My name is Jim Little, and I am slightly obsessed with pencil drawing. I sometimes even think I am possessed because I am often gripped by an idea for a piece, and the only relief is to “exorcise” the idea by using pencils to bring it into reality.
I think it’s wrong that graphite is often looked down upon or shunned as a medium in the art world. It’s seen as too simple, as only for outlining “real” art, as dull grayscale. I, however, love pushing this medium’s simplicity to its limits. Rather than stop at a mere outline, I’m not afraid to spend weeks with the pencils on a single piece, chasing (but never quite catching) perfection. I also happen to love black-and-white imagery and the dazzling sheen that graphite provides at certain angles… if you get up close and personal with it like I do, you can actually see beautifully reflected greens, purples, and yellows bouncing in the light. All of this is anything but dull to me!
While I know the content and imagery of my art isn’t for everyone subjectively, my mission is to create objectively high quality work that is undeniable, and to have graphite respected as “real” artwork like any other medium. I love photorealism for the challenge of capturing all of the subtle details that reveal the distinct personality of the subjects. I have a theory that a visual artist is a kind of illusionist, and there is something magical about using mere pencil and paper to fool our brains into seeing what it thinks is a photograph. For that reason I also love hyperrealistic drawings, creating images and adding effects that our brains know can’t exist but are coerced into seeing as reality.
My biggest passion is to create my own reference images and infuse my work with a subtle theme. Sometimes it’s dark or philosophical, sometimes light and humourous (why should cartoonists have all the fun?) However, I also recently fell in love with working on commissions for those who have honoured me by requesting a customized piece. Very few things are as rewarding as when I see a client getting lost in a drawing’s details, and sharing in the magic of creating something meaningful to them or their loved ones.
Born, raised, and living in Calgary, Canada, I almost literally stumbled into this drawing endeavour (“limped” is more accurate). A hip surgery in 2013 had me retire from sports and rediscover my childhood love of shading with pencils. This hobby became an obsession for which I feel lucky, and thus I pay it forward by donating a portion of proceeds from my prints to a good cause. I can also be seen from time to time at pop up markets in the Calgary area, so be sure to follow along on social media to receive updates about those events.
Thanks for taking the time to visit me here at Drawings Without Borders, I sincerely appreciate it, and hope to hear from you soon!
Awards and Recognition
– Selected as contributor to ‘Strokes of Genius 11: Finding Beauty’, to be published by North Light Books in 2019
– ‘First in Class’ for Drawings at the 2019 Calgary Stampede Western Showcase
– ‘Best in Section’ for Drawings at the 2018 Calgary Stampede Western Showcase
– ‘First Place’ in the Colors of Humanity Art Gallery 2018 ‘Black and White’ Show
– 2nd place in the Federation of Canadian Artists 2017 ‘Limitless’ Online Exhibition and Competition
– ‘Best in Section’ for Drawings at the 2017 Calgary Stampede Western Showcase
– ‘Best of Show’ in the Colors of Humanity Art Gallery 2017 ‘Black and White’ Show
– 3rd place in the Federation of Canadian Artists 2016 ‘Limitless’ Online Exhibition and Competition
– Selected as contributor to ‘Strokes of Genius 8: Expressive Texture’, published by North Light Books in 2016
All shipping options and costs include a signature-on-delivery requirement for our protection, and liability coverage for your protection. Certificates of authenticity are printed on acid-free archival paper and are shipped along with the print in archival-friendly packaging. Charitable donations are made based on a percentage of net proceeds for individual limited edition print sales. See each print’s product page for details.