James Baker

Raised in Australia, James Baker is a pencil-jockey who's worked in the animation industry since 1982. He has worked at studios all over the world, and now makes his home in San Francisco. This blog is a place for him to explore personal projects in both writing and drawing.

Hotel Holiday

 Posted by on August 9, 2014  Drawings, Family, Lefties, Travel
Aug 092014
 
Hotel Holiday

My Brother Jo and his family recently invited Julia and I to join them, and my Dad and his wife Wendy, for a holiday in Mexico. We’ve had a rocky time of things the past few years, and this was a wonderful opportunity to relax. Despite feeling ill the entire time, I did some sketching, and broke in a beautiful [..read more..]

May 022014
 
SPACE..The Final Frontier..

Here are some left-handed drawings from recent TV sketch nights drawing Star Trek. The bright colours and simple shapes, not to mention the broad characters and melodramatic action of James T. Kirk and his iconic, space-faring crew, can be quite fun to draw. I remember the very first time I ever saw Star Trek; it was 1974, I was 10 [..read more..]

Apr 182014
 
One Flew Off to CUCKOO’S NEST

July 15, 1986, I left Australia for what I thought would be a 6 month or one year trip at most, but it ended up being an overseas jaunt that lasted the rest of my life. I’d worked in Sydney animation studios since 1982, saving money for a trip to Japan. By mid 1986, I’d got my passport, bought a [..read more..]

Early Lefties

 Posted by on March 31, 2014  Drawings, Lefties
Mar 312014
 
Early Lefties

For posterity, here are some of the very first location sketches drawn with my left hand. I’d already done a lot of lefty drawing at home, (including some illustrations for my childhood stories on this blog) but had not ventured outside to draw from life until last September, when both Julia and I went drawing for a couple of consecutive [..read more..]

Yerba Buena

 Posted by on February 28, 2014  Artists, Drawings, Friends, Lefties
Feb 282014
 
Yerba Buena

Last weekend was a good one for drawing; both doing it ourselves and appreciating drawings done by others. Firstly, on Saturday, Julia and I went to Yerba Buena Gardens to draw: I ‘ve sketched here before (a study of the church you see here) but this time I tried an overview. The angle I chose was from the terrace, where there [..read more..]

Feb 192014
 
TV Sketching: The Dowager Countess

Apart from our recent location sketching, Julia and I have also been sketching from TV shows, and a recent fave is Downton Abbey, starring the wonderful Maggie Smith. In my opinion, she steals every almost episode as the dowager Countess, Lady Grantham. She inflects every line with subtle flaring of nostril, tilt of head or withering of stare, that imbue [..read more..]

Presidio Sketch Weekend

 Posted by on January 31, 2014  Drawings, Lefties
Jan 312014
 
Presidio Sketch Weekend

Here are several sketches done from life, each drawn very slowly in my new left-handed technique, while visiting a very sunny Presidio last weekend with Julia. Lately I have been trying to draw with my left hand, and I have been doing silly, cartoonish illustrations for the childhood recollections I have been writing. I quite like the effect that the [..read more..]

BIZARRO Sketch Night

 Posted by on January 16, 2014  Lefties, Updates
Jan 162014
 
BIZARRO Sketch Night

A week ago today, my friend Ben Walker held one of his fun sketch events at 111 Minna Gallery. This time it was BIZARRO SKETCH NIGHT, where all the participants drew 100% with their non-dominant hands. Drawing with my bad hand is something I’ve been getting trying to get used to of late, with mixed success.. So it was great [..read more..]

Jan 072014
 
A Boxing Day Far, Far, Away..

It’s difficult to preserve memory when your older-self’s revised view constantly overwrites the original impression. How do you file a loving memory of someone you no-longer like? Or childhood memories of wonder, but of things now uncool? Do you owe it to your earlier-self to keep that first impression alive? One such moment, is a memory of awe and fascination [..read more..]

Chook Hunter

 Posted by on October 26, 2013  Baker's Dozen, Family, Lefties
Oct 262013
 
Chook Hunter

My paternal grandfather lives on as a cheery, little hardworking gnome of a man in my memory, yet my favourite photo of him, snapped by a street photographer well before my own Dad was even born, shows an impossibly roguish little bugger in his prime, an antipodean George Raft wearing his hat cocked at a rakish angle with his hands [..read more..]