We had the good fortune of connecting with James Templeton and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi James, why did you decide to pursue a creative path?
I don’t really know how to be much of anything else. I knew very early on in my life, and for no good reason at all, that I loved to make things. It brought me joy, peace, affirmation and meaning. Also, kids liked me for it. They respected me and what I could do. Everybody wants that…. especially the littles. After awhile, you just forget that is what you are doing and what you are becoming and before you know it, you are. Whether or not it was ever a great idea, you are an artist.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
It’s a still tricky for me to describe my art after all these years. It has changed so much and taken many forms. I like to think I’ve gotten better at finding helpful common threads in all the different forms and interest, but I’m still a stranger to it. I suppose that’s because I like the feeling. I like that the work is a bit unknown even to me and that the answers to my questions I will never find. The works have ranged from painting to music to theater to programming and electronics and all the bits in between. Every detour teaching me something about the others and every practice is richer for it. I’m rambling I think now….. As far as what sets me apart, I do not know. That is not something I do like to think about. It’s has been hard for sure. It has difficult assessing value for the work and time spent. It has been difficult coming up with that number and realizing you don’t know a soul that could afford it. It is weird to be an artist….if you need it to pay your bills…you’re selling to audience you are disconnected from. That’s been hard for me to square. I don’t have any lessons to lean from this yet. I’m not great in the financial and marketing department. I like to think there is a way to make accessible work and survive. I’m hopeful and I love love love doing it, so whether I get there or not, that part never changes.
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.
Houston Arboretum for a morning walk
Black Hole for some coffee and budz
Children’s Museum…because it’s my favorite museum in Houston. (bring the my daughter too of course)
La Guadalupana for lunch
Go back in time to Half Priced Books
Theodore Rex for fancy and tasty dinner
Grand Prize because the old patio is back and drinks need to be cheap at this point.
This is really hard to narrow down…..but this feels like a fine day.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I grew up in a tiny little town. If you were a decently smart and curious kid, there wasn’t much for you but whatever disassociates you get your hands on. I was lucky enough to meet a few other kids that wanted something more than to live our parent’s life or overdose on our way there. Josh Smith, Jeff Wilson, Stefan Mach and myself would skateboard, read, make art and eventually start a band that would take us on many tours all over the country. We were redefining what was possible and we had each other to get us there. I don’t know what might have become of me had I not met those three boys, but couldn’t have been much.