- Blender 2.80
- 3DS Max 2019
- Substance Painter/Designer
- Traditional Drawing
- 3D Printing
With each individual learner, I try to find what they want. Be it a qualification, entry to an art college or their own personal or commercial aims. Learners in the past have been really pleased with their experiences.
Past students have included artists, directors, illustrators, game makers and also enthusiasts.
I am a professional artist/designer so I have to keep up with all the latest tools. You can be sure you will get the most relevant information from me. I have years of experiences of running workshops with 3D graphics and also teaching online.
Hi I am James, I am a "tradigital" artist based near Glasgow.
I love helping others to achieve their 3D goals and to inspire them on their own creative journeys.
I graduated in Interior Design (applied design) from Edinburgh College of Art in 1999 and since then I worked in the 3D graphics industry making visualisations for architects, engineers, and entertainment companies. I still do freelance work in these sectors today. As well as that I produce my own products and art, I have been featured in two two page articles about me in the international 3D World magazine and I have had two short animated films featured in Channel 4 film festivals.
Over the past few years, I have been working at FabLabs. I did art residencies in Fabrication Labs in Montreal, London and Iceland and recently finished a contract working at a FabLab in North Devon. This has made me an expert with 3D printing, Lasercutting and Vinyl Cutting.
I advocate traditional drawing and I have been making a #draweveryday for the last few years on Instagram and Twitter.
In my spare time, I love world travel, swimming and films. I took up inline skating half a year ago and love this new sport too :)
My rates remain the same for all levels. Some negotiation with price is considered depending on amount of lessons etc.
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! James was an excellent tutor in my first couple Blender lessons - he listened carefully to my goals and planned ahead of our tutorials to make sure my goals were achieved. He is very knowledgeable and personable - highly recommended!
James is learning Blender very quickly and picking up the main concepts of modelling, UV mapping, texturing and exporting to a real-time project he is working on. It was great to work with him and in the future too if he should require :)
Excellent! James was a very good explainer, and I found him to be engaging and friendly
Freddie was a good learner. He is interested in recreating scenes from photos in Blender. He has a good understanding of 3D techniques and modelling already due to his creative design background in film/cad design. Keep up the good work!
Perfect! James was really flexible and willing to walk me through how he would tackle a specific project. He also sent links to different add on's I could download that would improve the final result which was great!
Jessica has some great ideas about making organic forms in Blender and will pick Blender up in not time as she has previous CAD knowledge in other applications.
Perfect! I have worked with James for a number of hours now, and he has been able to clearly answer and instruct me on every question and challenge with utmost patience. He is also quite diligent in preparing for the tutoring session and being well informed about the details of the particular software and Hardware. It is definitely enjoyable learning and working with him.
Thanks Papaha, for the sessions. You are doing well with 3D so far with cool ideas about using 3d graphics and 3d print technologies for real life art projects. I hope you manage to find out the issue with your 3D printer. I am sure the forum link will help!
Perfect! James quickly got to grips with what I needed to learn and provided direct guidance showing great working knowledge of Blender. Very happy to recommend to people of all levels.
Hi Joseph thank you for the great review :) It will be good to tutor you again. I think you have all the main concepts for 3D from when you used it a few years ago. Not much really has changed in my opinion with many concepts. Only the hardware and node based workflow which I wasn't keen on when it changed to start with but love it now! Speak soon, thanks, James.
Perfect! Great teacher. Very patient and always giving better and easier solutions. I highly recommend him
Nora is a great student. She is learning Blender very quickly = keep up the good work :)
Perfect! Absolutely fantastic introduction to sculpting in Blender. James seems extremely adaptable to help with creative issues whether it be fine Art in many mediums, industry professional 3D work or just about anything else!
Thanks Craig for taking the session. Loads of great creative idea, with some practice or some sessions from me you will be able to get flowing with making sculptural things etc in Blender. Here is the video I told you about - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LsGZ_2RuJ2A Thanks!
Perfect! A+++++ tutor with substance painter and all things 3d
I have been tutoring Charlie with Substance Designer as part of his 3D design pipeline. He is learning very quickly and his designs already look great in Substance!
Perfect! James provided me with plenty of help to learn Substance Painter. I hope to work with this tutor again soon
Chris is a pro 3D person and needs some help with Substance Painter to learn it as fast as possible for his real-time work. Great student and good help him out to get the best solution for his goals.
Perfect! James is an amazing teacher and artist. The best part of the lessons was that he took the time to answer a few extra questions after the lesson and sent me resources so that I could continue learning on my own and made sure that I knew what I was doing with my project to complete it well. I highly recommend to anyone interested in learning about 3d modeling, blender, unity etc!
Valentina is a very great student. She had some programming 3D experience as well as 3D creation so she was able to understand advanced techniques that I was trying to explain to her about a 3D rigging process very well.
James offers excellent teaching. When we started I could barely start a computer and now after a relatively short period of time I am working on massive Blender projects. I appreciate our easy communication and good tips that James gave to me.
James is a talented 3D artist with a whole lot of tricks and info to share.
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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