"I’ve lived in London for nearly 20 years, having spent most of my youth in relatively rural parts of the UK, such as Devon, where I was born, but the buzz of city life gets me like it always did. On my way to work I often cycle past St Paul’s Cathedral, the London Eye, the Houses of Parliament, the towers in the financial district and the great buildings along the Thames, and I can still marvel at what a great city I live in.
When it comes to drawing, though, I am often more taken by the more mundane things going on. I like to stand before the great city sights, remove the workbook from the bag, uncap the marker, and then turn around before starting to draw. It’s the street furniture, the everyday, the ubiquitous stuff that is easily overlooked that makes a city what it really is. It’s a kind of anti-celebrity view of the world that I like. They creep in, of course: the Post Office Tower, Canary Wharf or the Gherkin crane their necks to get a look in, but I try, at least, to keep them in their place.
I was editor of Artists & Illustrators magazine for several years, and am now a freelance journalist. I recently joined an artist-run gallery called Skylark, which is close to Tate Modern on London’s South Bank. It’s this sense of artistic community that I love, and why I am happy to be part of Urban Sketchers."
• James' blog.
• James' art on Flickr.
• James' website.