The Sexy Girl Artwork of Mike James
Azimuth Design is the artist-owned company of Mike James.
www.jamesart.com is the website on which ALL his merchandise is available. The company produces a world-famous line of female resin sculpture kits. Also produced are editions of Mike James signed, girl art drawings, and female pin-up photography as well as a few paintings done on canvas.
Mike James's sexy female sculptures are world famous for 2 reasons. First, because he was the first. His released company statement in 1995, when few female sculptures existed in ANY form, was to create an entire line of sexy female sculptures. At the time, this was a brazen new idea that was met with universal, professional skepticism. Mike was told by everyone active in the business, he'd be out of business in a year because "there was no interest in the subject". Mike persevered.
Within 2 years, he had a large following, 85% male, but to his amazement, 15% female. Soon, much larger resin kit companies began imitating him, coming out with their own female figures, mostly of poular comicbook characters (Mike's characters are of his OWN creation).
Within10 years a huge industry of articulated, "sexy female" comic figurines joined the male figurines sold in toy stores. Today, it's a multi-billion-dollar market. Figurine sales (female figuines comprising about 1/3rd) are now second only to video game sales in the toy industry.
Yet after all these years, Mike's female figures are still regarded my many as among the finest, most original, female characterizations ever made. Stylistically, they have a unique and voluptuously tasteful erotic style,. It's been much imitated but never duplicated.
Of course, Mike had many opportunities to "go big" i.e. either mass produce his creations, or subvert his artistry to do other's licensed popular female characters. In fact, going where the money is, is the road most of his competition took. But Mike decided to stay small, stay original, keep product quality high (and his artist freedom intact). Oddly, taking that road is beginning to pay off in unitentional ways. His girl kits are now widely considered collectible EDITIONS, even though un-numbered and unlabeled as such.
As many in the biz know, it's common practice today to stamp "limited edition" on virtually any machine-produced casting in the thousands or tens of thousands. This is cynical gimmick marketing, the pieces are typically created with no aesthetic regard, no involvement from the artist who created the piece. They merely stamp a number on the bottom, maybe silkscreen an artist's signature and "call it" a limited edition. This practice capitalizes on the consumers' lack of knowledge of what defines a REAL limited edition.
In actuality, the term limited edition has little to do with numbers or screen-printed signatures. In reality, the VALUE implied by the term "limited edition" has essentially to do with 2 things...the actual, physical "rarity" of the piece, and the creators' involvement in controling the quality of each individual reproduction. Watch just 3 episodes of PBS's "Antiques RoadShow". You'll soon see how value shoots sky high with rarity and hands on artistry in the reproduction....even without numbers, signatures, or provenance.
Mike has a Masterrs of Fine Art degree and sticks to the real artistic meaning of limited editions. His pieces are hand cast in small numbers (hundreds, not thousands) with each step of reproduction controlled by him in his own studio. He personally inspects each kit-part shipped, approving it with an embossed signed Certificate of Authenticity included in the kit box. His kits are not numbered but it's not necessary, even without the certificate, kits produced from his studio have intrisic value as art objects. This is what really matters. It's what makes them collectibles, artworks, not manufactured goods. It's why they will only increase in value over time.
Same here. The signed, numbered girl art drawings are printed with museum-grade respect, on heavyweight Arches, the best acid-free art paper in the world using archival inks. Not mass-produced lithographed "posters", these are printed one at a time, inspected, UV coated, and signed off by the artist. They are designed to be framed and passed down for generations. Mike is a print master,...literally, he has a Diploma in fine art printmaking from one of the best printmaking schools in the world, the Central School of Art and Design in London, England. Again, these are not manufactured lithographs...these are printed by the artist himself.
Calling Mike James's female pin-up phototgraphy mere "photography" is actually bit of a misnomer. These are as much illustrations as photos; actually, they are exactly that...one half photography, one-half illustration. And Mike controls both stages completely.
For instance, in prep, Mike often aplies the model's make-up with his own hand. He styles their hair. He actually dresses each model with clothing he's bought, and often altered on his sewing machine. He designs dresses from scratch. During the shoot, he gives explicit posing directions (remember, he's a sculptor, par excellance, so he's likely not leave figure-posing to the model). He lights and stages everything, in his own photo studio. After taking the picture, he's only half done with the image-making process.
Each photo is then digitally re"painted" by the artist on the computer, stretching limbs, redefining musculaturre, laying in new backgrounds, color correcting. I've even seen him "re-light" a photo in the computer! The process takes him about 2 days for each image.
No other photographer on the planet does this, or even knows how to do this. It can't be taught, well, maybe in a few dacades. It's because Mike is a breed unto himself, he can "resculpt" a figure, even two-dimentionally as well as three-dimentionally. He knows intimately, sculptuarally, how light create shape and form.
Don't get us wrong; the girls Mike hires are quite beautiful. Mike picks models who have the faces and bodies of the type depicted in his sculptures. But he isn't satisfied with that. He wants to make his models UNHOLY beautiful, precisely in the mold of his sculptures and drawings. Though the resultant photographic image looks completely convincingly like a simple snapshot of an remarkably beautiful girl, it is actually far more than that. It is the collaboration of a beautiful model and an artist, to create an original "sculpted" uber-girl.
SOME FINAL NOTES:
None of the work on the Azimuth Design webpages is sold through any stores or distributors anywhere in the world. All orders are direct from artist's studio to final customer. No middle-men jacking up the price. This way, quality is kept high, prices low, for as long as the artist stays in business. (And by 2007, that's a remarkable track record.)
Sadly, accountability is already a nearly lost attribute in most of today's business. But not here. At Azimuth Design, all customers are welcome to personal, direct attention. You have a problem? The product CREATOR fixes it! No run-around, no blaming another guy. And with that directness, comes another almost unheard-of treat... customers can talk directly to the artist that created the piece they love! How cool, how rare, is THAT!
To order, write or call Azimuth Design, 339 Duck Harbor Road, Equinunk, PA 18417, tel: 570-224-4081.
Payment can be made by Personal Check, Cashier's Check, or Money Order. Personal Check orders are shipped out the day the check clears (generally 3 -4 weeks). International orders must be made by American Express Travelers Checks (best) Bank-drawn check, or International Money Order. Money Orders and Cashiers Checks, whether foriegn or domestic will get the mechandise shipped almost immediately. In order to keep prices low, we do NOT accept credit cards with the incumbent fees levied on both consumer and merchant. As much as possible, we cut out middle men,... even if that means loosing the "impulse orders" many companies count on.
All orders are packed with extra care and triple checked . For speediest delivery, all domestically-bound merchandise is shipped "Priority" mail (3 days). Any order over $100 is automatically, fully insured.
International orders are sent First Class Air Mail (always fully insured). As a matter of record, we have had only 2 returned kit parts in over 4 thousand kits shipped. In 10 years, there have been NO returns at all on any printed items. We are very proud of this. However, if any kit part is missing, or any print damaged, please call immediately. Azimuth Design will replace it, post haste, at no expense to the customer.
Copyright © 2007Mike James, Azimuth Design.
All drawings, photography, and kits, prints, or paintings, in whole or in part, and all related materials are copyrighted and registered intellectual property of Azimuth Design. All rights reserved, in any media.