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Meet James E. Walker

Today we’d like to introduce you to James E. Walker.

Every artist has a unique story. Can you briefly walk us through yours?
Had I not taken a leap of faith by quitting my job to pursue music, I wonder if I would still be in the position that I am in today as a freelance designer, artist, and illustrator. What’s unique about my story is that the art form I had put on the back burner actually came back full circle.

As a kid, I collected baseball, football, and basketball cards and spent a lot of time drawing my favorite sports team logos for fun. Eventually, my step-father introduced me to the art of collecting cassette tapes and CDs. This led me to spend many hours in the music store admiring the album covers and hip hop magazines.

Little did I know, this was the beginning of my self-taught training of design. With years of studying, I was able to develop a knack for how typography, illustration, photography, graphics, and branding all worked together as a whole.

Not long after I began working on music full-time, I was faced with the challenge of overseeing the art direction for my music career. I felt that if I truly wanted to tell my story, I would have to revisit my childhood passion of creating art. Without the pressures of a 9 to 5, I now had the time to concentrate on graphic design and started creating my own album covers, logos, and brand identity.

Once artists realized that I was the creator of both the music and the artwork, I was commissioned to work on their projects. After two years of freelancing, I enrolled at The Art Institute of Houston, where I acquired a degree in graphic design. By cultivating my relationships within the underground music scene, I’ve positioned myself as a designer and artist that can rap and produce music with the same integrity and intensity as I do with my art.

Please tell us about your art.
Although I have a few different styles, preferences, and capabilities, my strengths lie within my conceptual ideas. I value my time alone for deep thinking and out of the box, yet unorthodox projects.

At this time I am currently focused on developing my Abstrametrics brand and style. As you may have imagined, I have a knack for wordplay (remember, I’m a rapper, haha) so it only makes sense for me to coin a term that best fits my art-style.

Though I’ve never really focused too much on developing a particular style, I have to thank my peers and ancestors who continue to influence me. I simply aim to create the type of work that inspires me while adding a touch of my own personality and interpretation to it.

Abstrametrics is a style that fuses an abstract yet geometric structure to whatever the concept is, whether it be portraits, pattern design, typography, illustration, or paintings. My goal is to continue to evolve and expand the possibilities of this style within a variety mediums and media such as screen printing, wood painting, home decor, apparel, murals, photography, digital prints, accessories, and even video production & animation.

What do you think is the biggest challenge facing artists today?
I think the biggest challenge is for artists to remain true to themselves and to the art form that best allows them to express their true artistic voice. Many artists fall victim to the instant gratification syndrome and eventually burnout before finding success. I think it is healthy for all creatives to create some kind of artwork for their own therapeutic enjoyment.

I also feel that for most artists, the challenge is being able to accept money for their art. Many feel guilty about it, but as an entrepreneur, it’s imperative to stay in business. The key is to continue to find ways to be of service.

The other half of the challenge is deciphering which art opportunities are a great fit for the artist. If it does not support your style of work or speak to your niche audience, the artist will waste a lot of time going in circles.

How or where can people see your work? How can people support your work?
I am really excited about a few public art opportunities that are in the works but cannot disclose any details at this time; please stay tuned. However, I am currently back on the Pop Up Art scene as a traveling vendor selling apparel, art prints, posters, and small original works.

I’ve featured in several touring art shows and local venues such as Pancakes & Booze Art Show, All Access Art Show, The Buy Black Marketplace at the Shrine Cultural Center, and Burning Bones Press’ It Came from the Bayou Show at Saint Arnold Brewing.

Exhibition displays of my work can be seen at The Printing Museum here in Houston, Texas as a part of the permanent installations.

To support my work, please visit: www.abstrametrics.com and www.renaissential.com for apparel, prints, and accessories.

To commission me for design and artwork, please visit www.theartofjamesewalker.com to view my portfolio.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
James E. Walker

Getting in touch: VoyageHouston is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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