By Annette Cinelli
With the start of December comes the end of 2006; this inspires some to look ahead to 2007 and think about goals and resolutions. James O’Neill, a local artist you can check out on myspace.com/dirtilaundry (and whom you might remember as the artist behind the sexy female bartender sketches in our October issue of Pulse) has big plans for the summer of ’07 ~ he and his partner will be starting a clothing line that features his artwork on items such as Tshirts, shorts, boy shorts, and dog tags.
James calls his art “The Art of Dirti Laundry.” He came up with name while he was “…sitting [at work] in a security shack trying to think of a sexy and catchy name. I was very excited when it popped in my head. I was actually thinking of the late great Ol’ Dirty Bastard’s Dirty Underwear name when this came about.”
James’s chosen art form is drawing; he works all in pencil, mostly black and white with a little bit of color. He then cleans his work up on the computer. His drawings have a “…comic book feel to [them]” and often feature “…scantily clad girls, like bartenders and waitresses.” When asked if there are some women who might be offended by his work, he offers the following explanation: “Yes I do think some people do get offended. However, I believe that there is nothing wrong with portraying woman as strong, mysterious, and beautiful, which is what I aim to do.”
The inspiration for James’s drawings come from all around him. “It’s people I know, people I see, and the people I’ve made up that walk around in my head.” His favorite artists are Louis Royo, Norman Rockwell, and Timothy Bradstreet. These artists are also his role models along with “…any passionate and hard working artist I encounter, including my brother.”
When James finishes working on a drawing, he posts it online and shares it with friends and family. If it’s a drawing for the clothing line, he also shares it with his “partner in crime” Matt Boucher, who is working with James on the up-coming clothing line.
When asked if he has ever considered comic books or animation as an outlet for his creativity, James tells Pulse that “Comic books were my first love and inspiration to be an artist. They still are and I have about 3 works in progress. Animation, I believe, is every comic book type of artists’ ultimate dream. Just to see the people that walk around in our heads actually walking around with a personality on a screen is a beautiful thought. It brings your creations so close to life.”
Drawing has always been James’ passion and his favorite part about being an artist is “…just seeing what takes shape. When you see it go from a couple of strokes of a pencil, then at the end [it’s an actual drawing] you’re just like ‘Wow! Look at it!’” It’s not always an easy field though. Says James, “It’s hard to find to work as an artist, you have to make your own little path.”
James offers the following advice to other artists: “Just be passionate, make it everything, keep trying because it’s really hard, that’s the best advice I can give.”
Check out James’s work at www.myspace.com/dirtilaundry and be sure to keep an eye out next summer for his ultra-cool, ultra-unique clothing line!
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