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Artist Spotlight: James Gulliver Hancock

Artist Spotlight: James Gulliver Hancock

Meet James Gulliver Hancock, the Australian born, Brooklyn based artist behind Tendr’s ‘Everything I Understand’ card! 

Tendr Card James Gulliver Hancock Understand Love Leo Tolstoy

James’ playful and whimsical portfolio spans an array of mediums from illustration and animation to sculpture and screen printing. His obsession with re-imagining the world around him has lead to numerous publishings including ‘All the Buildings in New York’ where he admirably attempts to draw every building in NYC. James’ bold imagination and extraordinary design aesthetic make him a perfect addition to the Tendr artist community. We were lucky enough to chat with James about how he began working as an artist, what his creative process is like and how he finds inspiration.

What art form do you most identify with?

I’m interested in all sorts of visual creativity and make stuff myself in all sorts of mediums. I might get inspired by a sculpture, a piece of street art, or a children’s book, it’s all over the place, where I see something relevant to me. I think that is the joy of being a creative, the world around you is there for you to pick from and reference and play with.

What is a typical day/week like for you?

Ideally (a typical day) would be wake up, draw, eat, draw, sleep… but with a family and for the sake of sanity I do do other things, and thank goodness. Leaving the studio forces me to look at the things around me more than I might if I was hermeting away by myself drawing. Even within the studio I like to mix it up; I always have a range of projects on the boil including personal ones which span across other mediums like silkscreen and ceramics, emailing and computer stuff usually take up a chunk of my day too which I do actually enjoy. It’s quite handy that I like doing admin and stuff like that, so all aspects of my business run (relatively) smoothly.

Tendr Artist Jame Gulliver Hancock

Anything that means I’m making something. I love working with clients and collaborating on projects, more often than not they push me in new directions and see things in my work that I didn’t see. I really love just sitting at the drawing desk all day and drawing, but I also love cleaning up on the computer, the scans I’ve brought in, colouring, all of it I LOVE!

Tendr James Gulliver Hancock All the Buildings in New York

What memorable responses have you had to your work?

I love to work while I travel. Because my work is reliant a lot on the things around me, I feel like I make really interesting things when I’m moving through a lot of environments. For example my recent coloring book ‘ Gulliver’s New Travels ‘ was made as I moved across the USA and Europe and even into Asia, and when I look back through all the drawings it’s almost like a diary of all these different places, I can see the toothbrush I had in Los Angeles, the bike I had in New York, all coupled with the amazing sights and sounds.

Favorite place to work and gain inspiration?

I really like it when I collaborate with clients and they find things in my work that I don’t see. I love when they push the direction of a previous piece and we both go down this little tangent I might not have explored before. I can’t think of any specific examples, but I seem to get a fairly big spectrum of comments, everything from people loving the happy naivete to people loving the black and white informative style stuff, everyone picks out something different.

Tendr James Gulliver Hancock Gulliver's Travels Gulliver's New Travels

What personal advice would you give to someone wanting to pursue this career?

What has worked for me is focussing on what I’m interested in and doing it obsessively. So make stuff regardless of what’s happening in your life, just keep making. It’s important then to try and show it to as many people as possible, email friends and family things you’ve made, social media is obviously a good way to do it, but even getting a bit stalky and chasing down your favorite art director to send them something you made, you never know where your obsessions might take you.

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