Sunday, 4 March 2012

Meet the correspondents: James Hobbs

Great Eastern Street, London
James Hobbs, Great Eastern Street, Hoxton, London

London is, of course, many different things to different people, as this blog will no doubt prove. Each of us has our own view and our own islands within the huge whole that we know particularly well. For me, this means Stoke Newington—where I live, which is an ancient inner north London village with a history of dissension that has become perhaps a little more gentrified than I would preferalong with Hackney, Hoxton, Islington, the South Bank, the City and West End. I’m not so at home in most areas with postcodes with a “W” in them (apart from NW11) or, I must now confess, most places south of the river (apart from The Oval cricket ground). I still draw in these places when I get a chance.

To have a bicycle and a sketchbook is, for me, the way to be. My drawings are often A6-sized or perhaps A5, and made with permanent marker pens. I’m quite happy to work on the back of an envelope. Taking quiet, off-piste cycle routes can lead to unexpected pleasures, usually unfrequented by tourists and yet gloriously cosmopolitan and multicultural, which is how I like my London to be. London can be ugly and violent, but it’s usually not, and I love to live here and have my children grow up here. Drawing it is a kind of hymn of praise to the city, warts and all.

James Hobbs, New Oxford Street, London
I show at Skylark Galleries, an artist-run gallery in the Oxo Tower Wharf on the South Bank, and the Art Agency, Esher. I was for a while the editor of Artists & Illustrators magazine, and am now a freelance journalist. Five of my images of London scenes have just gone on sale as A5-sized art cards at IKEA stores worldwide.

You can see more of my work at, visit my blog or follow me on Twitter.



  1. At last someone else that has made the connection bicycle+sketching! Good luck with the London USK site. And congrats for the Ikea postcards. That will certainly give your work an incredible visibility.

  2. Thanks Suzanne.
    When I hear cycling and artist together, I think of Tina Mammoser, although her blog ( seems to have moved on from that theme now.


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