We had the good fortune of connecting with Carlos Luna James and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Carlos, how has your background shaped the person you are today?
I was born in Cd. Juarez Chihuahua, a wild and history-rich border town in the north of Mexico, I spent my early 18 years there before moving to Guadalajara to study my career. Juarez is a very unique place, it has this double culture, Mexican/American, very different from other places in Mexico. Most people are hard worker, warm, open and friendly but on the other side, because it is a border, there is a lot of drug traffic and migration. People from other countries take the risk to pass the border for better life and a lot of the times can’t make it, so they have to stay there, in consequence there is a lot poverty and corruption as well. Born in the border and being exposed to this double culture I believe in a way shape perform has mold my character, it spark me to do better and force me to be hungry for better opportunities and never give up.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
We’d love to hear what sets you apart from others, what you are most proud of or excited about. How did you get to where you are today professionally. Was it easy? I think its being a long road, you have to put the time and effort to get to wherever you want to be, it is not easy especially when you live in a city like LA or any other big Metropoli, the competency it high and you have to have a good product to sell. I think what set me apart is the diversity of media I use to generate my work, being a designer and motion graphics artist, coming from a traditional background like painting, have open my vision as an artist. I can play with different tools and medium, digitized and animate. I believe that transitioning into new media arts, its being fundamental in my career, it wasn’t easy at first but when I start playing with both worlds, digital and physical the transition was pretty seamless, of course there was a lot of try and error. I also love technology as well, I can make experiences and tell stories in a different way, something I always want it to do. I think at this moment in time its a huge tool that artist should utilize, I’m always learning something that can be apply to my artwork, for example now a days I being playing with some AR (Augmented Reality), its a different tool, but in the “digital family” at the end I’m trying to tell a story with my artwork and this is another way I can deliver an experience. If not, how did you overcome the challenges? I’m a hard worker and a believer of “you can do whatever you want”, you just need to be clear on what you want and work hard towards that dream, that is what sets apart from most people, usually people want something or has a big dream, but they don’t put the time. Remember, big dreams takes big sacrifices! What are the lessons you’ve learned along the way? I have learn that life is short and time runs fast, I don’t waste my time and put my efforts towards something I love, I try to learn from my mistakes and always keep moving forward, even when I think it’s not working out, from my experience, I know that if you put the time the universe will conspire to make that dream happen. What do you want the world to know about you or your brand and story? MGOGLKTKO, means Galactic Wizard, this character is my alter ego, represents my life story, my path, my obstacles and my desire to conquer my dreams. This world it’s designed as a fictional nonlinear storytelling about a nomadic shaman, that travels to multidimensional portals in the quest to understand the will of his destiny and the mysteries of life, the narrative relates to magic, myth and symbolism. As an individual who was born in the border between Mexico and USA I being always interested in the themes of migration and cultural hybridization, this idea of blending in to another, the fusion of different cultures to grow physically, mentally and spiritually, that’s what resonates in me, and that’s the core of this unending storytelling. As well I’m interested in realms of reality and simulation, fascinated by alter states of consciousness such as dreaming, trance, hypnosis, meditation, and psychedelia are themes I like to explore in throughout my work. Each installation is a chapter of this Nomadic Shaman character, and the journey through his encounters with different gods and the interchangeable experiences, that help him become a superhuman being. At the end I’m looking to create an experience and connect with my audience, making them feel related to this character.
Any great local spots you’d like to shoutout?
Now a days its a bit crazy going out since we all have being in quarantine, also I might be a little boring for some, it might sound weird especially when you live in LA, but I don’t usually go out much, I like to spend time with my family but when I go out, I love to go to art shows, museums, dinners and of course the beach from the most part, so here are some of the places I recommend. My Fave Hotel to stay. The Standard My fave Dinner place Cliffs Edge, Moonshadows and Goeffrey’s Malibu. My Fave Museums. The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA, the Broad and LACMA My Fave Galleries to go. Houser & Wirth, Gagosian Gallery, Kayne Griffin Corcoran, Jeffrey Ditch, Blum & Poe, Corey Helford and Think Space. My Fave spot Beach to enjoy. Santa Monica Pier and El Matador at Malibu Beach
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Definitely my wife and daughters. Specially my wife she has believed in me since day one, she has pushed me, trust me and encourage me to be a better human, my 2 daughter have give me the courage to believe that everything is possible, if anyone deserves a shoutout, should be them for sure, they are my fuel.