We had the good fortune of connecting with James McClung and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi James, do you have some perspective or insight you can share with us on the question of when someone should give up versus when they should keep going?
Time and time again pursuing the creative life we face the challenge of the feeling to give up. For myself when I am in that situation, there is a moment when I will take a step back putting down the brush or pencil. As time goes by the void of not creating begins to grow larger. The only thing I know that will fill that void is getting back to work making art. With that small break my mind can reset and come back refreshed.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
The work I’ve been creating for the past 7 or 8 years is inspired by personal life experiences and travel. It feels very exciting to have traveled and documented locations such as New York City, Stockholm, Amsterdam and India to name a few. I’m very fortunate to have that experience, as well road trips through the American southwest. From the work that has been accomplished over these years I think the relationships I’ve made along the way in my community made it successful. Without that it would be very difficult to have a strong support system that helps motivate me to keep working. I hope my paintings show that there is a big world out there that has a different point of view than where you or I come from and there is something to learn from other cultures or cities.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
At the moment it would be hard due to COVID. But typically, there are a number of coffee shops to start the day here in Redlands, CA. There is a small downtown that is pleasant to walk around and check out shops like our local record store or plant shop called Forever Green. A local chocolate maker called Parliament Chocolate. After that it is always a good time to head out to Joshua Tree for an afternoon hike followed up by some dinner and drinks at Pappy & Harriets.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
There are so many family and friends to name. A community is how individuals succeed. First, my mom and dad who always encouraged me to draw. Long time friends Brian and Angela Macias who have done anything they could at a moments notice to help. Jaime Valdovino who taught me to treat every step like a true professional. Jason Acevedo, always believing in my work and showed me it truly means something and more than just a picture. Dusty Ferguson for being a good friend and road trip buddy discovering lost landscapes over the years. Eric Bouvet having confidence in me through and through. Ryan and Cassi Berk for giving me that chance. Jennifer Ponder is always loving and sticking by my side every day even though it could be difficult at times.