We had the good fortune of connecting with James Gardner and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi James, why did you decide to pursue a creative path?
I was always fascinated by artwork and creativity. I have many artists in my family that cover many different mediums. I was raised with a deep Native American cultural influence (yes I am Native :0 ). My parents filled the house with southwestern artworks and we regularly took trips to museums and galleries. It is something I cherish now looking back. This definitely manifested the desire to pursue a creative career.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
After graduating from Ringling College, I was fortunate enough to pick up a staff position at Imaginary Forces. I soon realized the skills I learned in school started to take hold. Being able to collaborate, receive critical feedback about my work, give critical feedback, and speak about my work in a professional manner allowed me to ease into the professional field. I have always had a strong work ethic, and that has helped me greatly in motion design. It’s not easy but the drive to always learn has helped me overcome a lot of technical issues that I face in creating digital artwork. With my strong work ethic comes a balance between work and life outside of work. I often find that they are blended together. Over this past year, I have been pushing to make a clear distinction between the two. I love creating, and I have come to accept and understand that “creating” is why I am here on this planet. It’s the driving force behind the majority of my actions throughout the day. It consumes my thoughts and this has become my biggest growth, to overcome those thoughts for the sake of mental health, but also for the sake of creativity. Giving myself time to breathe, relax, and think about other things in life also fuels my creativity. Sleep . Render | Wake . Create

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.
Oh this is great! HAHA Roadtrip! I would definitely take them along the PCH, camping, hiking, the beach. Eating good food and checking out all the little towns along the way. I would start south and make our way north, perhaps ending in San Fran or maybe go a bit further. We only have a week, and I could spend alot of that in Big Sur! Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
First, my parents for surrounding me with art and creativity growing up, and supporting me through my struggles to become an artist. Secondly, I would have to say the college I graduated from, Ringling College of Art and Design. It was during this time that I began to understand the basic fundamentals of concept, design, and animation. I developed the skills to turn my drive of being an artist into a creative career. Lastly, my time in Europe. I spent about 5 years in Europe as a missionary. Helping others but also doing non profit work that was deeply involved with set design for opera’s and also making items to sell at festivals where proceeds went directly to missionary houses in Africa, South America, and Mexico. Items included sculptures, paintings, metal work.

Website: www.j-gardner.com
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/_native.j_/
Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jamesgardner84/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/_native_j
Other: https://makersplace.com/native_j/

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