Yellena James

Bosnia And Herzegowina 1977

Illustration, Design

Yellena James
Yellena James
Bosnia And Herzegowina
March 29, 2017
Balasz Takac is alias of Vladimir Bjelicic who is actively engaged in art criticism, curatorial and artistic practice.

The ongoing fascination with natural phenomenon seems to determine the art of Yellena James as an environmentally charged practice. Namely, her works are devoted to the strange beauty of hidden worlds behind ecosystems. The artist is dealing with imaginary natural constellations and pushes the boundaries of her fancy by introducing new forms. As a matter of fact, James attempts to create a hauntingly exotic place without spatial or time coordinates, sort of utopia in which tranquility and different kind of order dominate.

You can visit James’s etsy profile shop her artwork especially prints and cards and see her video
Yellena James – Challenger deep

The Artistic Development

Yellena James was born in 1977 in Sarajevo. She grew up and attended art school in that city and at the age of 18 she moved to the U.S. Shortly after gaining her BA in painting and graphic design at UCF, she eventually made her way to Portland, OR. The artist has participated in shows around the U.S. and overseas, including solo exhibitions at Giant Robot (San Francisco and Los Angeles, CA), the Here Gallery (Bristol, UK), the Hijinks Gallery (San Francisco, CA) and more. She also has done illustration work for Anthropologie, Crabtree and Evelyn, Crate and Barrel, Relativity Media and many others.

Gentle and highly imaginative approach to coloring and forms

On her blog you can explore process of print making and notice her love for natural forms
Yellena James – Fathomless

The Peculiar Style of Yellena James

The artist usually uses pens, inks, markers, and acrylics, in order to express complex abstract forms into dazzling images which take on lives of their own. James’s work is far removed from average still life and her colorful compositions of organic shapes and tangled lines are at the same time floral and alien, organic and futuristic. It seems that each work represents the hidden intimate world with its own ethos and special ability to radiate peculiar emotion. The intricacy and high detail, along with hints of existing organic shapes accentuate the intimacy and fragility of depicted motifs.

The works of Yellena James are charged with delicacy and vigor

In 2009 the artist was using new technique of drawing since she like new pens and markers
Yellena James – Reach

Drawing From Nature

The first book of Yellena James is titled Star, Branch, Spiral, Fan: Learn to Draw from Nature’s Perfect Design Structures and is dedicated to, as the title suggests, the impeccable source of inspiration which comes from nature. The whole book introduces a reader with peculiar organic forms. It is thought to be of great help to anyone prone to creative processes, especially to designers. James used her own nature-based drawings to guide readers toward looking closely at the design of each form and the places where it occurs. As a matter of fact, this book is just a continuation of her work which she expresses not only through drawings, but commercial design as well.

The forms effect and expand the observers gaze

You can shop her colorful prints on etsy and use them to print and beautify your home
Yellena James – Serene

The Powerful Organic Arrangements of Yellena James

By reinventing flora and fauna which is twisted and floats together in a magical dreamscape, James constructs her own vision of the world after tomorrow. Although they are naive, bubbly and almost childish, these works are questioning the very future of our ecosystems and can be perhaps perceived as a reaction to the furious climate changes and human recklessness. Therefore, the rising success of the artistic practice of Yellena James is not surprising since she runs both her commercial and artistic work on the same frequency of subtle, yet well-thought messages.

Yellena James lives and works in Portland.

All images used are courtesy of the artist

YearExhibition TitleGallery/MuseumSolo/Group
2016Straight Outta PortlandStephanie Chefas Gallery, PortlandGroup
2016Suture Helikon Gallery, DenverGroup
2016Salut!Nucleus Gallery, PortlandGroup
2015HarvestScreaming Sky, PortlandSolo
2015Radiance LeQuivive Gallery, OaklandSolo
2015Wish List Feather and Bone, AppletonGroup
2015Muses of Mount Helikon IIIHelikon Gallery, DenverGroup
201511 Year Anniversary Show Nucleus, AlhambraGroup
2015Project PearStephanie Chefas Gallery, PortlandGroup
2014Terra: Artwork Inspired by NatureNucleus, AlhambraGroup
2014Vivify Madelife, BoulderGroup
2013I Believe in Unicorns WWA Gallery, Culver CityGroup
2013Neu Folk Revival LeQuivive Gallery, OaklandGroup
2012Instill Hijinks Gallery, San FranciscoSolo
2012Medium SmallBig Medium gallery, AustinGroup
2011Realms - with Ako Castuera and Elsa MoraGiant Robot, Los AngelesGroup
2011Recent Work - with Betsy Walton Together, PortlandGroup
2010Immerse Dialect Gallery, Los AngelesSolo
2010BiosynthesisHijinks Gallery, San FranciscoSolo
2010Elemental (with APAK, Betsy Walton and Jill Bliss)Together, PortlandGroup
2009AquariumGrassy Knoll Gallery, Portland, ORSolo
2009Parity Here Gallery, Bristol, United KingdomSolo
2009ZoeticGR2, Los AngelesSolo
2009Limited Run II Open Space, Beacon, NYGroup
2009First Things First 111Minna Gallery, San FranciscoGroup
2009Catalyst Nucleus Gallery, Los AngelesGroup
2009Sasquatchtenial Grass Hut Gallery, PortlandGroup
2009Devils in Details GRNY, New YorkGroup
2009Tree Show Giant Robot, San FranciscoGroup
2009Idle TiesTogether Gallery, PortlandGroup
2009Kokeshi: from folk art to art toyJapanese American National Museum, Los AngelesGroup
2008PeripheryGiant Robot, San FranciscoSolo
2008SucculenceLife+Limb, PortlandSolo
2008StasisFenario Gallery, EugeneSolo
2008Printed Matter IV Giant Robot, San FranciscoGroup
2008Post-It Show III Giant Robot, Los AngelesGroup
2008Itty - Bitty Invitational Yes Gallery, WarrenGroup
2008Even Dwarves Started Small Here Gallery, BristolGroup
2008Game OverGiant Robot, San FranciscoGroup
2008Suggestion Box Giant Robot, Los AngelesGroup
2008Tree Show Giant Robot, San FranciscoGroup
2008La FemmeNucleus Gallery, Los AngelesGroup
2008Year of The Rat Giant Robot, Los AngelesGroup
2008Printed Matter III Giant Robot, San FranciscoGroup
2007Kokeshi Subtext, San DiegGroup