Artist in res­i­dence

De­spite his de­monic art, Jim Pav­elec’s stu­dio isn’t hellish.

ImagineFX - - Contents - Jim has been a free­lance fan­tasy il­lus­tra­tor for over 15 years. You may be more fa­mil­iar with his de­mon draw­ings and paint­ings, and as the founder of the artist rights web­site ArtPACT. Fol­low him on In­sta­gram: @jim_ pav­elec.

Hell is pretty full these days, so I work at home like most artists. I re­cently moved my stu­dio back into my home from an of­fice lo­ca­tion. I felt the ex­tra ex­pense of the off-site stu­dio was un­nec­es­sary, and wanted to save money for up­com­ing projects.

My workspace isn’t very large, but this means I can bounce from my easel to my com­puter or draft­ing ta­ble with ease. With the new paint­ing tech­niques I’m util­is­ing, this is ideal for me. I switch back and forth from tra­di­tional me­dia to dig­i­tal sev­eral times within a piece. I can work on a draw­ing, lay some acrylics and pas­tels on it, scan it, paint on it in Pho­to­shop, print it out, mount it to board and be paint­ing in oils – all in one day. This setup has en­abled my cre­ativ­ity to ex­pand to the next level.

I do a lot of my pen­cil and pas­tel draw­ing at a lo­cal cof­fee shop. There’s a long tra­di­tion of the artist and the café. The con­stant com­ing and go­ing of peo­ple has an en­ergy that you can tap into, and work­ing in pub­lic opens you up to meet­ing new friends, pa­trons or col­lab­o­ra­tors.

I don’t need top-of-the-line equip­ment for mak­ing art. My easel is a mid-range easel, I made my mahl stick out of things I had in the base­ment, my pal­ette was sal­vaged from a lo­cal hard­ware store, my Wa­com – which I got for next to noth­ing on Craigslist – is old, and a lot of my book­cases and other stor­age items I stole from a large chain book­store that was clos­ing down. I’m not con­don­ing steal­ing things, but hey, do what you have to do. Be­ing an artist is a tough racket.

My ad­justable easel, where I do most of my paint­ing, would not be com­plete with­out the Tom Kue­bler shrunken head. It watches over me to make sure that what I’m work­ing on is suf­fi­ciently dis­gust­ing. A print of a Ni­co­lai Fechin page of hand stud­ies. It’s a con­stant re­minder that I need to work harder, and smarter. My bag of rocks is one of my favourite draw­ing tools. The bag was knit­ted for me by one of the baris­tas at the cafe. For those not fa­mil­iar with my draw­ing process, I start by coat­ing pa­per with a dust­ing of pow­dered graphite. I then press a large kneaded eraser into the var­i­ous tex­tured sur­faces of the rocks and shells. Fi­nally, I press that eraser on to the pa­per, lift­ing up the pow­dered graphite and re­veal­ing won­der­ful or­ganic pat­terns that I use as the ba­sis for my draw­ings.

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