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Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Meet the designer: Jimbobart

Badgers eating cake in their pants, bears dressed up as Geography teachers and mice that will perform for cake?... Well, it's all a day in the life for designer of the month, James Ward, AKA Jimbobart.

James joined The Lost Lanes just after we launched the site in May 2013 and even now his work seems as quirky and original as ever.  We fell madly in love with his "El Guapo" coffee cup set and once we saw the rest of James's curious wonderland of enticing tableware we knew we had to get him on the site stat!  So this month we introduce you to the world of Jimbobart, find out how James started his business, his inspiration behind these incredibly original designs, and more importantly we uncover just what's with those bears in pants!

Tell us a little about yourself
My name is James Ward and I’m an Illustrator with a bit of passion/ obsession for pens! I’m originally from Cheltenham, but my family is half welsh, so I lived in Wales for a while. I’ve been in London now for over ten years.
How did Jimbobart come about?
After graduating from my Illustration degree at Westminster University I found it hard to pick up commissioned work, so I spent over a year drawing whilst working at the Design Museum. I signed up to do my first market just down the road from where I was living in Stoke Newington, which really forced me to start creating work (…that and looking busy for my girlfriend’s parents who were visiting) by drawing on ceramics with some newly brought porcelain pens! That was the first plate I drew and Jimbobart has been going since then.
What’s the inspiration behind your illustrations?
The inspiration behind my work firstly I suppose is nature, but then I love using it as a way of communicating more human characteristics and my views on such important matters as what cake to eat!

What’s the best thing about working for yourself?
The best thing about working for yourself is the freedom, but sometimes that same freedom can be a bit daunting. It can be difficult to decide what – out of all the million and one things to do – I need to do first.
Describe your workspace to us
At the moment my workspace is a desk in my newly opened shop on Cheshire Street in Shoreditch just off Brick Lane – very convenient for great places to eat lunch! It’s really nice working in the shop as we’re open for people to come in and out. The space is quite simple, lots of nice paper and blank ceramics to draw on, and a whole filing cabinet full of pens, glorious pens!
If you could design one piece of crockery for anyone what would it be and who would it be for?
Really difficult one, hmmm. Tom Waits with one of his lyrics on it “Coffee just wasn't strong enough to defend itself”.
You’re based in East London, where’s your current go to place after a long day illustrating?
The Kings Arms on Buckfast Street, Bethnal Green – it’s got the best selection of beers in London!

What is your current favourite piece from The Lost Lanes?
The Boo Scribble Monster Tshirt So good! I had to order one.
And finally although we love him very much, we just have to know, what’s the deal with Bears in pants?
I really enjoy drawing bears, they are such noble creatures, so when you do anything like dress them in pants, they look so uncomfortable. It’s even better when I try to draw a female bear, it always just looks like I’ve drawn a male bear in drag!

>>>To view more of James's work please visit his shop here and remember this month only we are offering you an exclusive 15% discount off all Jimbobart purchases from The Lost Lanes use code JIMBOB at checkout.<<<

Happy shopping!

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