James Cameron Reveals Personal Artwork that Inspired AVATAR, TERMINATOR and More While Discussing His Early Career

     August 17, 2013


Visionary director James Cameron (Avatar) came from humble beginnings and worked a string of blue-collar jobs before eventually making a foray into the world of cinema.  To celebrate his 59th birthday, here’s a video interview with Cameron in which he talks about those formative experiences during his early career and reveals just where his inspiration comes from.  From painting posters in a small apartment, to working his way up to second-unit director for Roger Corman, to finally seeing his teenage dreams realized on screen in his own big-budget productions.  Cameron also shows off artwork from 1976 that clearly leads to the blue-skinned Na’vi from Avatarplus looks at concept art from Terminator and even a rare drawing from Titanic (you know the one).  Hit the jump to see the images and watch a video interview with Cameron.

james-cameron-avatar-artworkThanks to Movies.com for bringing this retrospective look to our attention.  Here’s just a bit of Cameron’s commentary on the early stages of his career:

“I used to paint posters for Z-grade movies, and the way I would paint them was that I had a little apartment in Tarzana, California, and I would paint on the back of the bathroom door. And when I wanted to check if the perspective was right in the painting, I would turn the door and look at it in the bathroom mirror. I would see the painting’s mirror image, and I would immediately see the flaws.”

james-cameron-avatar-artwork-closeupHe goes on to talk about the above painting, featuring a familiar blue girl:

“This [painting] is going back to 1976 I think, and this was for a film project that never went anywhere. The thing that’s interesting about it is that I’ve already got a tall, hot blue girl in that movie. Her name wasn’t Neytiri and it was in a completely different context, but I was already thinking about it then.”

Watch a video in which Cameron talks about his early career, inspiration for his films and how he got started as a director (via Oprah.com):

Cameron is prepping to work on not just one, but three Avatar sequels, with the first expected to start production early in 2014, with an expected release date of December 2016.

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