Artist James (Jimbot) Demski Jr.’s ideal world consists of his wife, daughter, and robots. We caught up with the Paul Frank Art Attack! winner, who was hand-picked out of a sea of nearly 2,000 artists, to talk about his inspiration and his android ardor, and we learned that there is more than meets the visual transmitter. Besides, is there anything really all that different between us and our bionic counterparts? Perhaps, but to Jimbot there also exists in robots the opportunity to recreate ourselves the way we would like to be: it just takes metal and wires, or in Jimbot’s case, acrylic and hardboard.
Did you grow up in Wisconsin?
I did...Milwaukee born and raised. It’s a nice place, though I have to say, I like to wander around the world a lot too!
What’s with the fascination with Robots?
Well, what’s not to love about them!!!! Actually, I think it’s ‘cause I am a child of the ‘80. Transformers was (and still is) one of my fave things. Then combine that with things like Voltron, Tranzor-Z, Robotech, Silverhawks...well, the list goes on, I think you get it. Besides, robots are just fun! I’ve always loved the idea of giving un-natural things, human-type emotions, and what better character is there than robots. Really they are a little part of us, as humans, and can be whatever I want them to be. There is something so intriguing about an image of a robot experiencing some emotion for the first time...it’s very touching.
How big are your art pieces usually?
Usually they range from about 8x10ish inches to 16x20ish inches...though that is not the limitation. I am working on some bigger ones now for a show I have coming in November, and I would love to be able to work even bigger someday. I think as the years go by, my average piece-size gets bigger. Maybe that comes with confidence...maybe that comes with what I can manage to sell...who knows. It used to be that I pretty much didn’t do anything bigger than 8x8 inches though, so I am definitely evolving as an artist. It’ll be fun to someday pull that kind of detail off in a mural-sized painting!
What medium do you work in?
Pretty much always in Acrylic on Hardboard (masonite)… though I HAVE been working on sculptures lately, and I want to do even more, but a lot of people haven’t seen those pieces. Still though, no matter what I dabble in, I always go back to Acrylic on Hardboard...I just love to paint!
How long does it take you to do a piece?
Well, it ranges. Some of the smaller/simpler pieces can take as little as a few days...especially if I am really into it. The bigger ones take longer though. Mostly because I like to work in the same amount of detail on the bigger pieces as I do in the smaller pieces.
What do you hope winning the Art Attack! will lead to in the future?
The sky is the limit right? I am hoping to be in touch more with the people at Paul Frank, since they, and the Paul Frank brand, have been such an inspiration to me for so long. However, I am just hoping that this will open a lot more doors for me...winning this competition is a big deal for me, and it will be a highlight of my career for sure! I’d love to do more gallery work, illustration work...whatever… as long as it’s cool, I’m down with it!
Were you familiar with Paul Frank before the contest?
OF COURSE...Like I said, they’ve been an inspiration for a long time.
I like doing things with my wife and daughter… I just like spending time with my family. They mean the world to me. I also like to work in my garden… or at least imagine I do. The past few years I haven’t really been able to do anything with it… it’s just hard to find the time these days, and it’s getting harder every day. Hopefully that will change one day, hahaha.
Suggestions or advice for young artists?
Just keep at it. Being an artist is a hard thing to do in this world, but If you love it enough, good things will happen eventually. Also, make sure you leave yourself enough time to relax and enjoy life...I wish I could follow that advice more often myself!