A digital sketchbook

New Chalk Art at Zaytoon Grill

New pastel art for the sidewalk sign at Zaytoon Grill at 1618 Central Ave in St Pete, FL. Finally autumn weather has been kind enough to arrive in sunny Florida, a welcome relief.  Everyone have a safe and enjoyable Halloween out there. And no, you're never too old for this holiday.

Happy Ink'tober

Woefully behind on the thirty-one drawings of Ink'tober challenge. But the idea of doing team icons made up of only player rosters for the Tampa Bay Lightning art contest spurred on the idea of doing soccer crests in the same style. Enjoy this lettering piece done with FW inks, a double image of the AFC Bournemouth club badge comprised of the entire player roster.  The club nicknamed the "Cherries" are in their second season in the English Premier League. They call Vitality Stadium home, one of the smallest stadiums in the league and the club is managed by Eddie Howe, the top division's youngest head coach.

Kerouac Night, New T-Shirt Design Contest

The bi-annual Kerouac Night was a smashing success at the Flamingo Sports Bar this past Saturday. The poets and live bands brought their fiery passion to the fore upon a small front porch stage.  Enjoyed meeting new faces and seeing some regulars at the event planned around the anniversaries of the famous beat poet, Jack Kerouac's birth and death. Someone usually brings a cake and the mood is celebratory and never somber. It's quite the scene if you've never been, come and check out the next event in March. Or just stop on by the Flamingo Bar to shoot pool, have a drink, or check out my mural in the parking lot. There is an interactive game to play with that mural, find the initials buried sneakily into the background.

The Friend's of the Jack Kerouac House Charity have been gathering money for years and negotiating with members of the Kerouac estate to purchase and preserve the local St. Petersburg, FL house Jack lived in, which has stood practically untouched like a time capsule since his death in 1969.  T-shirt sales are a big part of how this 501C-3 charity collects donations. 

I will be hosting a design contest for fresh ideas on the traditional Kerouac shirt. The famous "mad ones" excerpt from the novel "On The Road"  remains on the back. The front of the shirt is open for a redesign contest: two color design in Black and White, without the portrait of Kerouac, something that evokes his spirit, journey or unique style. Calling all artists to submit work either in person or via email ( james@artbyjamese.com ) deadline is December 1st 2017. File types excepted are .png, .jpeg, .pdf, .psd and vector files. Dimensions 8.5 by 11 inches.  Top three finalists will receive a prize for their efforts and compensation for the winning design, subject to final approval by the FOJKH Charity board.  The new shirts should be available for purchase at the bar by the holidays.

Please help to spread the word about this shirt design contest to any artist you know of, both near and far.  Jack Kerouac is a part of the often untold history of St. Pete, events like this one, run by a grassroots charity help to breathe new life into understanding the roles artist played in shaping the tradition of expression in this city.  By looking backward we can appreciate the past more and illuminate what the future holds for the next generation of artists, writers and "mad ones."

SHINE Mural Festival 2017

Much anticipated return of a local mural festival happens this weekend.  Biking around in the mornings has to be one of my favorite parts of the day.  I was able to take some pictures of the first artist at work in the streets, bumping her music, sharing the groove on 17th Street S.  Of course being able to see the eventual, final product, a powerful finished image, one of twenty or more being done in less than two weeks is just amazing. An experience that just witnessing moves me like the energy of a live concert. Feeling blessed, and looking for positives and inspiration in a week of bad news headlines.  So the timing of the SHINE festival, moved back from the September dates of last year, couldn't come at a better time for me personally.

Hopefully the announcement that SHINE will also be doing smaller paint projects on electrical boxes around downtown during and after the festival is intriguing. Where do artists apply to get in on the action?  It would be fun to share in the joy of local artists getting a chance to paint their style onto a smaller canvas and beautify the city with art.  Having seen the results in Decatur, GA of how gorgeous and thought-provoking art is when it covers everyday objects, trashcans, crosswalks, electrical boxes, even MARTA overpasses.  Public art helps us connect with our surroundings and community, something we could all use more of.

Find more at their official IG and Twitter account @SHINEonstpete

New Menu Item at Zaytoon

New lettering project with pastel chalks for Zaytoon today. Biked around and checked out the beginning of a mural for the SHINE Art Festival which kicks off this weekend.  More on that in another post. A new item graces the menu at 1618 Central Avenue in St. Petersburg FL at Zaytoon Grill.  Shaksuka is a breakfast/lunch dish severed with poached eggs, garlic, onions, tomatoes and green peppers.

Always a joy doing lettering outside for the sidewalk sign on the 1600 block of Central Ave. Breathing in the scene, passersby, occasionally dodging rain and moving indoors.  Nu-pastel brand chalks, pastel pencils and a ruler used in this piece.  If you know someone who needs hand-done lettering for their menu boards, signage or beer list please email james@artbyjamese.com as I am open to commissions.

Rowdies Fan Art Unvieled

Unveiled last night at the Tampa Bay Rowdies, local professional USL soccer team, a large banner was unfurled before kickoff in tribute to the team and its ownership.  Even though this is not my art and I had nothing to do with its creation, ultimately found this to be inspirational and a symbol of the continued emergence of soccer culture in the United States. 

The painting itself was produced by a local fan group, but the quality of design and the fan's positive reception of this unique banner is usually reserved for larger overseas clubs with a hundred plus years of history and support. Overall design and font are similar to a video game cover for Grand Theft Auto, with its own twist, soccer style, unique characters, and Rowdies color scheme.

Pardon my progress on the lack of posting in September as Hurricane Irma interrupted life. I evacuated the Tampa Bay area. Forever grateful for the little things as the localized damage could have been much worse considering others areas of Florida were harder hit, blessings are being counted.  Thoughts and prayers with those in Texas and Puerto Rico still recovering.