About

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James-Mylne-photo-2017James Mylne Summary
Location: SW London.
Education: BA degree in Drawing and MA degree, Camberwell College of Arts, London.
Exhibitions: James just had his biggest solo exhibition to date, more info here.
Next exhibition is a private show in Kensington, London. Contact for more info.


James Mylne is a British contemporary artist known for his drawings in ballpoint pen. His technical abilities with the unorthodox art medium have earned Mylne recognition in Europe and the UK, where he is considered among the leaders of the genre and emulated by art students.[1] The Ballpointer online journal called Mylne “Britain’s premier ballpoint pen artist” in a 2015 feature article.[2] The artist’s photorealist likenesses of iconic celebrities attracted early media attention and continues to be one aspect of his output. Mylne also creates mixed-media works adding spray paint, magic markers and more to his ballpoint originals. – Wikipedia.

Stages of drawing an eye in ballpoint pen. 2010.

Stages of drawing an eye in ballpoint pen. 2010.

Background

“As a teen I discovered the benefits of using ballpoint pens over pencil for creating photo realistic artworks.
From the age of 19 I was selling my ballpoint drawings. Back then I was literally one of the only people on the planet working in biro.
At university my tutors were not too keen on my drawings, viewing them as just pretty pictures (twits). Now I’m the only professional artist from that course and ballpoint drawing has grown in popularity, becoming an accepted medium within the art world.

In the last ten years I have expanded on the technique to include other media such as spray paints, markers, inks, and even collage.

I’ve been lucky to collaborate with professional photographers including Roger Eaton & Terry O’Neil, and even Bill Wyman (Rolling Stones) and stylists for source material but I admittedly still ‘rip’ a lot of imagery from the web.

Ballpoint work within mixed media, 2016

Ballpoint work within mixed media, 2016


My work has been exhibited alongside some big names (Hirst, Banksy & more) but I think I’m still an ‘emerging artist’.

I’m influenced/inspired by several different subjects; Buddhism, Science Fiction, fashion photography, Street Art, areas of modern anti-Capitalism, architecture, Japan’s historic feudal culture and more.
I am wrestling with these differing areas of influence in my own way. I focus in on certain ones in most artworks but more and more I am mashing them all up together like in Desktop Series“.

james-mylne-1-a

Notable Points

  • James is considered a “pioneer” for the ball-point art movement/medium.
  • One drawing can take between 25 – 100 hours to complete. The biggest of his drawings took over 300 hours.
  • His artwork recently exhibited in a sell out show in New York (more here). His work has also been exhibited in Los Angeles, Milan, Paris, & Ibiza.
  • He was featured on BBC London news with exhibition coverage and an interview in 2104, view on YouTube here.
  • Being ballpoint pen, you can’t rub out or paint over mistakes. Basically you can’t make a mistake.
  • His first solo show at The Conningsby Gallery in 2008 was the first ever exhibition in the UK showing photo realistic ballpoint artworks – possibly Europe.
  • Mylne has been publicly exhibiting his work since 2008. In 2012 he joined London art gallery Rook & Raven where he had his first sell out solo exhibition ‘Vintage Vogue’. He has since left the gallery and works non exclusively with various creative agents, galleries, & art dealers.
  • The first artist in the world to create art using both ballpoint and spray paints together.
  • Influenced by the London street art scene; Mylne has been exhibited alongside Street Art legends such as Shepard Fairey, D*Face, Banksy, Mr. Brainwash and more.
  • Worked for Bic (maker of the pens he uses) to create a video of him doing one of his artworks that now has had over 730,000 hits on YouTube. See the video here.
  • James has collaborated with famous photographers such as Terry o”Neill, Ex Rolling Stones guitarist Bill Wyman, and Roger Eaton.
  • His most celebrated artwork is that of Audrey Hepburn, titled “Audrey”. The video showing the making of which is shown below.

More information on Wikipedia’s page for James here.

mylne biro art original

Press

Below are some images summarizing some press coverage of James Mylne Art over recent years:

5 page spread in Finnish art magazine Kuvittaja. 2016

5 page spread in Finnish art magazine Kuvittaja. 2016

Chart of Lust & contributer, Grazia Magazine, 2016

Chart of Lust & contributer, Grazia Magazine, 2016

TRT World TV Interview on Art Wars. Dec 2015

TRT World TV Interview. Dec 2015

GQ Magazine, 2 page spread. Feb 2015

GQ Magazine, 2 page spread. Feb 2015

BBC London News feature & interview. 2014

BBC London News feature & interview. 2014

Interviewed live on BBC Blue Peter. 2012

Interviewed live on BBC Blue Peter. 2012

Expansive online & print coverage for solo show 2012.

Expansive online & print coverage for solo show 2012.

Featured video on BBC website. 2012

Featured video on BBC website. 2012

Bond artwork shown live on ITV news, London. 2012

Artwork shown live on ITV news, London. 2012

Front cover of Addlib magazine. 2011

Front cover of Addlib magazine. 2011

Front cover on K9 magazine. 2010

Front cover on K9 magazine. 2010

Interview & work shown on ITV London Tonight. 2010

Interview & work shown on ITV London Tonight. 2010

Work featured in Artists & Illustrators magazine. 2009.

Work featured in Artists & Illustrators magazine. 2009


mylne logo spread

7 Comments
  • julia macaulay says:

    Really would love to see your work. Dates, places. please.

  • Emma Furlong Hems says:

    Hello

    My colleague just showed me your work, she’s a huge fan of it and it completely shut me up! We read that when you were at college your tutors thought your work was ‘just pretty pictures’. How wrong they were as you have amazing talent, also good for you for persisting to make the medium and use of the ball point pen look literally breathtaking . I too went to art college, BA + MA and was slated for focussing on screen printing – so what!

    Good luck in your burgeoning career.

    All the best

    Emma and MNV

    • admin says:

      Thanks Emma!
      Yeah – I had a problem with the way they (art college tutors) went about shoveling conceptual & abstract crap down our throats. They almost expelled me for saying it was all bullshit. I was annoyed I had to pursue my ballpoint artworks at home outside art college as if I was being naughty and doing something forbidden.
      Thanks again Emma and good luck with yourself!

  • Thomas Jones says:

    Hi
    I’ve been looking for artist that uses ballpoint pen and I found your would which I think is brilliant. would love to study your work for my A level project. Is there any places which I can find your work to look at in person e.g any galleries which show it and where. thank you

  • Hi there

    Amazing work. I’ve done a few sketches in biro and enjoyed the challenge of not being able to make any mistakes. How do you get round the issue of light fastness and longevity of biro when you put so much work into your pieces. Heartbreaking to think that they will fade. It’s putting me off investing time into getting better in this medium. Any advice greatly appreciated.

    • James Mylne says:

      Hi Sarah.
      Very common question I get. The short answer is that if you create the biro drawing correctly and keep it correctly they will NOT fade.
      I’ve got some of my earliest drawings going back over 20 years now that look the same. The main reasons they can fade is if: 1, the paper used is not acid free. 2, the artist or someone else has handled the paper the ink is drawn on. Oils in our skin absorb in to the paper and react with the oil in the ink badly. 3, another is that the drawing is exposed to sunlight. UV rays fade everything but ballpoint ink is more vulnerable. I frame my drawings in air tight, UV resistant glass (Art/Museum grade glass) – but I also advise my buyers to not hang them where they can be exposed to direct sunlight.
      By following above steps they should last indefinitely :)

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