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Victory Is Literally
My Middle Name

I'm Laura James, and I'm here to tell you why I'm your new favorite graphic designer.

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Photo by:

Beky James

My Story

I was born and raised in Austin, TX, and have lived in the area most of my life. I was homeschooled, as were seven of my siblings. I am very close with my family—we all live in different areas but we talk every day. Aside from art, my passions include anime and cosplay, camping, travel, Stephen King, Marvel (especially X-Men!), Tolkien, and my greatest love of all is classic rock.

I started drawing from the time I could hold a piece of chalk. We had a full-size blackboard in our schoolroom. It was on that blackboard that I started to copy my older brother, who has also been an artist since he was able to draw doodles all over ALL of our books (and furniture). I started kidnapping spiral notebooks from the schoolroom and writing “LAURA’S – PRIVATE” and filling them with all kinds of doodles. Yet I never really considered myself an artist, and that’s why I started going to Austin Community College: to hone my skills, learn new ones, and see where that would take me. I was not prepared for the avalanche of new skills and knowledge that my first Associate’s (in Studio Art) would provide me with, and I quickly realized that I could and wanted to make a living by creating art. Research brought me to graphic design, which combines my ability to problem solve and think for other people with my ability to create.

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Some of my early studio artwork

It was during my Studio Art degree that I learned about the Portuguese artist Paula Rego, which changed my life and the entire way I approach creativity. Paula Rego would physically create the scenes she wanted to draw, sometimes going as far as to build props and costumes from scratch. Why was this so pivotal for me? Well, that would take me some time to discover. Sometime while I was majoring in graphic design that I did finally discover what it’s called: Aphantasia, a disability with which people are unable to visualize things in their mind. It took me until that moment to realize that the massive struggle I had creating sketches wasn’t my fault, but rather because I have nothing to sketch off of. With this discovery came frustration but also relief, because finally I knew what was wrong, and my next step, as always, was to find out how to remedy it. So if you don’t see sketches in my process work, that’s because there often aren’t any. Rather than conjuring up an image in my mind and then jotting it down, I sometimes will either create something as a reference, either with physical objects or with a combination of image, or I will enter my ideas into Adobe Firefly and hit “generate” until I get what I want. These ARE my sketches. I can conceptualize just fine—I am great at coming up with concepts—they are just not visual. I have never and will never let this slow me down though, as I now have an arsenal of tools and techniques to get me past the ideation phase. My name means “Victory,” and I am a champion and an overcomer.

Assumption by Paula Rego

Assumption by Laura James after Paula Rego

My style is to have no style. For years I ached and yearned to be able to develop my own signature “Style,” but to no avail. When I found out I had aphantasia, it all made sense: I don’t have a signature style because there is nothing to refer to. Rather than letting that discourage me, I see it as a bonus—it leaves me open to any kind of style, and I fully believe that I could successfully handle any project that comes my way because my mind is a blank canvas just ready to create something new and unique every time. I am at the very core of myself a problem solver. Everything that comes my way I am always trying to figure out how to fix it, adjust it, or make it better. This coupled with my artistic abilities is exactly what makes me such a brilliant graphic designer. I am available for work and always looking for new opportunities, so please reach out!

Contact

I'm always looking for new and exciting opportunities. Let's connect.

123-456-7890 

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