INTERVIEW STEVEN JAMES

 
portrait.jpg
 

From Hamilton, this Canadian artist developed his craft slowly but surely. The tehcnical aspect of his work makes his style special and unique and seeing the joy he brings to his clients certainly makes for the ebest reward!


TNE: Could you tell us a bit about yourself, what’s your story?: 

S J: Originally from Hamilton, Ontario and went to school for illustration. With the intention of working in the comic book industry and after a small stint in film in Vancouver, tattooing slowly crept its way in and I have grown to love it more and more every day since.

TNE: How long have you been tattooing for?: 

S J: 12 years

TNE: At what point did you realize you wanted to be a professional tattooer?: 

S J: I believe the point was when I saw the look in a clients eyes when they first go and check out the tattoo in the mirror and love it. Their joy and self accomplishment is a great story to be a part of.

TNE: How would you describe your style? Can you tell us about your main influences? (Tattoo artists and more) : 

S J: I would say my style is illustrative realism if you’ve taken a lot of lsd? 
Influences definitely come from Craww, Alfonse Mucha, Camilla D’Erico, James Jean, Virgil Finlay and a lot more.

TNE: Can you recall what it was that drew you to this specific style?: 

S J: I love the divisiveness and unison of the soft palette mixed with hard lines. The two techniques create a beautiful striking contrast to me.

TNE: If you weren't a tattoo artist, what would you be doing professionally?:

 S J: Perfumer or volunteering with exotic wildlife


TNE: According to you, is tattoo an art form or a craft? Please explain. .. : 

S J: I believe it is a craft, a technical execution trying to interpret the art that is in the clients imagination. Art creates the beautiful story while the technical application allows you to tell it.

TNE: What are your other interests, are there any other topics you are curious about? : 

S J: Comics, movies, sculpting, wildlife, gardening

TNE: What about other art forms? Do you practice any? : 

S J: Slowly working my way into sculpting!

TNE: In which kind of atmosphere do you like to work in? (music, vibe, open space with colleagues? Quiet, private space? Etc): 

S J: I love music open studio vibes. Bouncing the ideas and creativity off of each other. A nice healthy dose of bantering is always needed.

TNE: What is your personnal approach with your clientele? Do people need to know exactly what they want? or they come with a bunch of loose ideas they need you to string together? Or do you prefer flash designs?: 

S J: I prefer all of the above. I believe a part of our job is to help them filter out ideas and what will work and what won’t, and how to make it the best possible outcome for them if it’s within your range.


TNE: What are your prime life and work philosophy?: 

S J: If you find quality, value and self worth Within yourself, that will translate into your work and every day life.


TNE: What is your favorite color palette? in life vs tattoo?: 

S J: Ooo good question. I prefer the more colder tones (deep purple-mint) in tattooing but warmer tones in real life.


TNE: In which kind of atmosphere do you like to work in? (music, vibe, open space with colleagues? Quiet, private space? Etc.) : 

S J: I love music open studio vibes. Bouncing the ideas and creativity off of each other. A nice healthy dose of bantering is always needed.


TNE: How/where do you find your inspiration? : 

IS J: n every day life and observation.


TNE: How would you describe your evolution as an artist since the beginning?: 

S J: A rocky road haha!
I’m a slow learner so it has taken me a lot of trial and error to get to my current state. Mistakes are important tools to learn.


TNE: Does tattoo make you travel? When you go on tattoo trips, do you see a difference with your clientele at home?: 

S J: I do love travelling for tattooing but I am a bit of an introvert so it does take a toll. Learning your limits is important though to make your time abroad enjoyable for both you and your peers you have the privilege of working with.

TNE: Do you participate in a lot of tattoo conventions? What do you like and dislike the most while working in conventions?? 

S J: I wax and wane with conventions. Some years I enjoy the hustle, some I need to be quieter. 
I enjoy conventions because it is nice to see such a wide array of human beings that, if tattooing wasn’t our common, there is a good chance we would never meet. The opportunity to develop friendships and community with clients/coworkers/peers is definitely a bonus.

TNE: What are some of your best tattoo convention memories?: 

S J: I plead the fifth.

TNE: What is the ultimate goal you have set for yourself regarding your career?: 

S J: My ultimate goal is to make sure my client comes out with an experience they enjoyed and gave them a positive memory. Knowing that I gave another human being my undivided attention and effort to show respect that they trust a stranger to change their lives for the better, and vice versa. To not compare to others, and to not create a self sabotaging pedestal of ego.

MANY THANKS TO STEVEN FOR ANSWERING OUR QUESTIONS! :).

YOU CAN CONTACT HIM BY EMAIL TO BOOK AN APPOINTMENT FOR THE NOUVELLE ERE TATTOO CONVENTION:

Courriel : Misterstevenjames@gmail.com

Portefolio : @misterstevenjames

En
Fr