I’m James, a San Francisco Bay Area graphic designer and illustrator and Senior Designer and Principal at Sara Waters Design Group. i works “digitally” for the most part but have a long love affair with photography, typography, hand lettering and calligraphy. My first design inspirations were the rock posters of SF Bay Area poster artists like Stanley Mouse, Victor Moscoso, et al. Basically I had permanent ink stains on my hands for most of my teens and twenties, replaced by developer and fixer once I discovered the darkroom and photography. I’m in the process of adding my photography portfolio to this site.
I admit to a somewhat chaotic mix of styles. I will typically explore a technique for a while then abandon it like an old pair of sneakers in favor of something new and shiny—maybe a little adult onset ADD going on? What was I talking about? Anyway, I’m not particularly proud of that, and it may work against me as an artist and designer, but there you go. Old dogs…new tricks…blabityblahblah. If I live long enough I may figure out where to land.
A photojournalist by training, a lot of my work, especially the collage work, consists of images and ephemera from my own image collections as well as those from a variety of online lost and found bins, vintage stores and swap meets. My scanner is my BFF. The paintings are ever-evolving and something I’m concentrating a lot on lately, trying to execute more work in gouache. Maira Kalman is my hero (heroine? That doesn’t sound right but oddly accurate). And keeping it all in the family, her late husband Tibor was one of my first graphic design heroes.
I will always come back to words and pictures in some form because it will always feel like home, although sometimes it’s good to leave home and venture out once in a while.