The Indian Artist, Revamped: Pareidolia

par·​ei·​do·​lia ˌper-ˌī-ˈdō-lē-ə -ˈdōl-yə
: the tendency to perceive a specific, often meaningful image in a random or ambiguous visual pattern

James Jean is an incredible Taiwanese-American artist/illustrator who has worked with Disney, Marvel Comic, and Prada. He is one of my absolute favorite artists and I cannot believe that I have not done a post on him yet!

Tiger III – James Jean | StoreThere is something magical in James Jean’s art. In his large-scale paintings, James Jean depicts detailed cosmological worlds filled with allegorical, abstract, and contemporary imagery. He incorporates elements of traditional Chinese and Japanese scroll paintings, Japanese woodblock prints, Renaissance ideas, and beautiful imagery into his work. When I first saw Jean’s work, I was enamored. The very first art book that I bought was Pareidolia and I often find myself from time to time curled up on my couch just flipping through the pages, taking in the mastery. One of my favorite pieces is Tiger III. It is a gorgeous illustration that has a slightly psychedelic and 3d aspect to it. The details in the piece do an incredible job of drawing in the viewer.

I have learned so much from just viewing and being a fan of James Jean. He is unapologetic, authentic, larger than life, and creative. I have done a few piece thus far inspired by different artists such as Kehinde Wiley and Bijay Biswaal, I would love to do one inspired by James Jean someday. Stay tuned to see if I do!

With the semester coming to an end, this will be my second to last post. I will be doing my third year-end sign-off next week and will return back in September with a brand new completed painting! As always, if any questions or thoughts arise, please comment or reach out to me!


Until next week,



Riya A

My name is Riya and I am currently a Senior at U of M studying Molecular Biology with a double minor in Art & Design and Sociology on the pre-med track. Art has been a huge passion of mine from a very young age and in the final iteration of my column, I look forward to sharing my passions as they connect to my culture, medicine, and art.

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2 Comments on "The Indian Artist, Revamped: Pareidolia"

1 year 1 month ago

Hi Riya! I have not heard of James Jean before but this piece is very intriguing! I have always liked art where the more you look at it the more you can see and different patterns emerge. I would be super interested to see a painting from you in a similar style. Hopefully you do that one soon!