Meet the Artist | Art Watch | Bend | The Source Weekly - Bend, Oregon

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Meet the Artist

Tim Jones' dreamy, Tolkien-inspired illustration



An imaginative illustrator and 3D artist, deeply inspired by fantasy, Tim Jones received a BFA in Illustration from the New Hampshire Institute of Art and immediately packed up his bags and moved to Bend with the hopes of becoming a part of a developing art scene. Some of his signature characters are robotic cyborgs and dark and creepy werewolves, others are four-armed dinosaurs and adorable zombies wearing sneakers (see the cover). Jones is the Source Weekly's cover artist of the month! His work will be on display at Bishop's Barber Shop downtown starting on Friday Nov. 7, through the end of the month. Find more of his adventurous characters at

Source Weekly: How did you get started making art?

Tim Jones: When people ask me how have I ended up being an artist I tell them, everyone is an artist in the beginning. Kids always have colored pencils growing up and everyone draws. At a certain point everyone stops drawing. I just didn't stop drawing. Even the side of my homework was a good enough place for that.

SW: Tell me about your art and your medium.

TJ: I've always been infatuated with imagination and the way to draw things that I couldn't actually find in real life—stuff that was a little bit bigger than life. I saw people who would draw a first-person perspective of a field or a farm, but I could see that. The things in my head I could only bring to life if I drew them.

For a long time, I would draw with pencil and as I started to get better with other mediums...colored pencils, markers. I still consider myself mixed media artist, but now I have a heavy hand in digital Photoshop and computerized art. But I continue to concept and come up in my ideas with pencil and paper.

SW: What types of things do you draw?

TJ: I draw a lot of influence from fantasy. I really was taken by Tolkien, he created such a wonderful world. If you watch the movies, two of the artists that were the concept directors for Lord of the Rings were Alan Lee and John Howe. They are artists that I admire pretty much above all. What they draw is what you see in those movies. They had a larger-than-life story to tell and the things they drew were able to be brought to life.

The things I draw are monsters that couldn't possibly exist in the real world. Something that's a little crazy, goblins, ghouls. I often focus on character design, not an entire scene.

SW: Tell me about the cover piece, "Abbot the Zombie."

TJ: Abbot the Zombie! I was inspired by my friend Matthew Smigiel, an illustrator and excellent comic artist who worked at a gas station in college and every night he worked he would draw one comic page. Some nights it would be very imaginative, and a reoccurring character from the 2,140 pages he ended up drawing was this zombie kid called Abbot. It's fan art for my friend.

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