Jim budish sculpture

Whimsical, playful, full of life. These are all words that describe Jim Budish’s sculptures that are sure to bring a smile.

Jim’s early sculptures were realistic and representational but he felt they were lacking the joy and whimsy he wanted to express in his work. A lighthearted spirit, he seems to find joyful inspiration everywhere and found his voice when he learned how to channel these moments from daily encounters into his sculptures of creatures and people.

Now, it seems safe to say, Jim hasn’t worked a day in his life…though he’s sculpting, visiting a foundry or showing his work nearly every day. He truly found his calling and rejoices every moment of it.

Keep reading or watch the video below to learn more about Jim’s iconic sculptures.

When did you know art was your calling?

Since I was a child. I’ve always known that this was something I wanted to do. It was always sculpture. I do enjoy painting, I do that just for relaxation as a hobby. Sculpting is what I most enjoy.

What inspires your work?

I come to the people and creatures that I sculpt simply by looking around me and trying to extract the joy from the critters and the people I see.

How has your work evolved?

I started initially in my career as an artist sculpting very representationally and realistically. I learned in time that I truly didn’t want to create photographs in bronze but I really wanted to try to capture the joy and the whimsy––the special attributes of each of the creatures and people that I encountered.

What challenges you most about your work?

Occasionally on a really large piece, I have an engineering challenge of making it stand properly so that it won’t fall over on someone.

What do you love most about creating art?

I should live so long as to sculpt everything I’d like to. I go into the zone and just enjoy creating whatever it is that I’m working on at the moment. People often ask which piece is my favorite and there really isn’t one. That ebbs and flows. One day I might like one and then two weeks later I might be really drawn to another.

What drew you to the Celebration of Fine Art?

I first attended the Celebration of Fine Art probably 23 or 24 years ago. I was drawn to it for a couple of reasons: the inspiration that I get from working around other artists, the kind of electricity that’s in the air that is shared by all, watching people create. I wanted to be part of that community and environment. Certainly being in Arizona in the wintertime isn’t a bad thing.