About This Work: James Dean Bradfield

I painted this portrait of James Dean Bradfield of the band Manic Street Preachers back in 2000. It’s done in a style of painting I developed back in 1998, and it’s a style I love using for portraits. I’ve always been happy with the way it turned out, and it’s been one of my favourites done in that style.

In summer of 2006, I received an e-mail from someone at Rolling Stone magazine based in Germany. James Dean Bradfield’s solo album, The Great Western, was their main featured review in an upcoming issue, and they wanted permission to use my painting of him. At first I thought it was a hoax, because I just assume anything awesome is a hoax at first (I mean, “too good to be true” and all). But, after I did some research and got reassurance from them that it wasn’t a hoax, I gave them permission to use the painting in their issue. They paid me pretty well, I thought — especially since the work was already done and they didn’t want to buy the rights to the painting or anything. And, the part that excited me is that I’ve always wanted to have my portraits featured in Rolling Stone or Spin in the reviews section, and I finally got to do it. Needless to say, I was ecstatic. Yes, it was in Germany, but at least it was in a magazine, and that’s all that mattered to me.

They mailed a copy of the magazine to me when it was printed, and I can’t explain how surreal it was to see that painting in the pages of Rolling Stone.