Now featuring David Jien

Little Paper Planes Press is pleased to welcome our second invited April artist, David Jien! We’re offering 3 of his works as prints, each available in 2 sizes. Read on to learn more about him- a proverbial “walk into the secret level” of the work of this Nintendo-inspired adult.

JW: Hi David, how are things today?

DJ: So far so good.

JW: I noticed that you just graduated from the Art Center College of Design this past December. Congratulations to you.  What path led you from whatever you were doing previously, to attending art school?

DJ: Thank you. I decided to go to art school because I wanted to learn how to draw and paint better, and to hone my skills.

Little Paper Press exclusive print #1

JW: Did pencil/paper choose you, or did you choose it?

DJ: I’m pretty sure she chose me.

JW: What’s your process for completing a piece, including planning and execution over time?

DJ: My process starts with an idea, and then continues with research and references. Then some sketches, then drawing.  But sometimes I just start, and try to figure it out as I go along. In those cases I like to see where the drawing can take me. It’s a very organic process. I try to get compositions right the first time, but usually end up modifying it some way or another along the way. I work pretty slowly and my finishing time varies with every picture, but small ones usually take 2-3 days, and large ones take up to 3 months.

JW: About your content and ideas… the regular spacing of the trees you place in your landscapes connotes clip art, and the straight planes and open spaces in your work suggest non-dimensional digital lands. Many of your works, such as Untitled 2 and Group at Level 2 suggest a frozen moment in a vast video game plot, and give just enough thematic evidence to allow me to start guessing at what else might go down in the story. What are your drawings about, for you, and how much are we supposed to know?

DJ: I grew up on Nintendo, and there were two formats for play: side-scroll and isometric view, like in role-playing games. I loved playing the RPG’s because you can see everything, like a map. So I always drew my pictures like that too. I feel I can describe the most information in this format. My drawings depict a vertiginous temporal reality, alternating between the dawn of a folkloric world when mythological creatures still walked amongst men, and an unknown future in which aliens have finally reached contact. There is an overarching sense of fantasy, of going There and Back Again on an episodic quest.

My drawings are about a alternate reality, based on real life experiences. I would like the viewer to feel like they are walking into the secret level.

Little Paper Planes exclusive print #2

JW: How did text start infiltrating your work, and what role does it play now?

DJ: I have always had a simple love for letters, and for bending, melting and stretching them till they are hardly recognizable and take on a whole new meaning of their own. It all started with those robots that turned into letters and numbers- remember those? In high school I was introduced to graffiti. I also like the idea of naming things or people, this idea of individuality.

JW: Please share some of your sources of inspiration, whether they be people, songs, daily occurrences, whatever makes your life great.

DJ: I am a big fan of anime and manga. My favorite is One Piece. I’m also into nature, print-making, the Wu tang clan, ninja turtles, Roald Dahl, Chinese scroll painting, and all the things that happen during night hours.

Little Paper Planes exclusive print #3

JW: How is life post-school treating you, and what’s next?

DJ: So far so good, I am working at the print shop at school part time, and making art on the side.

JW: Cool. Well, thanks for talking with me David. Keep up the good work!



1 We Love You So – Where The Wild Things Are – Spike Jonze: David Jien { 04.29.10 at 2:15 pm }

[...] an interview at Little Paper Planes, artist David Jien talks a bit about his process, noting that he starts with [...]

2 MichaelNo Gravatar { 05.02.10 at 2:14 pm }

I love the work… really nice drawings.

3 ReinierNo Gravatar { 06.01.10 at 1:45 am }

Love you Dave, you’re on fire brothah

4 Los Angeles-based Artist David Jien | Creative Boom { 06.29.10 at 8:16 am }

[...] read his interview with LPP's Jess Wheaton go to To see his LPP exclusive prints go to [...]

5 Evolve Happy » David Jien (Little Paper Planes) Interview { 08.11.10 at 5:03 am }

[...] a proverbial “walk into the secret level” of the work of this Nintendo-inspired adult.” read interview in its entirety —————————————- David [...]

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