James is an avid traveler, he just came back from being in the Big Apple – with new inspiration he lets us into his mind of making the ordinary extraordinary. With 2014 set on murals, caps and t-shirts we can’t wait to see where James will be in a few months time…
Describe a typical James Eagle day…
Coffee. Most days I work as a tradesman. This is my ‘bread and butter’. A Mexican guy walks up to me “Amigo got a light.” At lunchtime I sketch him. I’m always looking for inspiration and it often comes in the most ordinary places. Bike home. Sketch a bit more jump on the computer and work on what ever it might be freelance or personal. Burn my screens ready to print. Bath.
What first got you into illustration? I traveled Europe in a camper when I was 8 with my folks and my big brother. Traveling has always given me new ideas. The year of 99 I went to a Keith Haring Exhibition at the Wellington City Gallery. Haring’s work influenced a lot of the work I did when I studied visual arts. Skateboarding has always been in my life. I was inspired by Jim Phillips‘ skateboard graphics as a kid. I wanted to be able to draw like him.
How has your style developed over time?
I went back to school in 2012 and studied at Shillington College. Since graduating my style has changed quite a bit. Not so much the things I draw but the way I work. My computer has become a new tool. It’s abled me to add depth to my illustrations by combining my hand drawn illustrations and incorporating overlays, colour and textures. I love being hands on too. I have a small screen-printing set up at home. When I draw or work on the computer I am always mindful of how it would translate to print. Having experience as a screen printer has taught me a lot about process and colour. I have learnt that good things take time.
What’s on for 2014?
I am working on a mural for my local café. I’m illustrating some tee shirts for a friend’s new brand. Also I hope to get my new range of caps out in the next few months. I need a website. I want to screen print more posters this year. And I’m on the look out for a more permanent creative roll.
Any advice for budding illustrators?
Get your work out there any way you can. Talk to people.
Network. Network. Network. And then do more networking.
You never know where your next opportunity will come from.