer, website designer, portrait painter, nursery mural artist and sign writer for the last fifteen years… Yup, I’m a Jack of all trades really.

The thing I fear most is the “white rectangle of doom” and silence. I can’t work without a heavy rock cd blaring out from somewhere in the house, I’m particularly partial to a starter of Progressive Metal with a twist of cheesy ‘80’s AOR spinkled over the top and for dessert a large bowl of Power Metal and a nice cup of Hanz Zimmer to wash it all down with. Sunday’s are my day off, where I’m either feet up beer in hand watching the Superbikes, MotoGP or F1 on the box, or actually at a Superbike meet.

Currently I specialise in Superbike and MotoGP art, which I sell a fair few prints of, mainly through my website, and my eBay shop.

Clients include:
Aon Insurance, Caravan Magazine, Paramount Care Homes Ltd, AccentUK Comics, Underfire Comics, Quellheart Publishing, Zel Pubs, and A La Mode Entertainment to name a few. And of course many, many private commissions for portraits, caricatures, custom leather jacket paintings, tattoo designs, nursery murals and one off design jobs for logo designs including stationary and headed paper, wedding invitations and brochures and what not.

Commercially: Drew Struzan, Richard Amsel and Bob Peak (movie poster artists), Roger Dean, Brian Froud, Dave McKean, Cam Kennedy (2000ad), Mike McMahon (2000ad), J. Scott Campbell (Danger Girl), Adam Hughes (Ghost & Cat Woman) and Jim Fitzpatrick to name but a few.
Historically: Alphonse Mucha, Gustav Klimt, Arthur Rackham, Norman Rockwell… the list goes on.
Have I said too much now???

Nope, but I bet a few people are reading this and going “In one lifetime?”
It’s now very obvious the “Game of Kings” is very lucky to have you aboard
So that leads to the question how did you get involved with the project?

Well, I’ve been a RedBubbler for a while now and I was aware of all the other artists and designers on board the Game of Kings express and many of us had left each other comments on their creative works on numerous occasions, one of which was Simon Sherry… or Dr. Sherry as I’ve come to call him .
He Bubblemailed me one day, asking whether I would like to hitch a ride on his rollercoaster of wonder and delight. Already being aware of his wonderful Killbots and Fulldeck series’ he did, it was a no brainer to grab that ticket and jump aboard.

How do you personally think it is going and do you think it has potential?

Oh, wow. This project has masses of potential. I’m stunned into silence every time I check on the other guys work in progress, the quality and quantity of work, idea’s and WIP’s are amazing. And the different styles and techniques being used and abused is a wonderful site to behold.
Dr. Sherry has been lucky enough to get a fantastic team of available artists, illustrators and designers together along with some incredibly well thought out and executed narrative from Danny
If this all goes flat and down the plughole come launch time, I’ll be very, very surprised. I can’t wait to see and read Joe public’s response to The Game of Kings.

Do you want to flog some other projects you are involved in?

Ooh, why not …

Firstly there’s my previous comic art, for AccentUK Comics, most of which has now managed to get onto the Diamond distribution list, meaning it’ll be available worldwide now. These are three anthologies entitled “Zombies” (2007), “Robots” (2008) and “Western” (2009), available from all good comic shops or can be ordered through Diamond or the AccentUK website.

Then there is “Rock Night” from Underfire Comics, which was a blast to do. It was, as GOK is, a collaboration of ten comic artists and writers, all thrown in a mixing bowl and baked into a cracking tale about what you would do if tomorrow was going to be the last day of life as we know it. Armageddon to you and me!
Unerfire Comics

Lastly, this summer should see the release of my latest book “The Pubs of Hastings and St Leonards: 1800 – 2000” written by David Russell.
Over 100 illustrations have been done for this book and I can’t wait to see it in my sticky mits: )
Some of the illustrations from the book can be seen on my website or here on Redbubble.

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