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Hello Gorgeous!


his first professional illustrations. James’ fashion and editorial has been included in many of the worlds leading publications including, Vogue (Australia, Nippon, Pelle), Elle, Self, Glamour, InStyle, Madame Figaro and Marie Claire. James has also participated in a wide variety of advertising campaigns and promotional projects including, Primtemps, Neiman Marcus, Air France, Absolut

JAMES DIGNAN A world class player in the fashion illustration field, James Dignan has come far from his humble beginnings in Auckland, New Zealand. A favorite amongst leading international brands Louis Vuitton, Hugo Boss and Absolut Vodka, his narrative and biting humor brings a strong sense of irony and a fashionable flare to his subjects. After studying Art History at the Auckland University in New Zealand, James moved to Australia to study fashion design at the East Sydney Technical College. During this time James furthered his interests in fashion working as a designer and stylist. Later, James moved to Paris to study fashion design and illustration at the Studio Bercot where he assisted the French Art Director, Marc Ascoli. During this period James worked on various fashion shows, editorial styling projects and catalogues. His clients included Yohji Yamamoto and Jil Sandler, as well as Chloe and Martine Sitbon, where he first produced

Vodka, Colgate, Hugo Boss and Elizabeth Arden. James lives and works as a freelance Illustrator and creative director in Sydney, Australia.


Did you always want to be an artist? I actually always wanted to be an Egyptologist!

Do you listen to music while you paint and if so, what music most sparks your creativity? Sometimes. Mostly

ABC Radio National while I’m illustrating during the day – they produce really great shows. When I’m working on my art at night I really enjoy listening to French music— the singing actresses are a lot of fun! Bardot! Birkin! Moreau! Any music that tells a story or takes me on a voyage…

everywhere, giant computers and scanners… I am not a terribly tidy person, and I live in Sydney, hence the parrots!

Ifyouhadonedayleftonearth,howwouldyouspend the day? I’d have a picnic at the beach with LOTS of champagne!

Whatsongwouldyouchoseasthesoundtracktoyour life? “Redemption Song” by Bob Marley or “La Vie en Rose” by either Piaf or Grace Jones.

Howhasyourartworkchangedordevelopedoverthe years? My art work has changed a lot! Certain ideas I

What could we expect to find in your refrigerator if we took a peek right now? Vodka, soy beans, Greek

Tell us about your technique. I use my sketchbook for

Ifyouwereasuperhero,whatsuperpowerswouldyou posses? Super confidence & super white teeth!

can’t shake, that’s a slow evolution & I like to try new things, too, so it’s all about lateral thinking. play, pencil sketch and ballpoint pen to really clarify and then either black ink with pen & brush or painted in acrylic or gouache. I try to keep things minimal nothing fancy.

Describe your creative process. I will take an hour-

yoghurt, milk and broccoli.

Ifyouwon$50millioninthelottery,howwouldyouspend the money? Something philanthropic of course… no single individual seriously needs that much money.

Where was your last travel destination? Hong Kong.

long walk with my dog in the morning to plan my day & let my mind run free. Then I will start researching, sketching and drinking many cups of tea… I also like to sketch on the sofa in the evenings.

Ifyouweren’tanillustrator,whatalternatecareerpath might you have taken? A musical one.

Tell us one thing about you that nobody knows. That’s not going to happen :-)

dog, he has such a sweet life!

IfaHollywoodfilmweretobemadeaboutyourlife,who would play the lead role? Uma Thurman What inspired you to become an illustrator?

I was working at Harpers Bazaar in Australia and Joe Eula flew out to do a fashion story with the magazine. Harpers also produced the most fantastic stories with Tony Viramontes, so illustration seemed like a very glamorous back up plan.

Describe your workenvironment/studio. There is one

wall of glass door opening on to a terrace and a top floor – at the moment there is a rather large flock of parrots eating the berries off the trees, not kidding! In the space there is a glass work table, a sofa, wooden storage lockers, paper, sketch books, pads

Ifyoucouldtradeplaceswithonepersonforaday,who would that person be? I’d happily trade a day with my What is your greatest indulgence? Day dreaming, but it’s a terrific and useful indulgence.

Who are your illustrators/photographers? Dali, Jean

Cocteau, Ronald Searle, Michelangelo, Otto Dix, David Hockney, Warhol, Tony Viramontes, Antonio Lopez, Helmut Newton, Saul Steinberg, René Gruau, Frida Kahlo, Kiki Smith, Antonio Canova…

Who is/was your mentor? Marlene Dietrich, by example only!

What are you currently working on?I’m preparing my greatest hits book & developing an accessories line.

Whatisthebestprojectyoueverworkedon?AGrammy Awards party invitation & my murals in Hong Kong.


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Copyright Notice: This book and all of its contents/images is copyright of James Dignan Š 2015. All rights reserved. Any redistribution or reproduction of part or all of the contents in any form is prohibited and punishable by law.


James Dignan Portfolio