The Great Escape

When asked about his early artistic experiences, digital illustrator James Briscoe recalls that his creativity began from a young age, where drawing and reading went hand in hand, and his imagination would spill out of his head onto paper. Even today, one of his favourite past times is to escape into a good book, lying under a tree, or listening to In Rainbows by Radiohead.

It would come as no surprise that his love of art would find its way into James’ pantomime of digital characters, some of which represent such household brands as Kraft, Coco Pops, Optus, Arnott’s Tiny Teddies, Sydney Credit Union and Lego.


During school, James moved from drawing, to graphic design, to storyboarding and illustrating, but found a love for digital art in the mid-90’s, teaching himself how to use Freehand. Today James primarily uses Maya, but also uses Illustrator, Aftereffects, Photoshop, Flash and Z-Brush.

James found some of the harder skills to learn were in the technicalities of 3D modeling. He loves the process overall, but finds that Rigging – constructing the models frames, can be more laborious. He says the technology today is a lot more intuitive and user-friendly than it used to be. If there is something he is excited about exploring more, it is playing with stylised illustration, be that hand drawn or angular rendering.

Of his favourite briefs so far, James enjoyed being part of Saachi & Saachi’s recent Vivaxim campaign, raising food poisoning awareness. He said it was great to be paid to draw critters and creatures; but he said he loves the variety of the work he has been able to do overall.

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James’ advice for any aspiring artist-illustrator? Keep at it. Do what you enjoy. Be true to yourself. Develop. Have fun, because it will come across in your work. James finds his inspiration everywhere: in music, in what is said, in what is seen, in books, in life, in rainbows, and lying underneath trees.