Justin Lees (b.1996)

 

Justin is a Young People’s Art Club participant and has been working with us since he was 13. He is a talented illustrator with a vivid imagination.

Artist Biography

When Justin first came to Venture Arts he really wanted someone to help him make his “picture movies” and was keen to learn how to do this. He made his first animation called, “Stack’s in Jail” and has since made many more. He has also expanded his skill set to use embroidery in some of his drawings, for example “Bee family portrait” and “Mr Garrelson and the Robots”.

 

Justin has a unique drawing style and his stories and illustrations mainly feature himself as the main character. In addition to drawing he has a keen interest in watching animations, especially Pixar and Aardman animations, which are a huge influence in his work. Justin had success with his artwork from a young age, gaining a commission from Children in Need in 2012 to make Terry Wogan’s 70th birthday card and having his artwork shown as a backdrop to rock band ‘Inspiral Carpet’ gigs.

 

More recently Justin was commissioned by Manchester City Council during the 2020 lockdown to create a comic strip about his pandemic experience to share with people. He titled it, ‘An Ordinary But Artistic Young Man Vs. The Lockdown’ and you can read it here.

 

Justin’s most recent commission is with Bounceback Food, a charity fighting food poverty. Their fundraising recipe book, ‘Secret Dishes From Around the World 3‘, features Justin’s artwork.

 

Justin has his own website where you can view more of his latest work and read his blog: https://www.justinplees.com/

 

How long have you been making art?

Since 2010.

 

What are your favourite art materials to work with?

I like using fineliners and felt tip.

 

What is your art about?

Mostly me as a character, besides anything that comes from my imagination!

 

What, or who, inspires you as an artist?

I love Quentin Blake, E. H. Shepherd & Dr. Seuss.

 

Why is art important to you?

Because it makes me feel like a professional profession.

 

What has been your proudest moment as an artist?

My latest creation; a movie-book!

 

 

Exhibitions

 

The Art of Now, The Lowry, Salford Quays, November 2019 – January 2020

 

PERSPECTIVES, The Lowry, Salford Quays, November 2018 – February 2019

 

Art Jam, The Lowry, Salford Quays, October 2017-March 2018

 

Technocolour, The Lowry, Salford Quays, September 2016 to February 2017

 

The Art of Nature, They Lowry, Salford Quays, 2015

 

 

Commissions:

 

Local Offer, Animation, Manchester City Council, 2018