ConceptArt.Org Workshop Interview # 2 with James Kei

Join 500,000+ Artists

Its' free and it takes less than 10 seconds!

Join the #1 Art Workshop - LevelUpJoin Premium Art Workshop

Results 1 to 4 of 4
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    Austin TX
    Posts
    10,579
    Thanks
    2,077
    Thanked 11,094 Times in 2,646 Posts
    Follows
    2
    Following
    1

    ConceptArt.Org Workshop Interview # 2 with James Kei

    We are honored to have this opportunity to interview James Kei, artist, designer, painter, and one of the finest teachers I have ever had the opportunity to share time with. James will be joining us at the upcoming workshop in London and has taken the time to share some thoughts with you all.

    Name:  069_large.jpg
Views: 10466
Size:  348.4 KB

    Name:  993_large.jpg
Views: 10311
Size:  52.1 KB


    We are honored to have this opportunity to interview James Kei, artist, designer, painter, and one of the finest teachers I have ever had the opportunity to share time with. James will be joining us at the upcoming workshop in London and has taken the time to share some thoughts with you all.

    Please welcome James Kei.



    *Hey James, it's great to see you along with the other instructors participating at the International Art and Design Symposium, entitled “Imagination”, coming up in London this May. We would appreciate it if you would take a moment to introduce yourself.*




    Hi!

    I'm one of the lucky bastards who gets to trade creativity for dental care. I sit in a dark room where I wave a plastic stick around that gets translated into digitized marks. From time to time, people pay me to implement these marks into their business model. It's a hard knock life.




    "You have worked with some of the most creative companies in the industry, including Valve Software, MB, and Rockstar Games and even pursue your personal Fine Art career. You are known to be a passionate teacher and
    educator as well. Please give us a hint on what to expect at the ConceptArt.Org Workshop from your side.*



    It's been a textured road to say the least. I'm lucky to have been shaped by some of the most passionate and driven individuals on the planet, and I've been given the chance to work on some challenging and notable
    projects. I pinch myself often.

    I haven't decided on a presentation yet, but I'll be sure to include the little nuggets of insight that I've gained over the decade that I've been doing this. You'll likely see a healthy dose technique, a little bit of theory, and a dash of sobering career advice. If you're looking for a portfolio review, I can be persuaded with whiskey. Aged. Neat.




    *Some instructors present at “Imagination” are self taught talents, and others studied intensively for years in an academic environment, prior toentering their industry. What can you tell us about your journey, and do you feel that workshops like these have a strong impact on those who attend?*



    I've always been mark making. High School felt like an exercise in conformity, so I dropped out. Not that I'm especially proud of it, but it's apparent to me now that it wasn't as necessary as it seems. From there, I ended up stammering around for a few years. I dabbled in graffiti, trying to figure out what the role of an artist is in a monetary society. Not an
    easy question to answer as a teenager, but one that naturally lead me to San Francisco. A mecca for the disenfranchised. I fit right in. This is where I planted my roots, and studied Illustration at the Academy of Art.

    Though it seems outdated in the land of a thousand Youtube tutorials, art school can provide an experience that you can't click your way through. The history in the walls leave an impression of all of the great artists that
    have studied there in the past. It builds an element of prestige that sits on your shoulders while you’re there, and you can't compare that to the credit card debt that you traded for it.

    The problem was, once I had the technical skill to accompany my passion, I didn't know what the next step was. In my youth, I was immersed in escapism such as video games and Japanese animation. So after a brief obsession with the classical arts following a trip to Russia, I pursued what I thought would be the next logical step, and started working in the entertainment
    field.

    Regarding your second question: Industry events are a form of life blood that keep the fire burning. They can serve as a beacon when you get lost out there in the sea of assignments. I love online gatherings, but I need face time to feel like I'm a part of a movement, and I think everyone can relate to that.




    *Watching some of your work there is plenty to explore. From figurative art in both digital and traditional media, to mechanical structures and complex illustrations. You cover a range of styles and many subjects. If you had to pick one common aspect that can be found explicitly or covertly in your work what would that be?*



    The only constant aspect of my work is its inconstancy. My taste seems to shift with the wind, and I've come to accept that about myself. If I had to label it, I guess it could be defined as exploratory, but with a representational framework.

    As much as I'd like to think that my art gets more sophisticated with age, my inner twelve year old can still break free from his restraints, and find his way through my tablet. Superhero pajamas and all.



    *How has your Fine Art and personal work helped you to improve your professional career in entertainment?*



    Personal and professional work can feed and inform each other if you let them. The challenge here is finding a healthy balance to maintain your sanity. Though pure self expression is usually compromised the second money changes hands, there are times when the stars align, and the job I'm doing doesn't feel like one. It's those moments that validate my endeavors, and I get a sense that I'm working towards something fulfilling as far as careers go.




    *Workshops are inspiring experiences, people from all over the world join, and are being exposed to process, art, narrative, technology, industry truth, and even creative entrepreneurial endeavor. How important has it been for you, to give back to other artists and talented people, during your career?*




    If you're referring to teaching, I view it as an obligation. The torch gets heavier with age. It would be selfish to hoard the knowledge that was graciously passed to me. As Jack Lemmon once said. “...send the elevator back down.”

    To be honest, I've come to find that instructing is more about self discovery than it is about academics. In other words, I teach to learn. Knowledge can be elusive to the uninitiated, so I have to unpack it, and strip everything down to find the components that can take a student to the next level. If I'm able explain something complex in a cohesive and digestible way, we both grow in unison. It's a beautiful thing.




    *If you had to go back in time to tell the young James Kei two truths that would be of great help to him when he was getting started, what would they be?*




    -Don't let societal pressures dictate your path, even if it leads to uncertainty.

    -Leave the pessimism at the door.

    I'm not sure I can call these truths. The funny thing is, I wouldn’t know what to do with this information if it were given to me at the time. I've come to embrace the failures in my life. I'm reminded of the old proverb: “To become whole you must first be broken”.

    The key is to wear your bruises with grace.




    *Concept Artist, Instructor, Illustrator, Fine Artist.... What does the future hold for James Kei?*



    I wish I could tell you. Sports are out of the question at this point. Maybe I'll start a commune in the woods, where we can grow organic rhubarb and edible livestock. Let me know if you want some fresh eggs.




    *If you had one message to share with the creative community what would that be?*



    I recently took a one year sabbatical from the industry in an effort to recalibrate and do a bit of soul searching in the process. I seemed to have lost mine in a cubicle somewhere.

    This pointed me to the southwest desert after having lived in dense urban areas for most of my creative life. There's nothing out here, which means the only direction to explore is inward. I did more reading than writing, and more writing than drawing. I picked up skateboarding after a 20 year hiatus, and have the scars to prove it. A brutal symptom of a full-blown
    mid life crisis.

    Naturally, isolation has its ups and downs. Self reflection can be destructive at times, but the trade off was a deep sense of perspective. I was reborn in a way, and that lead to making stronger work. I've made a promise to do this every ten years or so, as long as I'm alive and in working order.

    If you read this and feel even the slightest bit of envy, then you know what to do. When you go back into the grind, don't forget to share your findings. However mixed the results may be.


    *Thank you for your time James and now at the end of our interview I would like to ask where can people go and find more about your work?*

    My pleasure. Thanks for the soap box.

    This is my blog:

    http://jameskei.tumblr.com/

    There's some randomness in my public Facebook albums:

    https://www.facebook.com/james.kei/photos_albums

    You can find my some of my older work here:

    http://jameskei.carbonmade.com/



    Cheers.


    Thank you Mr. Kei. Your time and knowledge is appreciated and we look forward to seeing your latest works and seeing you create in London! Until then here are some more works from Mr. James Kei!

    Name:  843_large.jpg
Views: 10286
Size:  290.3 KB

    Name:  633_stream.jpg
Views: 10294
Size:  106.6 KB

    Name:  599_large.jpg
Views: 10411
Size:  276.4 KB

    Name:  577_large.jpg
Views: 10184
Size:  285.5 KB

    Name:  303_large.jpg
Views: 10078
Size:  97.0 KB

    Name:  171_large.jpg
Views: 9954
Size:  231.7 KB

    Name:  148_large.jpg
Views: 10069
Size:  444.4 KB

    Name:  kei.jpg
Views: 9807
Size:  275.5 KB

    Interview by Daniel Rizea and Jason Manley. Please check out James sites and we will see you at the show!

    Last edited by Jason Manley; February 11th, 2013 at 04:44 PM.
    LEVEL UP! - ConceptArt.Org online workshops are on sale- Join now and get 25% off!
    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  


  2. Hide this ad by registering as a member
  3. The Following 16 Users Say Thank You to Jason Manley For This Useful Post:

    + Show/Hide list of the thanked


  4. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Oxford, UK
    Posts
    393
    Thanks
    190
    Thanked 240 Times in 143 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    [...] I teach to learn. Knowledge can be elusive to the uninitiated, so I have to unpack it, and strip everything down to find the components that can take a student to the next level. If I'm able explain something complex in a cohesive and digestible way, we both grow in unison. It's a beautiful thing.
    This is exactly how I feel, and one of the main things that motivates me. It is sheer delight to finally grasp something, make it my own by thinking of a way to explain it that would have allowed me to learn it even faster, and then pass this on in a way that speaks to another person. Especially when it involves boiling something quite technical down into simple fundamental principles.

    Very nice interview.

    Sketchbook | Composition tutorial
    @LulieArt - Twitter, where I post useful links, tips, and neat art-related things I stumble across.
    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  

  5. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Cloud 9
    Posts
    532
    Thanks
    393
    Thanked 269 Times in 211 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    "-Don't let societal pressures dictate your path, even if it leads to uncertainty."

    Yep. This part sums it all up for me right now. I'll find my way eventually.



    ART. MORE. NOW.

    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  

  6. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Evanston, IL, U.S.A.
    Posts
    434
    Thanks
    38
    Thanked 93 Times in 93 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    Theres a sweet Max Headroom new year's card on his tumblr. For if you know whats up

    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  

Members who have read this thread: 2

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
  • 424,149 Artists
  • 3,599,276 Artist Posts
  • 32,941 Sketchbooks
  • 54 New Art Jobs
Art Workshop Discount Inside
Register

Developed Actively by vBSocial.com
The Art Department
SpringOfSea's Sketchbook