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.

Highland Scout

 Posted by on July 25, 2017  AutoBio, Family, Lefties, Travel
Jul 252017
 
Highland Scout

“Sell ticker rain jurrs, wee chwonn?!” Said he. “Huh? Oi dahnd unnerstehnn wotcha saiyin!” Said I. It was my first day at primary school in Glasgow and a mutually unintelligible clash of regional English accents was under way; Glasgow Scots vs Rural Aussie. Like me, the other kid was a knock kneed 9 year old Celt, but wearing a [..READ MORE..]

Jun 202017
 
Nippon By Rail

The Japan Rail Pass was grossly expensive to someone used to meagre 1980s Australian animation wages but I forked over my hard earned cash anyway, for a chance to explore the length and breadth of a country I’d long wanted to see. Only available for purchase outside Japan, The JR Pass is valid on ferries and trains (even snazzy Shinkansen ‘bullet [..READ MORE..]

Father Footy

 Posted by on June 1, 2017  AutoBio, Drawings
Jun 012017
 
Father Footy

A major misstep in my childhood was made while wearing my first pair of rugby boots (which were actually a pair of cheap sneakers in my case.) At the age of 7, I’d never even heard of of rugby league, having just moved to the Australian mainland from Tasmania where we didn’t play the game, but my new classmates [..READ MORE..]

2016 Dickens Fair

 Posted by on May 21, 2017  Figure Sketching, Lefties
May 212017
 
2016 Dickens Fair

In December Julia and I went to San Francisco’s Dickens Fair, which I’d often heard about but never attended. Despite being surrounded by a constant jibber-jabber of lame Cockney accents that would make even Dick Van Dyke wince ( ‘Cor Blimey Mary!‘ ) it was a lot of fun. Seen here are some sketches done in the PreRaphaelite Artists Salon, where we got art [..READ MORE..]

Shanghaied

 Posted by on May 10, 2017  AutoBio, Travel
May 102017
 
Shanghaied

21st century Shanghai, with its ultra modern skyline and high fashion boutiques, is barely recognisable as the time-stuck town I visited in the 1980s, when the dominant fashion designer was still chairman Mao. Even Shanghai hipsters of those days still wore blue worker’s smocks and caps with the little red star, and the architecture of the city was [..READ MORE..]

17th & Noe

 Posted by on April 16, 2017  Drawings, Lefties, Location Sketching
Apr 162017
 
17th & Noe

Here’s a sketch I just scanned that was drawn last year when Julia and I went drawing in San Francisco’s Castro neighbourhood. A week or two earlier we’d eaten nearby at a great little restaurant called FRANCES and we’d noticed that the neighbourhood had a lot of pretty houses, and came back later to draw the area.

Buchanan & Pine

 Posted by on April 4, 2017  Drawings, Location Sketching
Apr 042017
 
Buchanan & Pine

Last weekend Julia and I joined some friends to sketch from the roof of their flat. Kim & Randy live over by Japantown and the view from the top of their building is stunning. There was so much to choose from to draw, that I decided to simply attempt to sketch as much as I could. We were [..READ MORE..]

my personal thanksgiving

 Posted by on December 26, 2016  My stroke
Dec 262016
 
my personal thanksgiving

On December 26th 2012 at about 11am, I started to slip away as my brain and body both began to gradually shut down. A tiny blood vessel had ruptured in the left thalamus of my brain like a bomb blast in my head, and 4 years later I’m still living in the ruins of that explosion. Every day [..READ MORE..]

WALL-E: VisDev

 Posted by on November 26, 2016  Character design, Drawings, VisDev, Work
Nov 262016
 
WALL-E: VisDev

This is some visual development for WALL-E drawn back in early 2005 while I worked under the great production designer RALPH EGGLESTON in the Pixar ART department, before working in the story department on the same project. In its very earliest incarnation, WALL-E started as an idea developed by PETE DOCTER, but when it went into production the [..READ MORE..]