James Fenner, a current Pacific Northwest College of Art illustration student, has been drawing since he was a kid – he comes from a family of artists so creative expression seems to be in his blood. While he was into manga and anime in his earlier days, his style has since matured to focus more on shape, design and meaning. His most powerful landscapes are those that fuse realistic elements of nature with vividly un-natural colors or graphics. The result is dynamic, striking and complex.
For example, in one drawing, what could be a realistic portrayal of a boy in a hoodie holding a cup in his hands with power lines and mountains in the background is made surreal with the pastel purples, neon oranges, graphic lines cutting through the center of the composition and line-drawn neon roses. The red eyes lend a sinister feel to the overall composition and the whole piece is elevated from simple drawing to an illustration with a point of view. This is true of most of Fenner’s work – he’s having fun and experimenting but with a clear goal to create meaningful art in mind.