James Roper is an artist from Manchester, England. His pieces are full of vivid colors, movements and inspiration, which he derives from comic books. Be amazed with his work as we get to know more about him in this interview!
We’d like to know more about you. Can you tell us more about your self?
I live in Manchester, England. I’m 28 years old. I’m a blue belt in Shaolin Kung fu. I have a fat ginger cat called Leo. I was a vegetarian for 6 years.
As If From Nowhere
What were your artistic influences growing up?
Mostly cartoons, comic books and computer games. I used to video tape Bucky O’Hare and pause it so I could draw the characters. I also loved Spider-man comics which I used to copy from and adapted into my own drawings and comics.
How did you evolve as an artist? How did you get to where you are now?
I’ve always worked in the same way I’ve just refined and expanded what I do. I’ve always tried to take in as much input as possible, to be influenced by many different areas from art to sport to film to philosophy to comics to religion to fashion. By amalgamating all these different and sometimes contradictory ideas and visual references, which I constantly update and branch out from, the work increases in depth and scope.
Autosarcophagy (The Host Within the Host)
As an artist, what challenges do you face and how do you overcome/cope?
I find creating work quite easy, I’ve only had a ‘block’ once, but that was after a long period of creating work where I needed a period to refresh the ideas I was working on. I’m always trying to push things forward, I don’t like to stick to one visual style or medium. It can sometimes be detrimental to how people define me as an artist. I work in lots of different fields sometimes in opposing styles, my film work is quite dark and subtle where as my graphics are bold and colorful, my paintings look like scenes from cartoons but the conceptual references are quite complex. As an artist to a certain extent you need a kind of ‘brand’ image to help your career and mine can sometimes come across as a little contradictory.
Deep Structure Dispersal
How would you describe your style and how did you develop it?
Most of my work is a form of collage but using Photoshop allows for more manipulation than just cutting images from magazines would do. Taking from numerous sources I blend imagery and ideas to create a brand new context for those sources and references. I was initially influenced by Jeff Koons’ Easy-Fun Ethereal paintings but wanted to create compositions that weren’t about juxtaposing images but which were more integrated with each other. My painting style originated from my love of Anime and how much could be done with just 2-3 tone color shading.
How long does each project take to complete?
A painting can take up to a month. The composition process takes a few days and I’m constantly collecting imagery from the Internet to use in the work.
What’s your greatest achievement so far?
Top 3: A solo show in New York, doing an ident for MTV and Kanye West wearing one of my T-shirts.
What emotions or kind of thinking do you want your art to invoke on your audience?
I’ve always tried to tap into the kind of imagery that connects strongly with a mass audience. I’m interested in archetypes and how we naturally respond to certain visuals and cultural iconography both ancient and modern. I want the viewer to feel they are seeing something fresh and new but at the same time connects to something they’ve seen or felt before but in a more affective and intense way.