What On Earth Is This Workshop?
It will help you to design a city from your imagination and unleash your creativity. Depending on the tools at hand, you will be able to visualise your city using drawing, model making, 3d graphics, 3d printing, Lasercutting and even VR world building.
My expertise with commercial clients since 1999 from entertainment companies, engineering, museums, my own art products, and also my tuition experience means that anything that you need to do to achieve your goal, I will find the solution for you at that moment with the design and fabrication tools at hand.
Over the last 6 years, I have carefully developed this workshop. It started off as a lesson in a Summer School I was working at. The students loved the lesson. I then went on to give this workshop at arts centres, FabLabs and Makerspaces, Maker Faires in the UK, Iceland and Canada. Each time I do the workshop, I refine it and find ways to make it a little bit better each time. I have also just finished working in a FabLab for a one year contract so I have an expertise with a whole range of digital fabrication technologies.
Is It For Me?
All ages have attended this workshop. I have had children up to retired people attending the workshops discovering how they can unleash or improve their creativity and get more inspiration. All levels have attended and benefited from this workshop from people who have never drawn or used a computer before to designers and artists who have worked on major animated film productions. Contact me today if you have any questions about it.
Examples of people who benefit this workshop –
Hobbyists and enthusiasts
Science fiction and fantasy fans
For young learners
Continued Professional Development
Parties, weddings and other events
Contact me to discuss… (concealed information)
What You Will Learn
You will be able to learn depending on the tools in the venue –
Creativity (I believe this comes first, if you agree you will love this workshop!)
3D printing setup and use
3D modelling for 3D printing
I adapt solutions for each individual attendee and always keep the workshops small in numbers. I also teach one to one or in groups without the Cities Of The Imagination themes, customised to what you want. For example, learning 3D modelling for printing.
Hi I’m James
I am a professional artist/designer who mixes traditonal art with digital art and I’ve always loved fantastical cities from movies, games, illustrations and other art forms. Architectonic forms still inspire me today as you can see with my artworks. I have been designing cities of the imagination from as long as I can remember and then one summer during my school holidays in the early 90s, I got home to find a game had been posted to me from a mail order computer games company. That game was the original SimCity on the Atari ST . Now, the graphics look dated but then. I can even remember the packaging. The little blips on the screen representing, zones, buildings and even traffic jams were awesome at the time as if life was happening behind the screen.
I know there are others out there like me, who love making imaginary cities…
3D artist/designer/maker with over 16 years of commercial industry experience in 3D/2D graphics, traditional methods, 3D printing, laser-cutting commercial projects and training others. Featured in articles in 3D World magazine twice, Channel 4 film festivals and art competitions. I always striving to learn more and improve my technical skills and creative ideas. I love creatively working with the latest technologies.
Extensive “Maker Technology Skills
- 3D printing Ultimakers/Prusa 3D printers
- 3D printing, mesh optimisation and setting up, maintenance and operating the printer, experience of thousands of 3D prints and also optimised for metal prints on Shapeways.com I also own my own 3D printer
- Laser Cutter extensive use with various machines including Trotecs, Laserscript, Epilog
- Roland Vinyl Cutter
- Microelectronics Arduinos, Makey Makeys and BBC Microbits
real life and concept sketches, lifetime experience advanced level #draweveryday
- Traditional maker skills/knowledge wood, TIG/soldering/metalwork and woodwork skills
- 3Ds Max 2017,over 16 years of commercial experience
- Blender 2.80 over 5 years of experience using some features in commercial projects
- Substance Painter / Substance Designer intermediate to high skill
- Other software Inkscape/Krita/Gimp, modo, make human
- Zbrush 4R7 High level of skill
- Adobe Photoshop Suite Premiere CC Unity Unreal Engine
- Green screen set up and photo skills
- Fusion 360
- DaVinci Pro Resolve Skill Level = High level of skill
- Wordpress and HTML creation/maintenance/SEO of my own sites
Other Skills -
- Presentation Skills, speaking and communication workshops, presentations, online
- Content writing and marketing for my blog
- Social media/SEO/marketing especially maintaining my twitter feed @jamesabellart and Youtube channel
Selected Work History
July 2017 - July 2018
Development of work of this personal commercial project and promotion through landing pages. First image was displayed on the IO9 website.
FabLab Devon Technician Contract (Barnstaple Library North Devon, Libraries Unlimited part of UP Potential Funding)
- Inducting and Workshop creation for 3d printing, laser cutter, vinyl cutter, microelectronics,
- Upkeep of machines
- Setting up and creating outreach workshops, advising on how a FabLab could fit into a library setting.
- Liaising with potential clients and production of art projects and installations for libraries unlimited clients
- Administration work related to the functioning of the FabLab within the library.
Responsible for upkeep of FabLab machines, welcoming and promoting the fablab development and execution of workshops outreach and marketing.
November 2016 - July 2017
- Bank Lecturer in digital design at the UHI Fort William Campus from December 2016 to July 2017
- Freelance work 1999 to present
- FabLab London big visualisation stills for a “millionaire” FabLAB NDA work February 2017 Other 3D graphics work for them since 2019
-Selling various stock imagery, including offshore visualisations for Open University training manuals.
- Product Design, 3D visuals and 3D test prints for packaging for a micro bit FabLab London for Barclays bank, NDA (images not released) June 2015
- AWS provided visuals for Wave Swing USA for which they attained third prize late 2016
- AWS Oceans, visualisation of their multi million pound wave R&D wave energy devices
- ITI Energy Think Tank Aberdeen corporate animation of their offshore wind/wave device proposal ‘Trade Winds’ 2009
- Other work including Honeywell, providing a mesh to Houston NASA of the Hubble Space Telescope upon their request, a robotics company, museums, exhibition designers
- Design and maintenance of my own websites, marketing and SEO
Self Managed Workshops And Tuition
- Cities Of Imagination, Using Digital, Traditional And Maker Technologies, multiple locations since 2014 including FabLab Devon, FabLab Ísafjörður Iceland, Lur Festival Iceland, FabLab London, EchoFab Montreal Canada, TechCube Edinburgh, Tribe Porty Portobello, The South London Makerspace, the Fort William Comic
-Edinburgh Mini Maker Faire 2016 “Imaginary City Growth Project” in 2017 I am running a similar event there
- “Time To Shine”, digital workshops at the Dundee Arts Centre, June 2015 Scotland.
- Blender Basics and Blender Advanced Features Workshops for FabLabs, various locations including UK, Canada and Iceland
- Lecturing/tutoring 3D graphics and maker technology various locations for workshops and consultancy work including summerhall, ann lanntair, the dundee arts centre, Echo Fab Montreal, Iceland
- My YouTube learning channel, teaching digital and traditional art techniques 2013 to now
- Ongoing clients Skype/offline 3D teaching and consultation
- FabLab Ísafjörður Iceland, three months, product project and full use of all maker machines and also managing the FabLab, helping with marketing and organising workshops April to June 2016
- Westfjords Spring Group Residency, Thingeri, Iceland May 2016
- FabLab London Resident Artist July/August 2015 Dymaxion Map
- EchoFab, Fab Lab, Montreal Canada Resident artist/designer at for three weeks, Montreal, Québec,Canada April 2015
I took time to do these residencies so that I could master maker skills, gain knowledge of maker industries and apply them to my creative skillset.
- Museomix, Derby, England Our team designed an exhibit for the Rolls Royce Turbine, a 4 day event I contributed to the project by ideas, brainstorming and also creation of an animation of the turbine with airflow arrows that was projected onto the floor. November 2014
- I09 Science Fiction Gizmodo Blog showed my work
- 3D World Magazine Artist interview April issue 2016 article about my 3D print
- How To Create Cities Of The Imagination self published Kindle E Book
- 3D World Magazine February 2002 Main exhibitionist and showreel
- Glasgow MCM Comic Con September 2018
- Various art solo shows in Edinburgh, Curious Gallery, Daler Rowney
- Cunard Liner Sculpture competition Cunard and The Daily Telegraph, shortlisted entry
- Structures Like the Leaves Animated Science Fiction Film- Channel 4 ‘Rolling Stock’ Link YouTube 2005
- Unleash The Talent Online Film Festival - Channel 4/Tango. Creation of Short Animated Science Fiction Film Ant Colony 5 2002.
- I take regular online 3D graphics courses such as Learnsquared, Gleb Alexandrov, other courses to keep my 3D graphics skills up to date and for new ideas
- Edinburgh College of Art Metalwork/Sculpture Summer School course 2011
- Welding For Beginners Varis Training, Nairn Scotland 2010
- Edinburgh College Of Art BA (Honours Applied Design). Interior Architecture/Design 1999
- Edinburgh College Of Art First Year Studies 1992
Visiting museums and art galleries, swimming, hiking, urban sketching sketching #draweveryday, figure drawing, world travel, making commercial projects/ideas at FabLabs/Makerspaces
References Available On Request
Perfect! Good tutor!
Fiona is a good student. I suggested to her different ways to draw her architectural designs using traditional techniques.
James has been a life saver and fitted in wherever we have needed him inside our Creative and Digital Arts Team. James has a long history of self-motivated projects and is easy to talk to. James has always shown a willingness to improve his skills and is always clued up about the latest industry trends and software
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