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.

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  Thoughts, 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..]







The Year Of The Rabbit

 Posted by on October 18, 2016  Comics, Lefties, Projects
Oct 182016
 
The Year Of The Rabbit

Since 2001 or so, I’ve occasionally published silly comics about ROCKET & PROFESSOR, but I’ve doodled the characters even longer than that. The few comics I’ve actually completed belie the fact that I’m always drawing the characters, and thumbnailing & planning stories. Real life sometimes got in the way of following through, but lately I’ve been trying to [..READ MORE..]







Aug 052016
 
Pear Cider & Cigarettes

I’ve worked in many studios, but will always have a special fondness for MAVERIX STUDIOS, the place where I first created my own ideas, rather than merely being a cog in someone else’s machine. All other members of the Maverix collective explored their own creative visions too and it was constantly chaotic, nutty & fun, as such stimulating places often are. Studio founder Robert Valley [..READ MORE..]







Animation Teaching

 Posted by on May 19, 2016  Updates, Work
May 192016
 
Animation Teaching

For the past few months I’ve been teaching 3 seperate classes in 2D hand drawn animation at Academy of Art in San Francisco, filling in for faculty teacher Daisy Church while she was out on maternity leave. Here is a photo of my final class, which was held just this morning; Traditional Animation 3 . (Sadly I did [..READ MORE..]