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.

Avalon sketches

 Posted by on May 27, 2018  Lefties, Location Sketching, Travel
May 272018
 
Avalon sketches

Earlier this month, Julia and I spent a pleasant week on the island of Santa Catalina, where we both did a lot of sketching. I wasn’t able to finish all my sketches on site but finished a few at our hotel on the island (and the rest at home). I finally scanned them all: Though the weather was always [..READ MORE..]

Sonoma sketches

 Posted by on April 29, 2018  Lefties, Location Sketching
Apr 292018
 
Sonoma sketches

I just tidied up and scanned some sketches drawn a few months ago while staying in Sonoma. My Brother Jo and his wife Priscilla were visiting Northern California wine tasting with a group of their friends, and invited Julia and I to meet them on the Sonoma leg of their trip. Julia found us a posh AirbnB near [..READ MORE..]

‘in darkest PERU..’

 Posted by on February 3, 2018  AutoBio, Photos, Travel
Feb 032018
 
'in darkest PERU..'

The joy of writing and receiving multipage handwritten letters is a lost pleasure. My letter output now is no better than the average 21st century yahoo, but I was a prodigious letter writer in the 1980s, while working in Asian animation studios to finance extensive travel. In the pre-internet & iPhone era, travel abroad might mean weeks with [..READ MORE..]

Ornaments

 Posted by on January 10, 2018  Lefties, Location Sketching
Jan 102018
 
Ornaments

Here is a watercolour sketch of German Christmas ornaments seen at Julia’s parents house. Her parents live on Bainbridge Island in Puget Sound, where we spent Julia’s birthday on a rainy New Year’s Eve, just last week. Each time we’ve visited beautiful Bainbridge I’ve always wanted to sketch, but the weather is often too cold and/or rainy rainy to [..READ MORE..]

KOed on Boxing Day

 Posted by on December 26, 2017  My stroke
Dec 262017
 
KOed on Boxing Day

The day after Christmas, Julia had planned to work at home but discovered she didn’t have the password to remotely access her company computer and left to work a full day down the peninsula. I planned to get coffee with my pal Tony, before assembling with Gale & Julia for dinner. After a lazy morning reading in bed [..READ MORE..]

Sep 302017
 
SPACE FLiK: The Corrector's Cut

Although I’ve worked in animation since 1982 and loved the medium my whole life, there was only one time that I made an animated project on my own (apart from flip-books). At the age of 15/16, my obsessions were WARNER Bros CARTOONS, STAR WARS and MAD Magazine, influences clearly seen in the crudely made parody finished over a year later. [..READ MORE..]

Robo-Brawl

 Posted by on August 29, 2017  Comics, Drawings, Projects
Aug 292017
 
Robo-Brawl

One of the first colour images I ever drew of Rocket Rabbit was of being chased by a big blue robot, who came to be called THE BLUDGEONATOR. Although that image became the cover for my first ever Rocket Rabbit comic book, I never drew any continuity for this robotic showdown back then, but I’m roughing out the [..READ MORE..]

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..]