If you ask any Disney collector to identify their favorite piece, chances are, they will name a piece that was created by the amazing Jim Shore. Jim’s unique and distinctive style has become a favorite among Disney collectors and has created a worldwide phenomenon.
About Jim Shore
If you are a Disney collector and you haven’t heard of Jim Shore…you must be living under a rock. However, not everyone knows how this amazing artist came to produce some of the bestselling figurines in the industry.
Jim was raised on a rural property in South Carolina, USA by two loving and artistic parents. Jim’s mother was a sculptor and painter, while his father was a skilled woodworker. As a boy, Jim developed his artistic license very quickly and was soon helping his parents to stain glass, carve wood and paint portraits. Jim’s grandmother was a remarkable quilter, a style which Jim has gone onto incorporate into his own work. Growing up in a home steeped with art and artistic design, Jim pursued his own art whenever he could, before growing up and going onto earn a business degree in engineering. When Jim went onto have his own family, he supported them by working in a position that utilised his college education but continued to paint and sculpt in his spare time.
After suffering several false starts and some unexpected financial setbacks, Jim decided it was time to pursue his real passion. He established his own art business where he would create and market his own designs. It started off slowly, but within three years, the company had over 300 employees and was struggling to fulfil the amount of orders that were coming in. With an overwhelming amount of work that was growing every day, Jim sought out a business partner that would take charge of the business, allowing him to once again focus on the creative aspect of the work. This partner became Enesco who was already a worldwide leader in gifts and collectables. Jim and Enesco entered into an agreement and agreed to create Heartwood Creek – a line of folk-art inspired pieces. It was this collection which eventually won Jim his worldwide acclaim, and to date has produced over $1 billion dollars in sales.
Jim’s popularity is the result of a lifetime of hard work and a dream that refused to be silenced. Over the years Jim has been able to expand his work and now also designs decorative accents for the house and garden, jewellery, fashion accessories and has established a relationship with The Walt Disney Company that has boosted his international success.
Today Jim’s pieces can be found in more than 25,000 stores worldwide. He holds the number one artist spot for television sales on a major American cable, satellite and broadcast television network, and has won multiple accolades for his work including awards for best Christmas collectibles and lifetime achievement.
Several features of Jim’s art give it its distinctive look. This includes:
- The look of handcarved wood
- Patchwork quilt designs
- Scenes within a scene
- Seasonal pieces (Christmas and Halloween are his most popular pieces)
- Folk art appearance
- Distinctive combination of different elements and themes
- Vibrant color palette on traditional motifs
Partnership with Disney
Jim’s popularity internationally sky rocketed after he launched his successful partnership with Disney.
Applying Jim’s unique artistic style to iconic Disney scenes and characters made for great results, and boosted sales for both Jim, and Disney. Of the relationship, Jim states; "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."
Through this creative partnership, Jim has created a world of whimsy with many collections of charming poly-resin figures that delight Disney fans of all ages. Disney Traditions quickly rose to fame and is now one of the most successful co-branded lines in the gift industry. Combining Jim’s unique artistic features with the magic of Disney’s enchanting characters has brought moments from the films to life, and made them available for people to enjoy in their own home.
The process for the creation of each piece is overseen personally by Jim, who provides a detailed drawing of each new piece to a group of sculptors. These sculptors are handpicked and trained by Jim himself who create the prototype for Jim to approve. Revisions are often made at this stage, and after the correct amendments are made to the design, molds are produced for casting using cold resin. Each piece also has to conform to Disney’s own criteria which include issues of color, shape, posture and symbolism.
Jim’s Disney Traditions line has sold more than $100 million worldwide and showcases all the best-loved characters from the timeless, fantastical world of Walt Disney. The pieces can be found at retailers throughout North America, Europe, Australia and Asia and are available at Disney Parks.
How can I follow Jim’s work?
Jim has a fantastic website where you can brown all his designs, read more about Jim’s inspiration and subscribe to his newsletter. You can even find out where he is offering his next public appearances and in store signings! His website even offers free desktop wallpapers which you can download. That way you can enjoy Jim Shore’s work even when you have to work or study.
Jim also has a Facebook page where you can follow his updates which include more personal things such as attending his granddaughters ‘graduation’ from kindergarten. This page is great for fans of his work because you can follow Jim commenting on his favorite pieces, and talking about new designs he is working on for upcoming collections.
If you enjoyed this piece on Jim Shore’s work, be sure to check out our collection of beautiful Jim Shore pieces here
Don't forget to comment below and tell us your favorite Disney character, or Jim Shore piece!
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