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Interview

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Meet british artist James Roper

May 2018

Who are you?

A multi-dimensional being caught up in a densely layered human experience trying to simultaneously remember and forget that I am ultimately one with everything ....that's what the Ayahuasca showed me anyway. Otherwise, I'm James Roper, 35 years old, I do arty stuff. I'm from Manchester, England

How did you get interested in art?

I was never not interested in art. I owe it to my mum for exposing me to books, magazine articles, and programs on TV about the arts. She saw that I had a talent for drawing from a young age, that I knew how to hold a pencil properly without having been told how. I was a contemplative child, spending hours on my own looking at the world around me, making up stories in my head, daydreaming, something that innately transposed to what it is to be an artist.

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How would you describe your style?

If anything I'm a maximalist but I don't really have one specific style. The idea or feeling behind the work is the key starting point. I choose any medium that best suits the communication of whatever conceptual or emotional elements I've chosen to express but never restrict that expression by limiting myself to one visually cohesive way of working. Unfortunately, that isn't very good for my 'brand', but I'm an artist, not a sugary soda drink.

What are your sources of inspiration?

Everything. The multi-sensoral experience, both from my internal world and external world and how they interact really interests me, both psychologically and physically. The mixing of those two comes about through contemplation, looking at other artists work, research into psychology, spiritual practices and physical movement like martial arts training. Being in nature plays a big part as seeing how the balance between order and chaos and the patterns and forms that arise from that are endlessly fascinating.

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How is the creation process for you?

Blood, sweat, tears, plus mild depression followed by euphoria and rejection. With a wistful hint of joy.

What are your favourite materials to work with?

I physically like working with oil paints but I'm at my most creative when using Adobe Photoshop. It allows me to not just create but almost discover the work through endless compositional variation as if I'm revealing something to myself with the removal of conscious action.

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Who are your favourite artist?

Francis Bacon.

What do you do besides being an artist?

I practice Kung fu, Chi Gung, running, stretching, weight training, tennis, hiking, gardening. Anything that gets me out of my head and into my body.

What are the best advice given to you as an artist?

I can't remember ever having been given any advice by an artist. Just go on Youtube and listen to Jordan B Peterson for a few hours, he has some solid advice. Here's mine: Tidy your studio! ;-)

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Michelle Christensen

Michelle Christensen

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