Los Angeles, California
|Training||School of Visual Arts|
James Jean is a Taiwanese American visual artist, known for both his commercial work and fine art gallery work. He is known in the American comics industry as a cover artist for various books published by DC Comics, as well as for his work for Prada, ESPN and Atlantic Records. His work, which has been collected in numerous volumes, has been compared by The New York Times to that of Maxfield Parrish.
In 2001, Jean became a cover artist for DC Comics, garnering seven Eisner awards, three consecutive Harvey awards, two gold medals and a silver from the Society of Illustrators of Los Angeles, and a gold medal from the Society of Illustrators of New York. He also worked in advertising, and has contributed to many national and international publications. His clients included Time Magazine, The New York Times, Rolling Stone, Spin, ESPN, Atlantic Records, Target, Playboy, Knopf, Prada among others. He illustrated covers for the comic book series Fables and The Umbrella Academy, for which he has won six Eisner Awards for "Best Cover Artist". In 2006 he won Best Artist from the World Fantasy Awards.
Aspects of the Epicenter mural and the Milan wallpaper were transformed into clothing, handbags, shoes, and packaging. Prada undertook a global campaign that featured Jean's work in advertising environments, animation, and special events.
In 2008, Jean again collaborated with Prada, developing an animated short based on the wallpapers, clothing, and accessories produced in 2007. He wrote, storyboarded, and did the visual development for the animation, which would be eventually titled "Trembled Blossoms", taken from the poem "Ode to Psyche”, by John Keats.
In 2010, Jean was commissioned by fashion designer Phillip Lim to paint a series of portraits featuring Los Angeles-based actors, musicians, and tastemakers, including Rachel Bilson, Selma Blair, and Devendra Banhart.
Dana Jennings of The New York Times says of Jean's work: "And, as with his Fables work, the paintings and illustrations are often suffused with a dreamy romanticism and lyricism worthy of Maxfield Parrish, even as Mr. Jean subverts those and other isms."
Jean currently has seven published works, all of which collect his illustrations and art: Process Recess volumes 1 - 3 (v2 & v3 have both a regular and a special edition), Fables: Covers, XOXO and Kindling:12 Removable Prints. Kindling is an oversized poster book featuring works from Jean's 2009 gallery show of the same name. The Process Recess volumes display Jean's process in his illustrations, by showing both the original sketches and the final coloring, Process Recess is also the name of his blog, which includes similar content. Fables: Covers is a collection of the cover art illustrations James Jean has made for the comic book series Fables. XOXO is a selection of his illustrations displayed in the form of postcards.
- Process Recess (2005) 
- Process Recess 2: Portfolio (2007)
- Xoxo: Hugs and Kisses (2008) 
- Fables: Covers (2008) 
- Process Recess 3: The Hallowed Seam (2009) 
- Kindling: 12 Removable Prints (2009) 
- Rift (2010) 
- Rebus (2011) 
- "Painfully Self-aware And 'Serious' ", Communication Arts Insights, March 31, 2009
- Seman, Rob "He draws on comic book love", Daily Record (Morristown), March 30, 2004. Accessed August 30, 2007. "Jean, who grew up in Parsippany on Westminster Drive, was a weekly customer at Funnybooks, on North Beverwyck Road, but never expected his work would one day wind up on store shelves."
- Jennings, Dana. "The Power of Fairy Tales". "Comics Canonization". The New York Times. August 18, 2011
- Melrose, Kevin. "The 25 best comic covers of 2008", "Robot 6", Comic Book Resources, January 2, 2009
- Irvine, Alex (2008). "Fables". In Dougall, Alastair. The Vertigo Encyclopedia. New York: Dorling Kindersley. pp. 72–81. ISBN 0-7566-4122-5. OCLC 213309015
- World Fantasy Convention (2010). "Award Winners and Nominees". Retrieved 4 Feb 2011.
- Jean's announcement of retirement from illustration and commercial work
- "James Jean Kindling: New Works on Paper and Canvas". Jonathan Levine Gallery. 2009. accessed August 20, 2011.
- Work for Prada featured in TMagazine, the New York Times fashion magazine
- "Prada Trembled Blossoms Issue 02". Wallpaper Magazine. accessed August 20, 2011.
- Kantor, Jessica. "FNO Highlight of the Day: Phillip Lim L.A. Boutique". Vogue magazine. August 19, 2010
- Process Recess - AdHouse Books catalog
- Process Recess 2 - AdHouse Books catalog
- Xoxo - Chronicle Books catalog
- Fables Covers - DC Comics catalog
- Process Recess 3 - AdHouse Books catalog
- Kindling - Chronicle Books catalog
- Rift - Chronicle books catalog
- Rebus - Chronicle books catalog
- James Jean Website
- James Jean Twitter
- James Jean Fan Page
- James Jean at Martha Otero Gallery
- Huffington Post article on Jean's show at Martha Otero Gallery
- Excerpts of an interviews where James Jean describes the crippling divorce he is being forced to endure, with severe damage to his art