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James Buttifant's Penguins


I was raised in a small fishing town on the north Norfolk coast, and studied as an artist, before making my living as a commercial sign writer. Spending my evenings drawing and painting, one night I sketched out a simple drawing of four little penguins.

These little guys were drawn in the same simplistic form I had always viewed them since I was a boy. A ball with feet and a beak!

With a smile I drew another, then another and before I knew it I was putting paint to canvas and breathing life into something that was going to send my life in a whole new direction.

Spurred on by friends and family, I started showing my work in a local gallery before heading to the streets of Norwich, where I turned disused shop fronts into temporary galleries ‘busking for artists’ as I called it.


Drawing inspiration from passers-by, I began to hold up a 'penguin shaped mirror' to all our lives and loves. I’m keen to keep humour in my work, as although I am a strong believer that art has the potential to stir numerous emotions within us all, for my own part, I'm happy that I may just bring a smile to your face.


My work has grown in popularity in a way that is truly humbling, and in 2013 I was honoured to be a finalist for the ‘Best selling up and coming artist’ at the Fine Art Trade Guild’s Art & Framing Awards.

My work now sells across the world, alongside artists I have admired for years and I’m truly grateful to all those who have, and continue to support me and my monochrome friends.

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