James Lipnickas – “It’s a subject that terrifies and fascinates me”

May, 2018
Reading Time
3 mins
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Image © The Interviewee

Creative Chair gets supernatural with James Lipnickas

This week Creative Chair is in New Haven, Connecticut where we’re talking to illustrator/story tell James Lipnickas.

James’s graphite vignettes of spooky goings-on have a certain je ne sais quoi; something that draws me in that I can’t quite put my finger on. Therefore, we decided to catch up with James Lipnickas to find out more about his work, a lot more of which you can find on Behance.

The Travelers

How would you describe the underlying theme of your work, and, how did this theme come to fruition?

Mystery is a strong theme in my work. I have always gravitated towards reading and watching stories involving detectives, the supernatural and the unexplained (UFOs). Disappearances and vanishing without a trace have been of current interest.

It’s a subject that terrifies and fascinates me.

The Return of Ghosthead

How has living in New England influenced your style?

I grew up here, moved to NYC and returned about four years ago. The long winters, winding roads, desolate fields, deep wooded areas, forgotten factories and quirky old towns heavily influence my style. It feels old, haunted and draws you in.

“Each drawing leaves the viewer with just enough information to wonder”

The Night They Arrived

Your drawings seem to tell part of a story, like a freeze-frame from a 70s horror movie. In your own mind, is there ever a complete, or more cohesive story behind any of your pieces?

The story is never complete. Each drawing leaves the viewer with just enough information to wonder. It is open to interpretation; the outcome is up for grabs.

Never Walk Home Alone-James Lipnickas

There’s a consistency to the themes, but also to your method of using pencil and graphite. What appeals to you about this medium, and, are you ever tempted to work with alternative methods, or incorporate colour?

I have always been intrigued by black and white movies, illustration, and photography. There is nothing more satisfying to me than rendering and building up layers of graphite.

The 127th 366 Award goes to James Lipnickas for his outstanding creative work.

It Creeps and Crawls

It’s meditative. I have dabbled in other mediums, color and methods but nothing satisfies more than pencil and paper.

All the Children Are Gone-James Lipnickas

And finally, if you died and got reincarnated as a song, what would that song be?

That’s a great question. ‘Kid for Today’ by Boards of Canada. It’s a song of nostalgia, space, mood, and contemplation. You can easily get lost in it.

Kid for Today"
Kid for Today (2000)
Boards of Canada
Play on Apple Music
Play on Spotify
Play on YouTube
What began as a fun question to end an interview, has now become a wonderfully eclectic collaborative playlist by 161 people (and counting).
James Lipnickas
Our Forest