JAMES GAGE²

AGE: 36

BiRTHPLACE: Cleveland Ohio

featured in V-DAY ’17 Issue

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Q: When did you know you wanted to pursue artistry? 

A: When I way a young boy, I loved characters and animation and decided that’s what I wanted to do was to create characters and see them animated.

Q:  Who or what is your biggest inspiration? 

A:  Some of my biggest inspirations are other anime/ manga artists who have had success and have seen their creations animated. 

Q: How have you grown in your artwork in recent years? 

A: I have grown in my artwork since I stopped comparing myself to other artists. I AM the only one that can do what I was born to do. So, the stigma and negativity of comparison to other artists is not there, which means there is no limit to my own artistic growth. 

Q: What childhood memory or artifact influenced you most to date? 

A: Honestly, funny enough, being a young kid (9 years old) and watching very mature or graphic anime. It may have been a lot for someone of my age, but I absolutely marveled in the beauty that animation can tell stories just like movies with real actors can. Once i realized that my mind shifted deeper into becoming a creator of animated content while delivering deep and impactful stories. 

Q: How much weight do you put on perception of audience? 

A: It has some weight due to the fact that a certain audience is the target. However, I want to make stories for all to enjoy. Even if one is too adult in nature, there will be other stories that anyone can relate to and enjoy. That weight of an audience is what it is, but it is not my driving force as I do not lean towards a particular audience.

Q: What specific culture or period of time do you identify with most in your art?

A: I like to take ideas and stories, mythology, science, supernatural, and other ideas and influences for the art and stories I create. A true artist can find beauty in most things, even if it makes them uncomfortable. I like being uncomfortable, because that’s when I can shine the most from what I create.

Q: Where do you feel most comfortable creating?

A: Anywhere I can have a combination or peace, music, and energy to drive my creative powers to their best. 

Q: What do you think is most important to an artist’s progression? 

A: To me, the most important things for an artist’s progression are as I stated earlier: Not comparing yourself to anyone else who isn’t here to do what you are meant to do and also,  knowing failure is what produces the lesson you need for success. Finding enjoyment in failing and learning from failure is very powerful and shows the world how powerful you are.

Q: Describe your style of artwork in 3 textures or fabrics.

A: Let’s see, if I could describe my art in textures or fabrics I’d say my art would be a really fashionable jacket, black, with a few zippers and pockets for my tools lol. But more importantly, the inside trim of the jacket would be a royal blue satin with gold paisley patterns inside. A play on “Yeah, that jacket is dope looking from the outside,” but once you see the inside, as if you immerse yourself into the art, you will see its true beauty.

Q: Is it important for artists to explain their art?

A: Yes and no. Yes, because you are explaining you base idea or journey in the art you create. No, because sometimes people want you to explain the reasons behind your art and how it’s supposed to make them feel, and that’s not your responsibility. It’s their responsibility to find meaning in the art, and if they cannot find that meaning, then that is O.K. too. My art may not be for them at this time. 

Q: What can be the biggest hindrance to your creativity?

A: The biggest hindered effort for me was working for other people and their artist desires and not being selfish as f*** and keeping all my creativity for myself. Sure, I’ll work with certain folks and on certain projects, but all at my own pace and if they can pay the price I am asking for. Even if they can, I don’t invest my creative energy in mediocrity.

Q: Do you stick to one project at once, or work on multiple at a time?

A: It depends. Now, I switch back and forth between two projects: a comic book and a script for another animated series. I just move as I need to and work on what requires my presence at the time. 

Q: What is something you are the most proud of concerning your artwork? 

A: I am proud of my ability to create visual work that pulls the viewer in mentally, emotionally, and even spiritually as well as to have them examine the emotions and thoughts they feel when they see my work.

Q: If your journey had a movie, what would it be called?

A: If my journey had an movie title it would be called, “An American Icon,” because I feel like the level of work I will produce will impact the world and allow me to have an incredible legacy.

Q: Do you feel energy has an impact on your creativity and your artwork?

A: Absolutely! Energy is key to creativity. Passion, inspiration are all good things and vital to the process, but if you do not have the energy to create it than it’s just an idea trapped in your mind. Protecting, recharging, preserving that energy is vital to anyone who wishes to be a creative.


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