JAMES MCMILLAN

ABOUT

Transplanted from Cronulla beach via Mt Jerusalem Mullumbimby and now living by the ocean in Byron Shire, as a young boy James had no idea why he always wanted to create, which started with collaging magazine scraps, and drawing street portraits in his moleskin journal. The fact that he's a soul-searching type and that his Dad was an artist, he says, most likely has everything to do with it.

A self-taught artist James is the author and principal photographer of the best-selling book, Blue Yonder (2005), but is probably best known for his signature style Waterbird series paintings (2005-2017). A brief synopsis of his studio work would go something like: Using multi-layers of acrylics, spray-paint and ink, James usually creates a quirky and splashy signature landscape of colour, upon which he brings to life his stories of carefully rendered subjects, including moody and curious birdies, oozy clouds, Edenesque type treescapes, hanging or grounded dwellings and the regular appearance of his journeying Waterbird. Along with this he has stylised his own organic font, which together all exist in a somewhat natural and otherworldly environment of surreal and wonder-filled happenings, which may or may not have links to his own experience of existence along with ideas of idealisation and escape.

Along with his gallery work James has completed several other projects including his award winning book and short film, both called Blue Yonder, a zine titled deep&strange, mural artist for Splendour in the Grass Festival, Creative director for the Byron Bay Surf Festival and has also exhibited his paintings in both group and solo shows in Byron Bay, Sydney, New York, Los Angeles, and in Tokyo at three Greenroom festivals. James sums up his work as, “creating is what I need to do and I totally enjoy each moment of doing it to the point of losing touch with any immediate reality. The end result of each finished painting is a collaboration of current ideas and also a memory of how I existed in those creating moments.”

ENTER

EXHIBITIONS

  • 2019: 'Surf Culture Now' Byron Bay Surf Festival - Group Show

  • 2018: Volcom Garden, Texas USA - Group Show

  • 2018: 'Surf Culture Now' Byron Bay Surf Festival - Group Show

  • 2018: 'The Greenroom Festival' Tokyo Japan - Group show

  • 2017: Seven Seas Festival Byron Bay - Group Show

  • 2017:'Surf Culture Now' Byron Bay Surf Festival - Group Show

  • 2016 Bayleaf Byron Bay, with Andy Davis & Hanai Yusuke - Exhibition

  • 2016: God/surf, Driftlab Newrybar – solo show

  • 2015: Mural Bayleaf café wall with Harry Daily aka Harry the hat

  • 2015: Harrys show, Byron Bay, with Harry the hat - group show

  • 2014: Atlantic, Byron Bay - Group Show

  • 2014: 'The Greenroom Festival' Tokyo Japan - Group show

  • 2014: 'Surf Culture Now' Byron Bay Surf Festival - Group Show

  • 2013: 'What Youth' Retrospect Galleries Byron Bay - Group Show

  • 2013: 'Surf Culture Now' Byron Bay Surf Festival - Group Show

  • 2012: 'Surf Culture Now' Byron Bay Surf Festival - Group Show

  • 2012: Kartel, Cabarita Beach – Solo show

  • 2011: 'artist of the month' Retrospect Galleries Byron Bay – Solo show

  • 2011: 'Surf Culture Now' Byron Bay Surf Festival' – Group show

  • 2011: 'See C sea' Byron Bay – Group show

  • 2011: 'white picket fence' Byron Bay – Group show

  • 2010: Harvest café, Newrybar, NSW, exhibit & artist talk

  • 2010: Dear and Yonder, Byron Community Centre – Group show

  • 2010: 'Petites trevaux' Retrospect galleries, Byron Bay NSW - Group show

  • 2010: 'El Mar Mi Alma' Retrospect Galleries, Byron bay NSW – Group show

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  • 2009: 'Revolution of art' Retrospect galleries, Byron Bay NSW - Group show

  • 2009: 'Petites Trevaux' Retrospect galleries, Byron Bay NSW - Group Show

  • 2009: 'Day of the dead' Retrospect galleries, Byron Bay NSW - Group show

  • 2008: 'where mighty giants dwell' Retrospect galleries, Byron Bay NSW - Group show

  • 2008: 'Xmasea', Sea Cell contemporary surf space, Byron Bay NSW - Group show

  • 2008: 'The Greenroom Festival' Tokyo Japan - Group show

  • 2008: 'New wave', Retrospect galleries, Byron Bay NSW – Group show

  • 2007: 'The Greenroom Festival' Tokyo Japan - Group show

  • 2006: 'Heart of a Waterbird', Waywood Gallery Byron Bay NSW - Solo show (art/photography/film)

  • 2006: 'Blue Yonder artshow', Solace Qld – Solo show (art/photography/film)

  • 2005: 'Blue Yonder' Spacejunk Gallery Manly NSW - Group show (art/photography/film)

  • 2005: 'Blue Yonder' Bondi RSL Club NSW - Solo show (art/photography/film)

  • 2005: 'Blue Yonder' Baptist Church Gallery Cronulla NSW - Group show (art/photography/film)

  • 2003: 'Surfstyle', Cassius King Gallery San Diego California, USA - Group show

  • 2003: Surfstyle', 111 Minna Gallery San Francisco California, USA - Group show

  • 2001: 'Visual arts now', Sydney Institute NSW - Group show

  • 1999: 'Who goes there' Gallery 101 Cronulla NSW - Group show

  • 1992: 'Let's skate', Resist records Newtown NSW, - Group show x 4 artists (art/photography)

COMMISSIONS

  • 2019: Yum Yum Tree cafe – new branding

  • 2019: Byron Bay Surf Festival - Official branding, poster, merch

  • 2018: Byron Bay Surf Festival - Official branding, poster, merch

  • 2018: Byron Farmers Market – new branding

  • 2018: Foamriders clothing – new season art 

  • 2018: Private collection - James Hersee

  • 2017: Private collection - Bayleaf cafe Byron Bay Australia

  • 2017: Byron Bay Surf Festival - Official branding and poster

  • 2015: Mural Bayleaf cafe wall with Harry Daily aka Harry the hat

  • 2015: Private collection – Byron Shire

  • 2015: 'The Greenroom Festival' Tokyo Japan, paintings - Group show

  • 2014: Private collection – Australia

  • 2013: Byron Bay Surf Festival - Official logo and poster/s

  • 2013: stART me up Bayleaf cafe wall - exist now (but don't ask how)

  • 2013: Private collection - Australia

  • 2012: Private collection - Australia

  • 2012: Private collection - Australia

  • 2012: Byron Bay Surf Festival - Official logo and poster

  • 2011: Retrospect Galleries Byron Bay – artist of the month, 8 paintings

  • 2011: Rash wetsuits Japan – logo/branding of new wetsuit 'classic' line

  • 2011: Byron Bay Surf Festival – art/graphics – official web and print media logo

  • 2011: Byron Bay Surf Festival – art/graphics – official poster

  • 2010: Top Shop café, Byron Bay – 3 works – art prints framed

  • 2010: Nalu surfing magazine Japan: photo essay of George Greenough

  • 2009: Surfing World magazine Japan: portrait photo of Dick Hoole

  • 2008: 'The Greenroom Festival' Tokyo Japan, 10 paintings - Group show

  • 2008: 'Splendour in the Grass' music festival, Byron Bay NSW - Commissioned artist for mural, live, on-site - 'Love is the new drug'

  • 2007: Skull Candy, California USA - 'Drifting'

  • 2007: 'The Greenroom Festival' Tokyo Japan, 6 paintings - Group show

BIBLIOGRAPHY

  • STOPPED RECORDING SINCE DIGITAL TAKEOVER

  • 2014: Blue magazine (Japan): 3 pages: James McMillan (artist)

  • 2014: Blue magazine (Japan): 6 pages: James McMillan 'organic living' (art/surf/lifestyle)

  • 2013: Byron Shire News, 26th Sept: Front page, photo and editorial - street Mural Byron Bay, Bayleaf Cafe

  • 2013: Blue Magazine (Japan) Issue 39 March/April 10 pp Byron Bay Surf Festival (art/photography)

  • 2013: Blue magazine (Japan) Issue 38 (p.32) Blue yonder art

  • 2013: Smorgasboarder Issue Jan/Feb, Front Cover image (painting), plus (p.48) 8 page feature (artist/surfer)

  • 2012: Blue Magazine (Japan) 1/4 page (p.23) riding photos (Photography)

  • 2011: Safari magazine (Japan): full page (p.201): 'popular surf culture art' (art)

  • 2011: Pacific longboarder magazine (p.22): Byron Bay Surf Festival (art)

  • 2010: Paradise magazine (Qld, Aust) double page (p.16, 17) (profile/artist)

  • 2010: Kurungaba journal (Aust): Vol 3 No.1, 2 x full page (poem/photography)

  • 2010: 'Little Black Wheels': Feature film. Featured surfer (surfing/art)

  • 2009: Nalu Magazine (Japan) 2 x DPS (p.17-20) George Greenough (Photography)

  • 2009: inretrospective 10 – coffee table Book 4 full pages: James McMillan (artist)

  • 2009: Surfing World magazine (Japan) 2 full page (interview/artist)

  • 2009: Northern Star newspaper (Qld, Aust) half page (editorial/artist)

  • 2007: Surfers Path magazine (Europe/USA); April/May, 10 pages: 'The fall and rise of James McMillan' (editorial/surfer/artist)

  • 2007: Surfer Rule magazine (Spain); 3 pages: 'James McMillan' (editorial/artist)

  • 2007: Stab magazine (Aust): Issue 20, Full page: 'Jimmy eats paint' (profile/art)

  • 2007: Blue magazine (Japan): 3 pages: 'James McMillan' (art)

  • 2005: Waves surfing magazine (Aust/NZ): Nov page 36 half page: (author/surfer)

  • 2005: Tracks surfing Magazine (Aust/NZ): Dec (surfer/author) 2006: Tracks surfing Magazine (Aust/NZ): Jan (author)

  • 2005: The Sunday magazine (Aust): Nov (author/surfer)

  • 2005: The Daily Telegraph (Aust): Nov p.90 full page: (author/surfer)

  • 2005: Surfing World Magazine (Aust/NZ): Dec half page (author)

  • 2005: Surfing Life Magazine (Aust/USA/Japan): Dec (surfer/author)

  • 2005: Longboarding Magazine (Aust/NZ): May/Jun full page: (author/art)

  • 2005: Leader Newspaper (Sutherland Shire NSW): Oct p.14 half page (author)

  • 2005: Echo Newspaper (Byron Shire) Nov half page: (author)

  • 2005: Australian Surf Business Magazine (Aust): Nov (editorial)