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Jim Butler

Jim Butler leads the MA Illustration and Book Arts and BA Illustration and Animation at Cambridge School of Art, Anglia Ruskin University.

His work has been exhibited in the USA, Mexico and across Europe, and is held in numerous collections including The Tate, The Art Institute of Chicago and The Hague's Meermanno Museum.

About the process

These images are from an ongoing series of several hundred urban collage drawings made entirely on location in various cities.

For Butler, drawing is not a technical skill but a means of slowing down the world for long enough to look and to see. This is a thinking process and the drawings are a record of this. His starting point is deciding what it is in a scene that is visually interesting and finding the composition that allows this to be explored.

He carries with him bags of scrap paper, sorted by colour, a stick and a bottle of Indian ink. The collage is made first, maybe finding the patterns of an envelope and the colour of a train ticket that echo the colours and textures of stone in two adjacent buildings. The ink line is drawn over this.

For Butler, one of the challenges and thrills of drawing directly from life is to see how the white paper becomes street or building or sky by the use of a single mark or line.