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James Bates Artist Biography

James Bates is a London based printmaker, illustrator, designer and animator. His work covers a wide range of skills and disciplines, having worked in design, advertising, album art, print and moving image. James Bates' parents are both artists, so he thinks his career as an artist was inevitable. In an interview with artrepublic, he explained that "[art] was all I was good at school. I used to love drawing comics, making models, then as a grown-up, record covers etc.". He did a bit of hand-cut stencil screen printing at school, and then attended Art College. Years later, his wife booked him on a local screen print course.


James Bates creates artworks using digital & screen print technology as well as collage based work. In his limited edition prints, he loves experimenting with metallic inks, fluorescent colours, and iridescent varnishes.


In terms of choosing his subjects, he revealed, "Sometimes they find me, turn up at my door and demand to be put on paper. I love trawling through junk shops, antique shops, picking interesting bits of rubbish, again, no coherence". His discovery of the artist Kurt Schwitters led James Bates to obsessively collect ephemera and create scrap/sketchbooks. Art movements, including Paris Street Art, Bauhaus, Cubism and Pop Art, have all been influential to his aesthetic. He particularly admires Pablo Picasso, "that Picasso bloke's quite good isn't he? I'd be happy with one his old tea bags".

Finding inspiration from "everywhere and in everything, mainly where I'm not expecting", he has created series inspired by Victorian etchings and automata, taxidermy, 60's and 70's sci-fi films, robotics and delicate winged creatures.


James Bates has worked as a graphic designer, "doing all sorts of stuff, from animations upwards" and he has created animated works for the BBC and Adidas, and website designs for the BBC and Hand M. He has also collaborated on record sleeve designs with Anthony Micallef for Mighty Mouse and Disco Circus Sleeves.


This obsessive collector of ephemera, objects and musical instruments – which somehow informs his artwork - describes his art as "such a joy to do. Everyone should do it".


More art prints from James Bates

For All Mankind By James Bates
£250.00
Illumination By James Bates
£150.00
Gold 357 Magnum By James Bates
£75.00
Silver Beetle By James Bates
£75.00
Lucid Dream By James Bates
£150.00
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