Wild Fantasies: James Joyce


Written by Clementine Lloyd
06 Monday 06th September 2010

Operating under the studio name One Fine Day, James Joyce’s artwork encompasses and reflects some of the most popular movements of the last 50 years, with elements of Lichtenstein in use of colour and Warhol in overall style and social comment. There is a modern twist on the forward thinking artists, and in conjuring these images Joyce tailors his bright and arresting visuals for each individual project.

The thread that can be seen throughout his career is that of the unique typography, and elemental use of colour as a resource that pushes forward the main point of each image; forcing flat images through the page and out toward the observer. With James Joyce preparing a new print for our Wild Fantasies 10th anniversary exhibition opening later this month, Don’t Panic spoke to him about the intersection between art and commerce.

Given your gravitation towards creating designs for advertising and brands, what drives you to take part in projects or lend your name to companies?
I think really it’s more that brands gravitate towards artists that can offer them a creative edge or fresh perspective that appeals to a certain demographic. What would usually drive me to work with a particular brand is if they were willing to do something interesting creatively. 
From an observer’s point of view, your artwork seems very fluid. Do your designs come to you fully formed, or do you have to think long and hard about what you are trying to create?  
Sometimes an idea will arrive fully formed, I will have the idea and know exactly how it should be visualized but other times I can have the beginnings of a interesting idea but then have to work at finding the right visual expression of that idea to make it work. There are ideas that I’ve had in sketchbooks for a couple of years that I haven’t found the right way of realizing yet. 

How did your career begin, and what is your first memory of your passion for design?
The usual route of art college and university and then working in various design studios in London. I started doing my own thing about five years ago. If I think about it I suppose I was really interested in design from a very young age. As well as being into art and drawing all the time trying to draw people and things as realistically as possible, I also remember copying and drawing logos a lot and doing my own comics. Growing up in the 80s was colourful; I think that has stuck with me. I remember leaving school and arriving at art college being impressed with graphic design because of it’s clean and professional finish. I remember thinking wow you can make things look like they do in the shops or in magazines. I suppose that’s why I’ve been influenced by pop art so much because it bridged a gap between commercial art and high art. 

What is the best project/piece you have worked on?  
I don’t really have a favourite piece of work. I’ll be really into something while I’m doing it but once it’s finished I tend to move on and find interest in the next project.  

The bright blocks of colour and playfulness of your images are picked up on a lot by the casual observer, but do you try and convey a message to your audience in your exhibited pieces, and does this message vary? 
There is always an idea behind the work and a reason for it but the interpretation is up to the observer. I don’t have a personal message that forms a thread through all of my work. I suppose on face value because of the use of bright colour that the work appears to have a positive edge but often there is a paradox. 

If you could be remembered within the pages of art history for one project or work, which would it be? 
If I’m still here in 40 years time perhaps I’ll be able to answer that question. 
When creating your artwork, does the process differ in creating for an exhibit to designing for a company or promotion? Does this feel different for you? 
The thing about creating my own work for an exhibition is that there is complete freedom to explore ideas and produce work that doesn’t have to fulfill any criteria other than for me to be happy with it. If you’re creating work for advertising there is always a brief to fulfill and a product message to convey, it has to sell something so therefore the work has to be tailored to talk to a certain audience. Advertising can sometimes produce great creative work but unfortunately a lot of the time it’s compromised. If a brand wants you to design a product for them and to put your name to it then there is more creative freedom because they want your mark on their product. I recently produced a limited edition Swiss Army knife for Victorinox, which was great because it was an open brief. 

What influences have you drawn from in the past? 
Artists such as Andy Warhol, Ed Rushca, Jeff Koons, Damien Hirst and old school designers like Milton Glazer, Saul Bass etc. 

What would you characterise as great art? 
In my view great art has to have power whether that’s a visual thing or conceptual, quiet or loud. It doesn’t necessarily have to be technically brilliant as long as it embeds itself in the brain of the observer. 
James Joyce will appear in our 10th anniversary exhibition Wild Fantasies, alongside D*Face, Shepard Fairey, Pure Evil, Mr Jago, Eine, Mudwig, C215 and Word To Mother, at Stolen Space gallery, London from September 24 to October 03, with a preview night on September 23 and a student night on September 29.

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  • artmuller2003
    Sat 18 - Sep - 2010, 05:10
    great artworks.