Kicking off this year’s graduates feature is 21 year old James Laurie who has just graduated from Leeds College of Art with a BA in Graphic Design.
Whether it’s recreating a new edition of an antique book by photocopying all 544 pages to maintain the original content or promoting Bic ballpoint pens by drawing a single continuous line until the ink runs out, James’ work explores communication through art and designs interrelationships.
What did you want to be when you were growing up?
It was always a developing thing for me as I didn’t really have my mind set on a particular career avenue until fairly late on when encouraged during secondary school to peruse the field of art and design. My mothers a traditional portrait artist, my sister used to paint, so I guess I’ve always had creativity around my upbringing.
In reflection, how bad was your work in the first year?
I missed out on the whole foundation year and as consequence felt a little behind. As a result I was still experimenting and finding a comfortable working methodology. Furthermore my work was hindered because I wasn’t exploiting my own practice and ideas and as a result felt too constrained by what I thought to believe I should have been doing rather than having the strong convictions to develop a more personal response to being a visual communicator. Studying Graphic Design was a good decision as it has allowed for a more informed perspective to my ideas driven practice and an understanding of the basic design formalities. In retrospect there were some pieces which I would still regard as being well considered. The majority however was pretty throw away as I tended to overcomplicate the unnecessary. I had an interest within the earlier works of John Baldessari and Daniel Eatock which encouraged the more conceptual orientated approach with an increased desire to produce shorter works which draw quicker conclusions. The experience as a whole has been testing even at the best of times.
If you could show a piece of your folio to one person, what piece would you choose, and who would you show it to?
I would like show someone from the other side of the world a piece of my work and attempt to successfully communicate the idea.
If you had your own studio/business, who would you employ/share it with and why?
I’ve always had a high level of appreciation towards craft and drawing practices so I guess someone like Sam Messenger or Sam Winston to whom I paid a visit to last year as I greatly admire his work. I think its really important that practices such as these are continued and maintained. I would like to share a studio with someone from a completely different creative area. The contrasting opinions would make interesting lunch time conversations.
If you’ve got any left, what will you spend the last of your student loan on?
The last Leeds to London train ticket home.
Where will we find you in 12 months?
I’d love to do an internship at MoMA New York, or at the TATE something completely different but still art related in the foreseeable future. A change of perspective would be nice. I plan to continue refining my practice into something which is sustainable. There’s a plentiful of ideas placed aside which I would like to see resolved within the forthcoming months. The journey to me is far more important than the destination.