James Paterson

James Paterson


James lives and works in Montreal, Canada.

At the heart of James Paterson's work, there is little formal separation between drawing, animation and programming. His imagination clouds are filled with free-floating imagery- ice cream fountains, rains of numbers, and shooting star snowflakes. Scuba gear and dancing ladies morph into wriggling lines that twist into space.

Paterson brings his characters to life through a natural synthesis of modern drawing tools. The results resemble a graffiti that seems to write itself. Departing from traditional techniques, Paterson experiments with code and authors programs to assist him with all areas of his work. His drawings are scanned from sketchbooks, and form a vast digital library of source material for Paterson?s collages.

Both Paterson's solo works and his collaborative works with Amit Pitaru have been exhibited worldwide at venues including Centre Pompidou in Paris, the Museum of Contemporary Art at Taipei, ICA in London, the Seoul Museum of Art in Korea, the Israel Museum in Jerusalem, GGG Gallery in Tokyo, Kunsthalle Wien in Austria, Centro de Cultura Contemporanea de Barcelona, the London Design Museum, Beurs van Berlage in Amsterdam, The Second Seoul International Art Biennale, and Muvim in Valencia, Spain.

Paterson's work exist online at two sites: (his personal space), and (the space dedicated to his collaborative work with Amit Pitaru of James is represented by bitforms gallery in Chelsea NY (


Curiosity or Fear?

Unlike the exhilaration of crack or armed robbery, the state of creative flow can leave us with a happiness and satisfaction that is durable.

But when we inevitably drop out of flow and come back down to earth we find the 'real world' patiently waiting for us. There are still bills to pay, emails to answer, and underpants to fold.

How do we balance our creative lives with our more practical responsibilities? How do we more reliably enter that state of flow in the first place? How can we bring the habits and experiences of our creative lives to bear on the rest of our lives? How can we face the future with wonder instead of worry?

I don't have any silver bullets, but I have been hunting for answers to these questions for the better part of the past 2 decades and am looking forward to sharing my thoughts and comparing notes with the rest of you.


James also starred at: