James Groeling

This artist we're about to feature is not just creating art for himself but he is doing it to make a difference to the world. This interview made us even more impressed not only by his artworks but his mission behind creating them. 

James Groeling, a visual artist and illustrator based in New York, is here to wow you with his art and desire to make the world a better place. This guy put the art in heart. We are blessed to have this interview with him and we know that you'll be able to be inspired, as you read it.


An Interview With James Groeling

APA: What is the foundation of your creativity… how did you get started?

James Groeling: When I was a lil one, I was in hospitals pretty consistently, so my mom would read with me a lot. Teaching me how to read at an early age. I remember seeing images in the books, and understanding the words to the story, and it would play out like a movie in my head.

I've always wanted to share parts of my brain-movie with other people so they could also enjoy. So, I'd draw the weird things in my mind. As long as I can remember there was a crayon in hand and I was trying to capture the visuals in my head onto other surfaces. Sometimes those surfaces were walls, as a little kid that was an oops. As an adult, I've done a number of murals for clients, so my oops has become a career.  

APA: What do you want people to obtain when they look at your work?

James Groeling: I'd like people to pause for a bit and go on a mental exploration into somewhere potentially new to them. 

APA: What advice would you give to other inspiring artists?

James Groeling: Keep creating, always.


APA: In the next decade what do you wish to accomplish with your creative gifts?

James Groeling: There are many images and ideas I'm working on now that I'm looking forward to seeing the end result, commercial and personal pieces. Building a creative name, and doing more of my own work. Eventually to be able to use my art in a manner that helps the world around us. I see myself creating art to help benefit charities that are helping on a human and environmental level. Consider that a work in progress and check back with me in 2028.  

APA: What is one mistake every artist should avoid?
James Groeling: Allowing distractions to take over when they know they should be making art. 

APA: What do you do to keep going when you are not motivated or inspired to create?
James Groeling:I've got a few go toes to help my creativity. One of my favorites though is drawing exercise that while I'm sure has a name already, I refer to as scribble therapy.

Take a piece of paper, or page in your sketchbook and scribble on it. get the whole page loosely covered. Then, like finding faces and visuals in the shapes of clouds in the sky, you look over the scribbles and let your mind make images.

Draw those images over your scribbles. On a page of scribbles I often end up with a variety of concept art of a sorts for various genres depending on where my head is. Whatever the result, it's a great way to warm up the creative juices.

APA: What most often inspires your work?
James Groeling: Life. Truly though, almost everything that comes in through my senses influences my artwork in some way. Examples: Music in my ears. Books I'm reading (or audiobooks I'm listening to). A discussion with a friend.

The face of a random passerby on the street when they smile. Veins in a flower petal or on a dragonfly's wings. Urban decay and rust on an ornate metal gate, based in crumbling brickwork. The texture of an unfamiliar food. Moments of L'appel du vide (the call of the void). The embrace of a bear hug. A smell that reminds of old friends, Pareidolia and seeing faces through tree branches at sundown.... 

I digress. What I'm getting as is each thing I experience becomes part of who I am, no matter how small of a part. In my brain, like some amorphous blob of creativity, sometimes things long forgotten resurface in my mind's eye as fuel for art. Sometimes they've changed or merged with other ideas to become something new, but it's all in there in some way. 


APA: What is the most challenging part about being an artist?

James Groeling: Marketing. I've been fortunate enough to make most of my living off of my artwork and working with artists/organizations in and around the art world. That's because I promote myself, hunt down work, spent days emailing prospective clients on forums, company sites, etc, and can show that I'm capable of just about any project that comes my way by showing them my work.

Ideally I'll hit a point where I can hire someone to do all of that very necessary stuff for me, so I can just make all the things I want to. 
Creating art is greater than the things we have to do in order to keep creating art. 

APA: What is the best part about creating art?

James Groeling: Visual experimentation. I love the process of turning an idea into something tangible. Some ideas are multidimensional, so they become sculpts. Others are windows into a scene, so drawings and paintings.

Then there are elaborate stories that fill my mind, which become writing and/or sequential art. I like variety in my art, and to try new materials and approaches, makes every project it's own adventure for me. 

APA: What is your creative process like?

James Groeling: Sketching usually. Sometimes I have something in mind already and start roughing out parts of it in my sketchbook. Othertimes I'm not sure how to start something so I put my pen to page and just moving it.

I prefer to sketch in blue ballpoint pen in my sketchbook, so I'll end up with pages of loose sketching, which has always felt very fluid to me as I go through visual trial and error. Sometimes things that I thought were an error get a minor tweak, and it's exactly I want. 


APA: What’s one thing that you don’t know that you want to learn?

James Groeling: Sign language

APA: It’s a random day 10 years ago, what were you creating?
James Groeling: Let's find out.
*walks over to a shelf of old sketchbooks in studio, picks up one from 2008 and flips to a random page. 

On one page I was doodling a comic portrait version of a friend, on the other I was doing concept art for a new idea I had for a story. Interestingly enough it's the story I'm building on now as something to publish. It's a nice treat to see how it's evolved over the years to where it is now. 

APA: Would you rather create 1000 average pieces that all become a great body of work or 1 amazing groundbreaking masterpiece? Why?

James Groeling: Both. I'll likely create 1000 pieces in my lifetime, and they may someday be appreciated as a collected body of work if I'm fortunate enough. Could a life's work be considered a masterpiece even without any?

Follow James Groeling in all of his social media networks and his main website below.