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Conversations with James King

Today we’d like to introduce you to James King.

Hi James, we’re thrilled to have a chance to learn your story today. So, before we get into specifics, maybe you can briefly walk us through how you got to where you are today?
Growing up, my interests were always creative based and I challenged myself to not only chase those aspirations but to strengthen the core belief that you’re capable of anything you put your mind towards. Throughout my years of growth, my interests also matured as well. I grew up around music and art, which naturally developed my tastes & persona into what I’ve grown to be today. I picked up a digital camera at age 13 but would always use my family’s collection of film cameras as experiments. Most of the time wasting film and tape. I remember my first camera: an HP 2.1 megapixel point and shoot, fitted with a 512 MB SD card. What a time. I used that camera until it crapped out, and ironically, lost all the photos due to a corrupted hard drive.

My parents observed my growing passion and helped kickstart what would end up becoming an aspiring career path. Over the years, I was gifted various cameras until I graduated high school, where I received a Nikon DSLR bundle. I used that for years and continue to use gear from that bundle in my current projects.

Out of high school, college wasn’t for me so I took classes associated with my passion, and once I felt I knew enough, I went out in the field and just experienced it rather than sitting in a classroom. I took the risks needed to be where I am today, and I continue to chase this mindset. I went from 9-5 retail sales positions up to the corporate world, working for FashionNova HQ, experiencing a world I knew wasn’t for me.

I made the leap from a comfortable environment in order to change my desires & see where my true passions lie, as I knew my ideas didn’t deserve to be held hostage in my mind. Things started picking up, it didn’t happen overnight but I’ve always felt anything that does won’t have longevity.

The rest is history and I’ve only written very few chapters.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
A creative’s journey isn’t for the faint of heart and I understood that from the beginning. Constantly living with doubt in your own world, seeking validation from your peers, even just gaining the simply energy to get out of your comfort zone. The task isn’t as easy as a trade or skill, and I think that’s often misconstrued on the topic of creative’s, that we have it easy or seen as cool. This industry is cutthroat and if you’re not up to the standard or don’t adapt, you may not survive. I don’t intend on growing as a hobbyist but rather seen as professional in this industry. It takes conditioning, and that road isn’t easily traveled. I’ve encountered many struggles and hurdles along the way, but I believe it’s molded me to who I am today. I’m nowhere near my end goal yet, but I also know I’m not far away from getting there. If you asked me did I ever think I would get this far several years ago, I would have probably not believed you. But I also wouldn’t question the hustle.

Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
I don’t like to limit my passions into one lane, much like music nowadays, genre evolving and crossing boundaries. But I’ve always been driven to photography & film, over the years I wanted to take it more serious and discover different outlets within the industry.

Currently, I’ve gained titles such as Creative Director, Director of Photography, Art Director, & Glitch Artist. I love utilizing my skills on set with like-minded individuals and have been blessed to work for talents such as B.I.A., OT Genesis, 808 Mafia, & YSL, to name a few.

My specialty is an analog approach to displaying visuals, whether using 90s audio & visual tech to achieve an aesthetic look or manipulating an image paired to a classic gaming CRT. I have catered tools to achieve results and I edit my work to gear it towards my aesthetic.

My style is very nostalgia-driven, pulling inspiration from all areas of my life.

On my downtime, I shoot film photography & been building a separate film brand on the side. I still make beats from time to time, I used to actively produce and DJ. Music will always be a part of my life, which is why I choose to work with artists and musicians.

Do you have any memories from childhood that you can share with us?
I still feel like a kid, however weird that may sound. I’ll always be a kid at heart. But I guess you can say growing up skateboarding. My dad gifted me a board at age five and I’ve really never fully stopped. I had a pair of plastic ramps I would use in my front yard and I used them until eventually they were destroyed by weathering. I fell a lot but it gave me thick skin, to not be afraid of anything.


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