Jim Shore has made a name for himself in the gift industry with sculpture and art depicting whimsical animals, seasonal themes and beloved characters.
Now, the South Carolina self-taught artist is launching a family-friendly coloring book with his designs in line-drawing form.
Grab your colored pencils and make some me time for folk art-inspired illustrations of birds, roosters, village scenes, covered bridges, angels and more.
“Simpler Times Coloring Book: A Coloring Celebration of Country Traditions” from Fox Chapel Publishing, is available through retailers wherever books are sold.
Each one-sided page is perforated so when you are finished coloring, the pages can be removed and displayed. What’s more, Shore said the book offers tips on how to use colored pencils to achieve shading, highlighting and how to make things look three-dimensional, etc.
“It will help you produce a real, true piece of artwork,” Shore said.
Shore, 70, said he had a “ready-made focus group” to test his line drawings by sharing them first with his 14 grandchildren. A 15th grandchild is on the way.
“I’ve got about 16,000 drawings I’ve done over many years,” Shore said. “I’m very meticulous about details, but there’s nothing in the coloring book that requires a magnifying glass to do it. Like you’ve been told ever since you were a kid, just stay inside the lines.”
Learn more about Shore’s inspirations during Facebook Live sessions at 2 p.m. Thursdays on the Facebook Page for Jim Shore the artist.
“We love for fans to send us pictures of the coloring they have done,” Shore said. See even more creative work by Jim, his family and friends at Jim Shore&More.com.
Shore got started as an artist decades ago, creating and marketing his own designs. Back then, Shore did all of his own casting for his figurines. Now, he has team of craftspeople who faithfully reproduce his originals.
Shore produces collectible pieces for big names in the gift industry: Enesco, Disney, DC Comics, Peanuts and the folk-art inspired line by Shore called Heartwood Creek.
His work encompasses seasonal figurines, statues, garden accessories, tabletop decor and more.
Shore’s collectibles are available in thousands of retail stores worldwide, including brick-and-mortar businesses and online. He is well-known for television sales through home-shopping networks, including QVC.
Shore first publicly shared his original pencil drawings in an exhibition at Lander University’s Fine Art Gallery in 2014. One of his six children, Sandy Singletary, is a Lander art professor.
“My business is rocking right along,” Shore said, even amid the novel coronavirus pandemic. “That’s thanks in part to my art and retailers having an online presence. We’ve got new stuff to do and we are busy.”
Shore lives at Lake Wylie in York County.
Shore said there’s a tremendous amount of his original artwork archived, including paintings and working drawings.
“Long ago, we started translating a lot of the work I’ve done into flat, two-dimensional art,” Shore said. “Those designs can be used in textiles, dinnerware, calendar art and anywhere it makes sense. ... One of my daughters, Robin, who works with me here, saved every single one of my drawings.”
Enter the new coloring book. Shore says it is not just for the trend of coloring being enjoyed by grown-ups.
“The cover of the book depicts a rooster I painted during a trade show a number of years ago,” Shore said, noting many of his designs are noted for incorporating distinct color combinations, quilt patterns and rosemaling, a type of Norwegian decorative folk painting. “I love what I do and I’m passionate about it. I’ve not had a decrease in sales since I go started.”
While creating gifts is a passion, Shore said one of the most meaningful things he has done is design and donate a bronze statue for the headquarters of the United States Army Special Operations Aviation Command at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, unveiled in 2017.
Life-sized figures depicting the Greek god of war, Ares, dismounting a pegasus centaur. A stainless steel arrow tip in the sculpture was made by Shore at his studio. It was forged from steel taken from the wreckage of a UH-60 Black Hawk that crashed during the Battle of Mogadishu in 1993.