Freedom Through Creatvity

James Wilson Artist Feature

Without freedom, we are left with little room to grow as a brand or as individual people, and when the freedom of travel is taken away from us it is easy to find ourselves trapped in the mundane & same old repetitive patterns. We have found that the only true way of holding onto our freedom is through creativity. 

Creativity is limitless, as to be creative is to think freely and when we think free, we are free.

Through speaking to the artists, photographers and general makers that are finding freedom through creativity, we hope to inspire others to do the same. Our first feature is with all-round creative @byjameswilson.

P&Co: A few of us in the studio have got pieces of your artwork already in our homes, but for those who don’t know you, tell us a bit about yourself.

James: Hey, I am James Wilson; 25 years old, 3 kids, married and a uni drop-out. I’m also a full-time maker, creator, curator and at least 10 other words ending in or/er.

 I don’t really like to call myself just an artist, I think it makes it sound like one singular job. When you say artist people often assume you’re in the classic art route of making & selling to collectors. If someone asks me what I do I normally say designer & full-time creative. It leaves the door open for me to go on and choose my own future.

 This year alone, I have about 6 side-projects & other things I want to do; everything from starting a cold brew coffee bottle company to launching a publishing house for books and prints.

I grew up in the south-west of England, and now I live in the south-east (Brighton), but if I’m honest I would very much like to move somewhere with a sandy beach where I can take up surfing & maybe open a coffee shop/ gallery.

P&Co: I know you are a bit of an all-rounder, but would you say you have a specific art style? If so how would you describe it?

James: I have multiple styles that all just come from one person. My original work is mostly working with flowing lines, ink and paper. I like to create my one-line pieces as one-offs that capture how I felt at the time.

 They really are impulsive and free-flowing with one set looking completely different than the last, even if they are drawn a couple of weeks apart.

On the other hand, my drawings for print & products are made up of more minimal line-work or contrasting colourful abstract work. These can take days to complete with 20-30 drafts before I find the final form.

People put a lot of emphasis on finding a style or keeping to one particular style, whereas for me, it’s more like fashion; times change, trends change and even personal opinion changes.

 So, not to turn this into my weekly advice column, for anyone struggling to find a style, I would just say take your time with it. Explore what your influences are, find what you’re comfortable with and, maybe most importantly, find what your preferred materials are. I spent a lot of time and money thinking I was an oil painter but soon realised I just do not have the patience to wait for paint to dry. That stuff can take days!

P&Co: Talk us through your process.

James: My process of becoming an artist started young, but for the wrong reasons. I have always been creative, but throughout school, I was always told that it was a pipe dream to do anything other than a 9-5. I haven’t ever had a full-time job and it’s been amazing!

The way I work depends on so many things. My days are never the same, even more so having young children running around whilst I work. I don’t have a set routine, but I make sure that every morning admin & orders are out for delivery. After that, it’s a bit of a free for all- creating new work, making jewellery, printing tote bags, learning something new on illustrator, or freaking out about what I’m going to post on socials.

P&Co: Is there anything or anyone in particular that inspires your work?

Everything in my life inspires my work, I think it’s the same for everyone- what you surround yourself with ultimately comes out in your work whether that’s hobbies or passions. Lately, I’ve been taking photos on my 35mm film camera, and guess what I’ve been drawing for fun lately… give you one guess.

My artistic inspirations... I am inspired by past artists such as Matisse, Jean Cocteau, Picasso and Warhol (your classic mux of secondary school art classes), as well as so, so, so many current creators I find on Instagram. My following list is basically a guide to everything I like- if you want to find some new creators you haven’t found before. 

I can take inspiration from interiors, type play, graphic designs, or just locations. I guess it’s more about how those things make me feel.

P&Co: Do you have any favourite pieces or projects you’ve worked on?

James: I have been so lucky to be able to do this job and I have done so many amazing projects. My favourite pieces to create are always the one-line originals when I have spent a week drawing and haven’t been happy with a single one, getting really frustrated, but then out of nowhere pen hits paper and something I love appears out of nothing.