Monday, March 11, 2013

C.O.T. Artist Profile of the Month - James Titus McKain

James Titus McKain is one of those artists who is a super cool dude that is also making some incredible art here in Boise. I got the opportunity to meet him at last month's First Thursday at The Crux and was able to chop it up a bit and even purchase a piece of his art for my own collection. I emailed James some questions so that we could get to know the artist behind the "Fish With Beards". I need to publicly thank James for being so damn patient with me as I delayed posting this over and over again. Cheers to you James! So check out his art, love it, and repeat. For the full James McKain blog experience please click here

1) How did you end up in Boise?

Born and raised here. But I left for a couple years while I was in the military. I came back here once I was done with that to get back on my feet. Then I decided to finish up my college degree at BSU which I just accomplished last semester.

2) Why stay here in Boise?

I think the art scene in Boise is growing pretty quickly right now. The support for the arts is rising and there are a lot of local opportunities to jump on board with. It’s also super easy to start your own thing and get other artists involved, which is always exciting.

I have considered leaving to pursue my art career somewhere else but right now I am just too excited about the networking connections I have been making and the opportunities I currently have. Also with the capability to connect with people all over the world, you can really base yourself just about anywhere you desire. I think it’s important to find a community you enjoy and right now the community I have is enjoyable.

3) When did you know you wanted to become an artist? What/who were your influences?

I knew after I got back from the military that I wanted to pursue my art career. For a while I was just spinning my gears trying to decide what to do and I took some non art related classes at BSU but nothing excited me. I was very interested in art as a kid and filled a lot of sketchbooks but once I got to college I realized it was the only thing that would make me happy. I was right, too, because now looking back I would not trade my college experience in the art department for any other.

When I first started my college career I was influenced by video game artists. I thought I was going to go into the concept art world but that changed for me pretty quickly. Now, I think what influences me the most are artists with a strong work ethic. It’s so easy to get discouraged and stop working. So when I discover an artist that displays a great work ethic I get excited and gain a ton of energy to work harder on my stuff. Peer pressure is a great thing sometimes. It can really motivate a person to work harder if they respond positively.

 4) The newest pieces feature fish with beards. What prompted that?

Fish have been popping up in my work a lot lately. They are a great catalyst for different types of metaphor. More simply though I just like drawing them! The beards happened because I have my own beard to tame and fish with facial hair just look cool. I was also inspired to make work that I could provide at a relatively low price but that is high quality. I was motivated to do that because business practice is also part of making art if you want it to support your lifestyle.

Click below for the rest of the interview and more art!

5) Top 3 slices of pizza in Boise and why.

Brewforia - Love the Boulevard! I love Cilantro so much!
Flatbread Pizza - Their pizza isn’t super greasy
Pie Hole - Cause sometimes grease is good!

 6) Top 3 beers and why. Best place to drink those beers.

Tough one....I have a lot of favorites.

The Abyss - Love imperial stouts, complex flavor with a nice alochol %
Wookey Jack - Black IPA’s a little more satisfying that lighter IPA’s
The Duchess - Sour beers (sours are a great beer to end the night on)

Best place to drink those beers:

1. Brewforia
2. Bittercreek Alehouse
3. Bier: Thirty

7) Favorite band period. Favorite local band.

I might catch some flack for this one but I grew up on Blink 182 and still can’t get sick of them.
Radillac for local artist. I have to support my friend Conrad Garner on this one.

 8) Favorite artist period. Favorite local artist.

Eric Fortune. His process requires so much patience and it’s incredibly inspiring. Brad Rigney is a close second because he started from nothing, no training, and he talks about art in a very real way.

Local artists? There are a ton of local artists that inspire me on a daily basis. So many people locally with amazing work ethics and great art...But if I have to single one out...I absolutely love Erin Ruiz’s imagery and her aesthetic.

9) What does the future hold for you? Parting shots/Rant/Chance to opine on whatever you want. 

I have a couple projects for March. I will be in the group show at Flying M Coffeehouse and will have a growler in a silent auction at Treefort Music fest for a charity.

I also have a solo show happening at Flying M Coffeehouse this May. So be sure to come in for first thursday, say hello and introduce yourself. Looking forward to it!

Thanks to Justin Lewis for setting up this interview!

1 comment:

  1. Wow, those fish are amazing. So simple yet emotionally indepth. There's a great mind behind that. Looking forward to seeing your art around town!