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MightySkins Artist Spotlight: James Booker / Random Galaxy

MightySkins Artist Spotlight: James Booker / Random Galaxy

Today we're happy to share with you, James Booker. Booker is the creative mind behind Random Galaxy. He'd object if we called him a "genius," but if you've seen his art, well, it's inspired, at least! Booker creates collages that typically include three elements: animals, food, and space. It seems simple, but, as with any three-body problem, there are near-infinite combinations possible. 

They're also done beautifully so that these delightful combinations make arresting and attractive skins for laptops, phones, game consoles, and more. In this interview, we delve into how this artist found his way into this crazy art niche, where he gets his inspiration, and what other projects occupy his time. 


How did you get into art? What’s your story?

Like most kids I watched cartoons and I made drawings in school from a young age. I would draw anything I liked or saw in movies like animals and aliens.

My art styles have changed a lot over time. I have painted in oil and acrylic, marbled, made digital illustrations, sculpted, etc. I studied multimedia and animation in college where I picked up Photoshop.

It was after college that I saw an emerging trend in photo-manipulations. I thought some of the artists working in this medium were awesome and I tried it out myself.

I was also watching some black and white stop motion movies and had these ideas of giant lizards so I wanted to create those scenes somehow. My photo manipulation style of art came from that.

What’s the history behind Random Galaxy? How did you come up with the idea of creating collages of animals and food?

Over the past couple of years, I have drawn ideas from comedy movies. Originally, I drew inspiration from fantasy and sci-fi art, as well as other current artists and trends I saw around.

 

I was drawn back into creating more absurd art after I watched some alternative comedy. I was mashing together random things that people liked. I guess food and animals are some of those things people just need in their lives.

How did Random Galaxy branch out from writing, illustration, film, and music?

I have always had an interest in other art forms. Lately, I've been trying out animations again with my Random Galaxy designs like I used to do for fun with Adobe Flash.

I have written a number of ebooks. I also play instruments so I set up a home recording studio and have recorded songs.

That was before I focused on what was working better for me, and what people seemed to like more, which were the designs.

Do you use any other mediums to create artwork?

I haven’t used traditional mediums in a long time. For me, it's more about whatever I can use to get the artwork achieved and get it out there.

What are some of your favorite references you like putting together?

I look at current trends and sometimes I take inspiration from fantasy and sci-fi paintings from the ‘70s and ‘80s.

When making a design I prefer not to look at any references, however. I just take stock photos of animals, of environments like space, and of other elements, and manipulate them together using Photoshop.

Do you ever get requests from fans? Any strange ones? Do you take requests?

I don't get too many requests but when I do they're pretty quirky. One person loved a piece I made of a sloth riding a unicorn. But she said it wasn't perfect. What would have made it for her was a narwhal flying around in space in the background. I liked that idea actually.

Who or what were some of your influences when you were first getting started? What about today?

When I was first trying out Photoshop I was influenced by surreal art and movies. I liked the color schemes and the twisted aesthetics of it all. There was more meaning in the art when I was getting started.

 

Today I have a general idea in mind of what I want to make and I love when the piece comes together. But I try to give people more of what they might want.

What do you do outside of creating art?

I need to be working on something. If I'm not creating art, then I'm building other things.

I try to live pretty healthy so I can't sit still for too long.

If you weren’t an artist, what would you be doing?

I have no idea. Most other directions have been dead ends. But I guess I'd keep trying new things until something else started working out for me. I have tried my best to avoid working a job I hate.

What are your goals as an artist? What do you dream of doing in the future? Where do you hope to be in 10 years?

I hope to become a better artist first of all. I don't know if I consider myself even an artist really at this point and I think I could improve a lot. I hope my stuff still has demand in 10 years, that would be awesome.

But for now, I'm taking it day by day.

What advice would you give to new/aspiring artists?

The important thing for me was to do something different from the pack mentality.

Maybe think outside the box for opportunities that can come from putting your artwork out there.

I stumbled into a world of art licensing and landed an art agent after I got into print-on-demand. Not many people talk about the other opportunities and who knows what else might come in the future.

Do you have any other projects you're working on? Anything else you’d like to share?

I always have new projects coming up and new directions I'm taking. You can follow Random Galaxy on Instagram @randomgalaxymerch or buy my art at https://www.randomgalaxy.com. Thanks so much! I enjoyed the interview.

Transform Your Favorite Gear with Skins as Random as Your Mind

We want to thank James Booker for taking the time to talk to us about his art. Don't forget to follow him on Instagram @randomgalaxymerch


Are you an agent of creative chaos who loves to put positive energy out into the world? What better way to express that energy than with a Random Galaxy skin? They also make great gifts for that random person in your life - yes, even that random person you met on the street!

Shop our skins online to transform your everyday accessories into works of art.
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