Monday, 18 April 2016

Jamie Cameron

It has been a while since my last blog post, life has been crazy with work, trying to get fit, selling our house and moving myself and my children into a new home, albeit rented for now and the many other 1000 things we all have to do on a daily basis.

I've missed being here though but I do keep up to date with the artists that have featured on my blog so far.  I've seen some beautiful work and exciting events for them, for example Jian Chen has opened her own gallery/shop in Cardiff and it looks beautiful.  Check out her Facebook page for more information.

So, the artist I'm featuring this time is a young man called Jamie Cameron he's in his twenties and he is from Aberdeen Scotland.  His artwork is incredible.  I love artwork with this amount of detail, intricacy and complexity. 

I think of myself of being the messiest person with OCD you'll meet, Jamie's art appeals to the neat, definite, precise, exact side of me often lost in the melee of wing it and see.

Here is a prime example and one of my favourite pieces, I have never been to New York but love the pictures I've seen of the old town houses almost as much as the Painted Ladies (haven't been there either!) in San Francisco.  Jamie has captured the atmosphere perfectly here and the detail is just exquisite.

A lot of Jamie's work showcases the beautiful architecture in his native Scotland such as the next two pictures which are of The Tivoli Theatre in Aberdeen and the Royal residence at Balmoral.

On Jamie's website you will also find a collection of images entitled, Fantasy Architecture, this is genuinely the type of artwork that I could just spend hours perusing. There is so much to see, my favourite one is the Italian Hill Town, this is drawn freehand.

and a close up...

I'd love to know what's going on behind every door and window (that could have something to do with my being nosey but you know what I mean!) how much detail?!

I'm going to share a couple of Jamie's recent work and then Jamie was kind enough to answer a few questions which I'd love to share with you.

Please do check out Jamie's website, it's such an interesting read.  He does showcase his work, there are also facts about what he's drawn and his drawing process and art supplies used.  I love that it makes it feel like we're being let in on Jamie's world, makes it more personal.

I love classic American cars, my favourite the '58 Chevy Belair in Aegean Turquoise, Jamie has a couple of favourites too.  The first is a picture Jamie has drawn of the Lincoln Continental and the second is the Cadillac Eldorado.

The final piece of Jamie's work is something he emailed over to me for me to see and share, I love it.  I think it's the Marcliffe Hotel and Spa which is near Aberdeen, the drawing is just beautiful, certainly makes me want to visit!

So let's meet Jamie, the artist behind this beautiful work.   As I said he was kind enough to answer some questions and then below that you will find the links to Jamie's website and his contact details.  He does commissions so if you've got a favourite building or somewhere that is important to you that you'd like captured in Jamie's beautiful way please contact him.


Hello Jamie, firstly tell us a bit about your art and what you do please..

I create highly detailed illustrations depicting architecture, fantasy worlds and vehicles.
Having developed a love of traditional hand drawing while studied architecture, I decided to capture some local buildings in my hometown of Aberdeen, where we have a great selection of granite architecture! They started off as very technical 'plan style' drawings, trying to be highly accurate in the finer details, but gradually I've come to focus just as much on creating interesting compositions as well as realistic details- a really well laid out drawing can capture your attention from afar, before you even get close to it.
Although architecture got me into this form of drawing, I've found it very well suited for all things technical: cars, boats, trucks, and all sorts of buildings from single family homes to New York Brownstones, London Townhouses, Art Deco buildings, landmarks, and more. This range has led to a lot of interest from people wanting commissions, and I have met some really interesting people this way- small businesses, people looking for a wedding gift showing the Church where they were married, five star hotel owners, classic car enthusiasts- all kinds! This variety combined with the fact that each drawing is like a little world in itself makes it a very rewarding thing to do!

What is your earliest creative memory?

Creating miniature bases and hideouts with my friend. We had them all over the place- outposts in the bushes, excavated basement places, treehouses, riverside shelters- I think it was the creation of your very own little world which appealed to me. We would just use whatever was there- tree branches, mud, snow, tarpaulin, or a large pile of sand and some boulders adjacent to a building site.

The freedom of using your hands and the materials nearby to create a world of your own design was great fun- the framework was very simple, but our imaginations could just run free, with immediate, real life expression in built form. We used to furnish them with special finds and items we had picked up and collected, it was almost like starting the world afresh! I think my post-apocalyptic fantasy drawings are a more recent incarnation of this same creative impulse.

A Future Hill Town - Architectural Fantasy

Do you ever suffer from a creative block and if so how do you get yourself out of it?

I tend to be working on a range of different pieces at the same time, so when one method or type of work starts wearing me down, or I don't feel I'm giving it my best efforts, I'll just switch to something else. 

As a recent example, while I was working on the drawing of Marischal College which is a real mammoth of a building, I was also doing a small commission of someone's house, illustrating a quirky Brownstone from New York City, and fabricating some Frank Lloyd Wright inspired glazing for a small construction project. 

When the process of scaling the template for this complex drawing was becoming tedious, I would switch to soldering the lead for my glass, or do a spot of shading on the New York Townhouse. I find alternating different rhythms and types of work which require different methods of concentration helps me recharge my batteries and get back the edge! Of course, there are always times when one needs to just leave it and do something entirely different, but I've found this approach works nine out of ten times.

Who inspires you?

I would say anyone who truly dedicates themselves to something and manages to elicit awe and an element of disbelief from their work will inspire me- if you spend your entire life perfecting an art, whatever it is, there is a level of ability and accomplishment which is immediately captivating and makes the outsider lean forward- it's this I admire.

Since I'm quite a detail oriented person, things which are very well ordered and have a feeling of the sublime really appeal- I love the architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright for its complete wholeness and unity right down to the smallest part. The written works of Christopher Alexander, namely 'The Timeless way of Building' and 'The Nature of Order: An Essay on the Art of Building and the Nature of the Universe' are immensely honest and accessible work which I think will give anyone a fresh appreciation of the potential for beauty and variety in architecture. His system of fifteen geometric properties of life is fundamental to the way I approach anything design related, and has certainly inspired me.

As a passionate amateur at the piano, I'm greatly inspired by the way composers and performers can completely entrance you with their own worlds of sound- I love Rachmaninov, Scriabin, Sorabji, as well as Oscar Peterson, Fats Waller, Art Tatum and many others. In all of these, it is the desire to create something transcendent which drives me every day.

What is your favourite piece of work that you've created?

I'd have to say the drawing of Marischal College and Greyfriars Church. This piece was a huge effort to draw because of the detail and size, but I'm very pleased with the outcome.  I think it manages to convey grandeur and a sense of the intricacy of this building, and yet at the same time it's a drawing of many different elements which have the potential to confuse the eye if not co-ordinated well.

I did have to experiment with various things, such as using pencil shading in a few key areas, and fading certain parts to get the balance right between the unity of the whole and individuality of the parts.  After a lot of work the graphic quality of the drawing finally mirrors the real-life character of the building in a way I'm happy with. The original piece sold just a few weeks ago.

What are your creative ambitions for the future?

I try not to look too far ahead! As long as I'm responding to feedback, and improving my craft through constant experimentation, trying out new ideas and exploring new avenues I'm just happy to go wherever it takes me. I think this has to do with my general makeup which is very micro oriented.

For me, the major part of the appeal is not knowing where things will lead- as long as I'm always responding to new thoughts and being creative I can count on a fun and interesting journey!

How do you silence your inner critic ?

I think I have a lot of inner critics! One that's trying to tell me to be more commercial, another to be more of a purist, and a few others are just never happy, no matter what… I think they play an important role, since they play out what the real life reactions will be of a range of different people in my head, and this helps me decide where my real priorities lie.

I don't think any person, let alone an artist can help but be moulded by social interactions, reactions, comments and feedback taken in tandem with their own creative intentions- it's just a matter of where you want the balance to be.

Since I've always done this primarily for my own gratification, I tend to focus on what I feel like doing firstly, and everything else comes second. However as I've met more people and had more feedback from customers, Gallery owners, (real life critics) I have been trying out new things, experimenting with new techniques, offering different services etc and this has been very rewarding.

If it weren't for some little voice, in real life or in my head nagging at me to do this or that, I suspect I wouldn't have tried anything new. Of course you will never appeal to everyone so you have to balance everything with what you want to do yourself.

(Good advice Jamie, for everyone Artist or not)

What do you do when you're not being creative?

I'll read an interesting Autobiography or listen to an audiobook.  After giving so much of your own creative energy on a work it's nice to take something in for a change

 What would be your 3 desert island craft/art items?

That's a hard one really- I would absolutely have to take a piano with me, that's a given. To leave the world and go on a journey through music is always rewarding.

For my second item, I'd probably take a sketchpad- something to make visible the thoughts I have in geometric form, as drawn lines in the sand or whatever would not be precise enough.

Thirdly, I would say a box of Lego- I used to love creating miniature fantasies using Lego, and it's amazing how rich and vivid impressions can be conjured up by these little plastic blocks!

Please tell us where we can find your work and your social media sites.
Twitter handle: @Archittralart
Personal Website:

Thank you for taking the time to show me your work Jamie and answering my questions.
Good luck with everything you do in the future and I am sure we'll catch up again one day to see where your creative path has taken you.


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