A Newcastle based illustrator is looking to grow his business nationally after being featured in a Greggs themed exhibition.
James Dixon, 30, originally from Northumberland, studied in Newcastle and has worked in the design and licensing industry for over ten years with global brands including LEGO®, Pixar, SONY and Disney.
He’s worked on projects from Beauty And The Beast to Fireman Sam and currently designs underwear and garments for North Shields testicular cancer awareness charity, OddBalls.
James started his own freelance design business, Lines Behind, after spotting a gap in the market for his style of art.
He said: “Lines Behind began when I travelled to Tokyo on business and couldn’t find any art that I liked enough to bring home with me, so I decided to draw my own piece of the amazing city and hung it in my flat in Newcastle.
“The feedback I received spurred me on to draw more, creating merchandise and accessories of locations around the UK and of course my hometown of Newcastle.
“I love the great culture and sights around this amazing city and there’s definitely a market for what I do because so many people in the North East are as passionate about where they live as I am.”
James initially grew Lines Behind by selling online and at markets and has recently started stocking shops and ecommerce outlets around the region including Handpicked at intu Metrocentre and online retailer North East Gifts.
In November, he was one of a small number of artists and illustrators picked to take part in an exhibition celebrating bakery chain Greggs’ hugely popular Festive Bake pasty.
The Great Festive Bake Exhibition, organised by Newcastle design agency Jump, is currently taking place at its studio on Dean Street until 6 December.
A Jump spokesperson said: “The Great Festive Bake Exhibition is a fun and festive fan project that celebrates the Greggs Festive Bake.
“We at Jump love all things Greggs but most of all the Festive Bake. Using it as an inspiration for artists in the North East and beyond, the pieces featured in the gallery give this humble pasty the recognition it deserves.”
James now hopes that his regional exposure will help aid plans to expand his product range and appeal to a national audience.
He said: “Greggs is known all around the UK and my Love You More Than Greggs Festive Bakes card is selling nationwide.
“My I Love You More Than range also includes IKEA hot dogs and Nando’s chicken and is helping bolster my North East and Geordie products and get my name out there on a bigger scale.
“Every day I pinch myself at how fast Lines Behind is growing – the feedback and encouragement I get from my stockists and customers inspires me to keep working hard to continue to bring more and more fun, quirky gifts to the table.”
Main photo credit: Michael McGuire Photography