Jim Shore

Jim Shore

Celebrated sculptor Jim Shore credits his enormous commercial success to a lifetime devoted to hard work, creative inspiration, and, as with most successful individuals, some timely good fortune. "Art is something I've done all my life," Shore explains. "It's what I've always loved and the only thing I ever wanted to do. But making a living as an artist isn't easy. There are thousands of talented ...
Celebrated sculptor Jim Shore credits his enormous commercial success to a lifetime devoted to hard work, creative inspiration, and, as with most successful individuals, some timely good fortune. "Art is something I've done all my life," Shore explains. "It's what I've always loved and the only thing I ever wanted to do. But making a living as an artist isn't easy. There are thousands of talented people out there that never got the chance to show what they can do. I've been lucky. Not only do I get to do what I love, I get to share it with people around the world. I've been given a tremendous gift and I thank God for it every day."

Art has dominated Shore's life, from the time he's spent traveling around the world to his return to the rural South Carolina town where he grew up. The son of artists, Shore credits his parents for having the greatest influence on his life, imparting an appreciation of art especially the traditional American folk art imagery that populates his work. "They always encouraged me to be artistic," he said. "That's probably because my father was a master woodworker and my mother sculpted and created beautiful paintings on wood. They never gave me formal training in art, but I was always very quick to pick up any artistic endeavors, from stained glass and goldsmithing to portrait painting and wood carving." It was the folk art his parents introduced him to that continues to influence his work. "Folk art has a certain rhythm and syncopation, and most people get some sort of satisfaction and pleasure from that. I also like that it's so versatile and works in various settings - its lack of proportion makes it almost abstract. And I like the way you can create a motif by combining so many different elements."

Shore also credits his grandmother, a master quilter, for instilling an appreciation for the patience and skill required to bring intricate artistic designs to life. Drawing inspiration from these roots, Shore marries traditional imagery drawn from quilting and a variety of folk art forms to develop a rich design style, adding his signature color palette to express his distinct artistic voice. "There's an innocence, a purity in the designs found in early American art, particularly in quilts. These were masterpieces designed by artists driven to create. I collect quilts dating back over 150 years and when I look at the level of skill and creativity I am constantly amazed. It's high art from everyday, often humble surroundings." When pushed to explain his affect for the aesthetics of quilting, Shore elaborates - "It's honest. Women, sometimes living in harsh conditions, went back to their European roots and emulated how this art was accomplished. They weren't in it for fame and fortune, but wanted to create something that would be pleasing and functional at the same time. From simple white-on-white trapunto to luxurious fabric designs, quilts have meaning and tell a story that is handed down through generations."

A born storyteller, Shore lets his art speaks louder than words, sculpting tales through an ever-expanding world of characters and designs. Inspired by nostalgia for his bucolic Southern roots and his fascination with the intricate design of patchwork quilts, Shore has fashioned a world of fantasy with his charming polyresin creations. He also designs decorative accents for home and garden, including lamps, wall hangings, weathervanes, birdhouses, statues, and more. Each design works with nearly any décor, from American country to contemporary.

Shore's unmistakable style appears in an endless variety of themes and formats and media, utilizing his skills as a portraitist, sculptor and folk artist to create his unique and creative collections. He has painted in a wide range of media including watercolor and egg tempura. Shore also has perfected his technique in silver and gold-smithing, wood carving, stained glass, furniture making and stone sculpture. It is precisely this diverse background and extensive training that has enabled Shore to become an accomplished and prolific artist, having created partnerships with Enesco, Disney, The Wizard of Oz, and even Peanuts, among others. He has created portraits for the governments of both North and South Carolina. As the creator of the popular pencil Santa line, Shore changed the look of Santa Claus in the early 1990s. In 2001 he partnered with Enesco to create Heartwood Creek, the brand that brought Jim worldwide acclaim. His current collection combines tabletop and figurines to create a appealing and inventive American country decor. Other collections include Shore Lights and Garden Sense. His artwork also can be found in the collections of corporations and universities across the United States.

Though he began exploring artistic inclinations at a young age, success, however, did not find Shore overnight. He studied engineering and earned a degree in business. Early on, he supported his young family as an engineer, pursuing his art as a passionate but profitless avocation. He spent decades honing his skills as a sculptor and painter in his spare time, before eventually turning his full attention to art, both manufacturing his own designs and traveling the country to sell his work. It was Shore's single-minded devotion to art that helped him persevere despite several false starts and financial setbacks. After founding his own business, Designs Americana, to manufacture and market his designs, he discovered just how challenging it would be achieve success the art world. "We went to our first show with just a few pieces and no real plan for how we'd ship any orders we got," said Shore. "We didn't have a factory or a warehouse or a staff. It was pretty much a wish in one hand and hope in the other. Luckily we made the right contacts and it all worked out."

Good fortune aside, his talent and drive were unassailable. Within three years Designs Americana had over 350 employees and more orders than they could fill. In fact, the demands of managing Designs Americana made it difficult for Shore to concentrate on his art. "I needed to focus exclusively on the creative and artistic elements of my work, and that meant finding the right business partner to handle the three piece suit side of the things." There was no better partner than Enesco, a worldwide leader in marketing gifts, collectibles and decorative accessories. In 2001 Shore and Enesco entered an agreement to create the line of folk-art inspired accessories that has brought him world-wide fame, Heartwood Creek by Jim Shore. While working with Enesco Shore continued to develop his unique style, combining elements of folk art with a vibrant color palette applied to traditional themes. "The most rewarding thing about creating my collection," Shore said, "is that it is continually evolving and exciting. It's not character driven. There's always room for one more idea - another work in progress." Taking designs derived from quilting, rosemaling, appliqué and flat perspective folk art, Shore creates an authentic new work of art rooted in a shared heritage dating back multiple generations. "I can't imagine myself ever tiring of this," he said of the endless, distinctive combination of themes and motifs, "I create multiple designs within each new piece, a combination of basic structure and elements that keep the eye and mind moving. It creates an energy that keeps me inspired."

Besides, Enesco, Shore's widespread popularity is due, in no small part, to his partnership with Disney. His original design style applied to iconic Disney characters has made Disney Traditions by Jim Shore one of the most successful co-branded lines in the gift and home decor industry. "I'm extremely proud of my association with Disney," Shore said of their relationship. "I can't think of a more important name in American popular culture, it's a privilege to be linked with that kind of tradition." In fact, this partnership has resulted in more than $100 million at retail sales and has put his art in Disney parks and fine retailers throughout North America, Europe, Australia and Asia. "Above all, when people look at my work or choose a particular piece, I want them to get joy from it. I get e-mails and letters from people who tell me that one of my pieces symbolizes an important moment in their life—sometimes happy, sometimes quite sad. This is very inspiring to me."

After so many years, Shore's commercial and financial success has reached plateaus once thought impossible for contemporary artists. His designs are found in more than 25,000 stores across the globe. He is the top-selling artist on television sales giant QVC with over 360,000 individual consumers. More than 100,000 consumers search the Internet each month in search of Jim Shore products. In 2012 Jim and Enesco marked the 10th Anniversary of Heartwood Creek, celebrating a longtime partnership that has thrilled millions and produced over $1.2 billion in retail sales. Despite his success, Shore still personally designs each piece of his Heartwood Creek and Disney Traditions collections while exploring exciting new creative directions and media. His latest projects include an exclusive new collection of garden, home and holiday designs for DIY/Home retailer Lowe's, a line of seasonal decor with industry leader Bethlehem Lights, and a new collection of jewelry and accessories based on his art. It's an enormous creative load, combined with a travel schedule that includes over fifty appearances a year. Of course, Shore wouldn't have it any other way. "I thrive on the diversity," he said. "And I love what I do. But the most rewarding thing I do is get out and meet the people I work for, people that share an enthusiasm for what I do. For an artist there is no higher compliment."

Despite his colossal success, Shore has no plans to slow down, insisting he still has a wealth of creative ideas and many projects waiting further exploration. His plans for the future include designing tapestry, dinnerware, cards, and calendars, so even more people can enjoy his work in different forms. In short, he continues to produce art for one simple reason - He loves it. Financial and commercial success are ancillary benefits to a life spent pursuing his passions. To those who want to know the secret to his success, Shore admonishes - "The last thing an artist should pursue is the dollar sign. This is not a yardstick to success. I use my talent with passion. When you put love and caring into a work, you succeed. It has to come straight from the heart."

AWARDS
Shore is one of the most celebrated working artist who has received extensive accolades lauding his work, both locally and internationally, including -
NALED Artist of the Year 2003, 2004 and 2005
NALED Rising Star 2002
NALED Christmas Collectible of the Year 2003 and 2005
NALED Christmas Décor of the Year 2004 and 2005
ICON HONORS Life Accomplishment Award 2012
NALED Christmas Décor of the Year 2004 and 2005
NALED Christmas Collectible of the Year 2003 and 2005
NALED Artist of the Year 2003, 2004 and 2005
NALED Rising Star 2002

World Wide Art
World Wide Art is known for its wide selection of collectibles by renowned artists, including the heartfelt works of Jim Shore. Their expert staff also specializes in custom conservation framing. In business since 1996, World Wide Art is located in the San Francisco Bay Area and is a well-known art shop for both serious collectors and casual decorators. The staff at World-Wide-Art.com not only deals art, but are collectors and artists themselves who consider their work a labor of love and lifestyle of art appreciation.
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