James Lipnickas – “It’s a subject that terrifies and fascinates me”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
It’s meditative. I have dabbled in other mediums, color and methods but nothing satisfies more than pencil and paper.
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.
James Lipnickas is the 127th winner of our 366 Award.